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At The Table With: Andreas Kraemer

17 October 2022 by Food&HotelAsia


FHA Insider: Could you do a short introduction on yourself and your company?

Andreas: I’m Andreas Kraemer, General Manager of Intercontinental Singapore, a luxury heritage hotel and dining destination set in the heart of a historic precinct, of Bugis and Bras Basah.

We are also the flagship hotel of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) in Singapore and the winner of Luxury Heritage Hotel in 2020 and 2021 by World Luxury Hotel Awards and Singapore’s Leading City Hotel 2022 by World Travel Awards.

Together with the dedicated team, I have been responsible for driving the hotel’s strategic growth, overseeing operational excellence, identifying unique opportunities and driving revenue-generating programmes all to elevate the luxury positioning of our heritage hotel.


FHA Insider: What/who are you looking forward to seeing at FHA-HoReCa? Or which sector most interests you?

Andreas: I am looking forward to reconnecting with our global partners and am most excited about discovering innovations that will transform and propel our industry forward.

As a hotel, the last two years have challenged us to break boundaries and think outside of the box. And this resulted in a series of innovative ideas being brought to life – such as our collaboration with Sigi Skin to develop a Vegan Afternoon Tea with only superfood ingredients, an upcoming partnership with Park90 to launch Tenuta, a wine lounge that offers a wide selection of high-end wines from the old and new worlds, and a Chef Hunt for the launch of our latest signature Italian restaurant – LUCE by Davide Giacomelli.

Hence, I strongly believe that this year’s FHA-HoReCa will be radically different – with exchanges of valuable insights, learnings, and perspectives from everyone.

FHA Insider: What will you be highlighting about the industry at the session?

Andreas: At this session, I will discuss the key learnings over the last two years including how we pulled off our first creative hiring stunt – The Global Chef Hunt, which led us to scour the globe for the best global talent to helm our flagship Italian Bistronomic restaurant; and how we intend to move forward, especially in the direction of utilising our spaces and elevating our profile as a Dining Destination in the heart of Singapore.

With that, we have exciting new launches in Q4 which I will be shedding some light on – including Tenuta by Park90, a wine lounge situated at The Lobby Lounge that offers a wide selection of high-end wines from the old and new worlds and Wanderlust Bar – to offer our guests an all-rounded culinary journey when they choose to dine in our hotel.


FHA Insider: What are your thoughts on the current landscape and what do you think is important for Hotels and hospitality moving forward?

Andreas: With the current landscape, I think Singapore is poised for a brighter future in tourism and is on a strong track to recovery to be a one-stop destination for leisure and business travellers.

In the last two years, the hospitality industry had the opportunity to review practices, upgrade and pivot to better future-proof the business – implementing strategies to deliver unique experiences, strengthen customer relationships, build customer loyalty, and retain their respective brand identity.

Hence moving forward, I am confident that we are now more than equipped to carry on our display of boldness – stepping out of our comfort zone to explore and being quick to adapt to ever-changing situations.


FHA Insider: Are there any peers you are looking forward to seeing at the show?

Andreas: Everyone who loves food as much as I do!

Jokes aside, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with our global partners and meeting new individuals. An extensive global event such as this has greatly been missed and am just very glad to be a part of this.

FHA Insider: What makes ICS stand out from other hotels?

Andreas: We are both a luxury heritage landmark hotel and dining destination in the city. Deeply rooted in the arts and cultural districts of Bugis and Bras Basah, the hotel is well-positioned in proximity to established historical enclaves including Arab Street and Kampong Glam and at the heart of our business, we possess a deep understanding of food – that it is the heart and soul of travel and exploration.

Thus, under one roof, we are home to many great restaurants for our guests to explore:

  1. Man Fu Yuan helmed by Executive Chinese Chef Aaron Tan, has grown to become one of Singapore’s best Chinese restaurants and is Michelin recommended for three years in a row now. Guests can look forward to a refined dining experience underpinned by traditional culinary techniques with a touch of modernity and an elevated experience with a handpicked selection of quality wines or premium tea pairings.
  2. The Lobby Lounge, the charming centrepiece of the hotel is known for its signature afternoon tea which features a different theme every few months, all handcrafted by our Executive Pasty Chef Desmond Lee, who is also one of Singapore’s Chocolate Masters. This month, we are running the Blissful Autumn Indulgence afternoon tea which features decadent treats inspired by the fresh produce, warm spices and comforting ingredients of autumn.
  3. Last but not least, the newest addition is LUCE by Davide Giacomelli, our signature Italian bistronomic restaurant helmed by Chef Davide who has trained under the tutelage of multiple Michelin-starred chefs in Europe. Some of the highlights of his menu are the Lobster Risotto and LUCE-misu, a reinvented tiramisu that has impressed many of our guests.
  4. We also have our tenants including Chikuyotei and the upcoming Tenuta by Park90 and Quaich Bar Wanderlust.

FHA Insider: How do you maintain your standards amid the issues we face in the new normal environment?

Andreas: I’m fortunate to have a dedicated senior leadership team who like me, believe in the concept of “management by walking around” – we are constantly on the ground interacting with our guests to better understand their evolving needs as well as our staff – checking in to learn the challenges they face and how we can better help them.

We have also implemented intensive training for our associates. For example, training our service staff to be digital savvy, equipped to mend our online e-stores, website, and reservation engines and keep up a lively social media presence. This allows the F&B team to have full ownership of the happenings of the restaurant. While they are still focused on delivering high-quality cuisine, they are also involved with our sales and marketing team to develop strategies that will better engage with customers at all touch points – ensuring quality interactions from the time guest make the reservation, to post-dining feedback and re-marketing.


FHA Insider: In your opinion has the hospitality industry recovered from the pandemic?

Andreas: I say that we are on a strong track to recovery with an increasing number of countries opening up by the end of the year.

With that, we are now operating at full capacity and this means the need for more staff to attend to our guests’ needs. We are ramping up our recruitment efforts to meet this demand. But this remains a key challenge for the hospitality industry where demand is currently greater than supply but I’m confident that this situation will stabilise in time to come.

In the meantime, we are reliant on our trusted regular part-timers. They have previously gone through on-the-job training with us and are familiar with our expectations

FHA Insider: What’s next for ICS?

Andreas: We have a lot in store for Intercontinental Singapore in the coming months including the welcoming of our Director of Luxury & Lifestyle. This is a new position created to further elevate our valued guests’ luxury experience.

In line with being a dining destination, guests can also look forward to the opening of Tenuta by Park90, a wine lounge situated at The Lobby Lounge that offers a wide selection of high-end wines from the old and new worlds, Wanderlust Bar and more exciting Four Hands collaboration to come – since our first successful Four Hands event with Australia’s international award-winning top chef personality, Chef Patron and owner of the celebrated Nel. Restaurant.