Living the kempinkski lifestyle

Updated: 2013-11-23 07:43

By Zhu Chengpei and Zhang Xiaomin in Dalian (China Daily)

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 Living the kempinkski lifestyle

Christian Weindieck is a firm believer in the Kempinksi lifestyle. Provided to China Daily

Profile | Christian Wiendieck

For Christian Wiendieck, the general manager of Kempinski Hotel Dalian, working in a hotel is a lifestyle he is committed to, and "sometimes, you're more married to the hotel than to a person", he quips.

Kempinski Hotel Dalian is located in the heart of the city's commercial and business district, opposite the scenic Labor Park and only a few steps away from the luxury malls.

Wiendieck, from Germany, joined Kempinski Hotel Dalian in 2010, but not before he had held several positions in six other Kempinski hotels located in Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

Working in different countries and experiencing their cultures is something he likes.

"I've come to China many times on vacation, but it's a different story when you actually work here," he says, with a smile. When he first arrived in Dalian, the friendly Kempinski team gave him a warm welcome, but he still had a lot to learn.

Wiendieck was invited to a formal dinner once and after being seated, the waiter came over and poured a little bit of red wine into his glass.

"I was confused. I was offered that tiny amount of wine, and so I told the waiter to keep going," he recalls. The rest of the diners at the table were locals and they all started grinning when they saw that.

The next thing he knew, someone had shouted "ganbei!" and everyone was draining their glasses, including him.

Of course, Wiendieck had drunk a lot more than he expected by the end of the night.

"Experiences like this introduced me to Chinese culture and Chinese people better than anything else," he says, "although I learned it the hard way."

There was another time where he accidentally took the slow train from Shanghai to Suzhou.

"I was the only Westerner in that carriage and the funny thing was, everyone wanted a photo with me. They shared their snacks with me and treated me like an old friend. That was some journey."

Because of the line of work he's in, he travels a lot and he likes to think the spirit of a true-blue Kempinski person shines through wherever he goes.

It is a company with over 100 years' history, after all and it shows in all the details.

"Luxury is that something extra we offer while ensuring all the small things go smoothly," says Wiendieck, who makes the effort to spend some time talking to his staff every day because he believes "happy staff translates to happy customers".

Occasionally, he would reward them with training trips to Europe to help them understand the Kempinski way of life.

His management style obviously works, and Kempinski Hotel Dalian started collecting awards - including the "Best Hotel in the Northeast Province 2011" by TTG China and the "Certificate of Excellence for The Year 2012" by TripAdvisor.

For his staff at least, Weindieck is the best testimony of the Kempinski person in action, living the Kempinski lifestyle.