From launching a new brand in the Maldives to opening an eclectic hotel in Hanoi, chief executive of Capella Hotel Group Nicholas Clayton has stayed focused on growth during the pandemic, and is convinced travel will return to being an integral part of our lives.
Optimism has been an elusive currency over the past 14 months, but one everyone has needed to somehow be able to get their hands on – especially working in travel and hospitality.
Remaining focused and motivated on new openings has certainly been a positive driver for Nicholas Clayton, chief executive of Capella Hotel Group, which launched two hotels in the past year. “As a team, we’ve remained positive, productive and motivated to fulfil our objectives of operational excellence and the growth of our brands,” he says.
October saw the arrival of Capella Bangkok with 101 rooms, suites and villas with views of the city’s Chao Phraya river, quickly followed in December by Capella Hanoi, a 47-room hotel designed by legendary architect Bill Bensley, also behind Capella Ubud in Bali.
“Bill is a creative genius who never fails to develop projects that surprise and delight,” says Clayton. “His designs are always unique and tell a story – which is very much aligned with Capella’s vision.”
Has local demand proved it was worth opening those hotels in Thailand and Vietnam during the pandemic? Clayton says so far so good: “We have supportive domestic markets eager to experience them. In addition to unique staycation packages, both hotels offer exceptional food and beverage experiences, which means we can further differentiate in such highly competitive markets. The teams have also hosted prestigious weddings and events for the likes of Saint Laurent and Vogue.”