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Swire Hotels Appoints Executive Management for
The Upper House, in Pacific Place, Hong Kong
Dean Winter Named General Manager

(Hong Kong, July 15, 2009) - Brian Williams, managing director of Swire Properties Hotel Holdings Limited has announced the appointment of respected hotelier and restaurateur Dean Winter as general manager of The Upper House, a small intimate hotel opening in Admiralty, Hong Kong in October 2009.
Dean currently oversees the strategic positioning and daily operations of the hotel. Previously he managed the launch of Swire Hotels, overseeing pre-opening preparations for The Opposite House, which opened in Beijing in 2008, as well as The Upper House and EAST, which opens next year in Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong.

Dean has over 20 years of senior management experience in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. A former director of food and beverage within Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, he was also general manager of Conran Restaurants, London, from 1999-2001. Prior to joining Swire Hotels, Dean was the executive assistant manager at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, responsible for overseeing its renovation prior to re-opening in 2006. 

Dean is supported at The Upper House by a team of experienced professionals with global hospitality industry experience chosen to enhance Swire Hotels' aim to provide a unique experience for travelers who seek individuality, style and personalized service.

Dean Winter, general manager and 
Benjamin Banh, director of sales &

Benjamin Banh is appointed director of sales & marketing following a career in travel agencies and hotels that has spanned over 20 years in New York and Hong Kong. He has held senior sales management positions at The Regent HK, Starwood, Hyatt Regency, and Hokubei Tours, a Japanese wholesaler. Prior to joining The Upper House, Benjamin was director of sales at Four Seasons Hong Kong and regional director of sales at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Willem van Emden is named restaurant director. He is the former restaurant manager of Sureno, the signature restaurant of The Opposite House in Beijing that was recently voted as the capital's 'Best New Restaurant' by Time Out Beijing. A graduate of Hotelschool The Hague in his native Netherlands, Willem began his hospitality career as a waiter and bartender. His experience subsequently extended to Germany, the Netherlands Antilles, Shanghai Marriott Hotel Hongqiao and, before joining Swire Hotels, Renaissance Harbour View Hotel in Hong Kong, where he managed the La Scala restaurant.

Marcel Thoma, is appointed director of guest experience. Marcel is a graduate of the prestigious Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in his native Switzerland, with a degree in international hospitality management. He joins from The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York. Marcel started as a management trainee in 2003, rising to front office manager and assistant rooms division manager. Marcel's career has taken him from Mexico and Spain with Ritz Carlton, to hotels in Zurich and Bangkok. Marcel is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish.

Executive housekeeper Lawrence Wong joins from Langham Place, Mongkok. He began his career at Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers in 1988, and was at the Island Shangri-La for 14 years, rising from room butler to assistant executive housekeeper.

Among other senior management posts announced at The Upper House, Lee Tak Sum is appointed executive chef, responsible for overseeing Café Gray Deluxe, the signature restaurant of celebrated Chef Gray Kunz. Previously chef de cuisine at The Peninsula, Sum began his career in 1985 at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, rising over 20 years to senior chef de cuisine, managing kitchen operations for the entire hotel.

Mervyn Tam joins from Intercontinental Hong Kong as director of sales. He has over 18 years experience in 5 star luxury hotels including Intercontinental Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental and Kowloon Shangri-La. 

Andrew Lau is appointed director of reservations and revenue. He has over 20 years experience in 5-star luxury hotels, including 18 years at the Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, having started his career at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.

Benson Soo joins the hotel as assistant director of guest experience. Benson joins from The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, where he held the head concierge position. With over 16 years' experience, he held similar positions with the former Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, Conrad and Intercontinental Hong Kong. 

Sue Ann Liu, joins Swire Hotels as public relations manager of the hotel. Sue Ann began her career at PR firm Hill & Knowlton Hong Kong and was formerly marketing manager of Hill & Associates, a risk management firm. Prior to joining The Upper House, she worked at the food and beverage department of Intercontinental Grand Stanford, Hong Kong. 

The Upper House, sister hotel of the award winning The Opposite House, is the second hotel to be opened by new hotel group, Swire Hotels. The Upper House was named to symbolize an 'upward journey' to a retreat above the bustling city.

Swire Hotels
Swire Hotels has been created to manage intriguing urban hotels in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United Kingdom, providing a luxury experience for travelers who seek individuality, style and personalized service.

The Opposite House, Beijing, opened in 2008 and will be followed by the opening of a 117-room small intimate hotel, The Upper House, in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, in the autumn of 2009 and in the future a 90-room hotel at TaiKoo Hui in Guangzhou. Swire Hotels will open a 345-room lifestyle business hotel called EAST in Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong, in 2010.

In the United Kingdom, Swire Hotels is developing a collection of stylish boutique hotels in interesting English towns and cities to be launched in 2010.

About Pacific Place
One of the largest commercial and retail centers, Pacific Place is spread over 5,000,000 square feet of prime real estate in the heart of Hong Kong's business district with direct access to Admiralty MTR station. Since its inception in 1989, the four-level mall has become home to over 130 shops and boutiques and two major department stores, collectively offering a dazzling array of contemporary fashion and internationally renowned and luxurious brand names.

This comprehensive shopping destination is also the location of three five-star hotels, a conference centre, three Grade-A office towers and a luxury serviced apartment. Under the leadership of Swire Properties, Pacific Place remains Hong Kong's premier shopping destination.

About Pacific Place Design Improvement Project
The Pacific Place Design Improvement Project is part of the on-going regeneration of Pacific Place to meet the ever-changing needs of shoppers. The project - led by famed English architect Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio and themed "A New Frame of Mind" - involves a fluid approach to interior, exterior and architectural refinement of Pacific Place to a new era of style and luxury.


Sweetie Nelson

Also See: Swire Hotels Opening the 117 room Upper House in Hong Kong; Café Gray Deluxe Marks the Return of Chef Gray Kunz to Hong Kong / April 2009
Swire Hotels Challenges the Norm in Beijing with the Edgy 99 room Opposite House, Opening in Summer 2008 / May 2008



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