Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
- Block Ha My Dong B, Dien Duong Ward, Dien Ban Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2016
- First Four Seasons Assignment: General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Marrakech
- Four Seasons Resort Marrakech; Beach Projects in Phuket, Thailand; Palawan Development Company in The Philippines; Amanresorts (Beijing, North and South Asia, Tokyo); DeSter Co. LTD in Bangkok, Thailand; Raffles International Hotels (Le Montreux Palace in Montreux, Switzerland, and Nai Lert Park, in Bangkok, Thailand); The Beaufort Hotel and Conference Centre in Sentosa, Singapore
- École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland; HEC, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
- French, English (fluent); German, Italian and Dutch (basic)
It was while travelling with his parents as a child that Swiss native Blaise Montandon developed a taste for high-end hospitality. But it was his self-professed tendency to be “a bit impatient for new challenges and how things work from the inside” that defined his own atypical route through the industry: from finance to sales and marketing to operations and development, via a wide range of pre-openings and multi-use development projects.
Today, with a breadth of hospitality experience that spans more than 20 years in Asia – including Singapore, Japan, China, Thailand and India – alongside stints in Europe and Africa, there isn’t a day that goes by where he doesn’t continue to learn from those around him. “I like to be challenged, to learn every day, and to make an impact with my presence,” he explains. “The role of a GM is to make all the diamonds around you shine a little brighter, but it’s essential for me to learn from the team too.”
Encouraging collaboration for collective gain, he thrives on developing close relationships with his team members. And his contagious sense of humour is never far away. “I love to laugh a lot and bring a sense of lightheartedness to the role,” he says. “We’re in the business of hospitality: positivity and fun has to extend to everyone; community, guests and staff.”
A creative thinker with a desire for connection, Blaise also recognises the importance of taking time for himself. He discovered meditation while based in New Delhi and has attended silent and walking meditation retreats to increase his own awareness: key attributes when it comes to The Nam Hai’s prevailing philosophy of mindfulness.
“Mindfulness, like sustainability – another of The Nam Hai’s key social responsibility areas – is all about education,” he says. “The most important thing is to have awareness, learn step by step, then educate yourself and others. Whether we’re seeking greater connection or taking steps to reduce our environmental impact, it’s only ever down to us as individuals to educate ourselves so we can facilitate change.”
And when he’s not leading – and laughing with – his team, he likes nothing more than being anonymous in a big city community, sampling all types of street food, and trusting the collaboration of each individual contributing to the greater whole. An ethos to live by: where personal recognition always takes a back seat in favour of shared, sustainable success.