Luxepitality meets Marc Dardenne

CEO, Patina Hotels & Resorts

A hospitality leader with over 30 years of international experience spanning across three continents. Instrumental in the launch of the world’s first Armani Hotel in Dubai, followed by the second Armani Hotel in Milan, Marc also developed the luxury hotel brand, The Address Hotels + Resorts in Dubai and Atmosphere, the world’s highest restaurant, in the iconic skyscraper Burj Khalifa. He also held prior key roles at The Ritz-Carlton in Dubai and Bali, and Grand Hyatt in Singapore.

Tell us about how you became involved with Patina Hotel & Resorts?

A former colleague of mine introduced me to members of the Kwee family who were seeking a CEO to help them with an ambitious hospitality project. We met and discussed their vision to create an ultra luxury hotel group with truly unique hotels and resorts that are exceptional due to their location, product and most importantly experience deeply rooted in their local environment. It has been a fantastic journey so far with our first hotel opening soon in Singapore and confirmed projects in the Maldives and Shanghai.

The flagship Patina Hotel will be opening soon in Singapore, are there other properties already in the pipeline?

We are looking to open The Patina, Capitol Singapore by August this year and The Patina, Thanburudhoo Maldives in 2017. We have active opportunities in discussion for properties outside of Shanghai and Sydney, Australia. Our upcoming expansion plans include China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Tell us about the Art & Architecture at Patina?

The Patina, Capitol Singapore, comprising two heritage buildings Stamford House and Capitol Building, have been masterfully rejuvenated by Pritzker Prize Laureate Richard Meier. Our interior design is a blend of historical interiors and modern technology, helmed by the globally renowned Jaya Ibrahim of Jaya International Design. Our hotel will house a world-class, museum quality art collection.

There are many luxury oriented Hotel groups in the market, what are the main aspects that differ Patina Hotels from the rest?

Ultra High Net Worth travellers look for the “heartware” of a hotel. That is, authentic bespoke service, combined with distinct positive travel memories they can remember for years to come. They are also looking for culture, location and provenance. This is why we are launching The Patina, Capitol Singapore, at the city’s first integrated luxury development in the Civic and Cultural district. The development is rich in heritage and has a strong, yet welcoming sense of place. The hotel comprises Capitol Building and Stamford House, two venerable heritage buildings that command distinctive architecture and interior design.

Patina Residence Club is another of our signature features. With attention to individual service in mind, Patina Residence Club is a global Patina Hotels & Resorts concept, where luxury residential owners within integrated developments can enjoy Patina’s tailored hospitality services. Our Residence Club Managers are professionals on hand to fulfill every need and requirement, be it culinary, housekeeping or lifestyle, with utmost sophistication and discretion.

The Patina, Capitol Singapore, is also a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. With over 430 hotels in 80 countries, guests recognize this global collection’s highest standards of quality.

Would you say that opening and running a Luxury Hospitality Group in Asia is equally or more challenging than doing the same in the Middle East ?

I would rate both equally even though the challenges are different but at the end of the day it is all about working with like minded stakeholders that have the same passion for excellence and drive to create some truly unique hotels and resorts.

Patina will have state of the Art technology, how do you plan to offer this without losing the human touch?

Online and social media reviews play an important part in influencing a traveller’s hotel experience so our focus is going to be a luxury operator with different distribution strategies.

We have done market research and geared Patina Hotels & Resorts towards the newly affluent, both in the emerging and existing economies. Our motto is “Distinct Memories, One guest at a time,” where each guest has a bespoke luxury experience and we create positive memories during their stay.

They are also looking for a luxury hospitality offering with a strong sense of place and intuitive service. This is why we are going to offer our “24/7” stay, where guests staying at The Patina, Capitol Singapore’s Club and Suite rooms can enjoy a full 24 hour use of their room from the time they check in. Also, we will have our trademarked 360° degree Concierge and One-to-One anticipatory services, in a surrounding of indigenous art and architecture, to create authentic, positive and unforgettable experiences.

Could you tell us a bit about your Ambassadors?

Patina Hotels & Resorts is an ultra luxury lifestyle hospitality group, focusing on a strong sense of place, distinctive architecture and interior design. Our team of dedicated ambassadors infuse our trademarked Patina 360° degree Concierge, where each of them will have a profound knowledge of the city and culture and confidently engage with our guests. It is important to offer exciting, memorable and indigenous cultural experiences to our guests and this can be anything from a bespoke cultural itinerary of the best art exhibitions and plays in town to arranging a visit to a Singaporean family’s home in the suburbs.

It is important to offer exciting, memorable and indigenous cultural experiences to our guests and this can be anything from a bespoke cultural itinerary of the best art exhibitions and plays in town to arranging a visit to a Singaporean family’s home in the suburbs. Patina employees must possess a high level of service delivery and have a passion or hobby that they are excited to share with our guests. For example, if Johnny from the laundry department does Tai Chi or Chinese calligraphy, we will invite him to share these passions with our international guests.

The word “luxury” can sometimes be overused. What is your personal definition of Luxury?

My understanding of luxury is a tailored experience to my needs that will provide me with multiple unique memorable experiences that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. Whilst The Patina, Capitol Singapore will have all the facilities and services of a luxury hotel, I feel that our ambassadors will make the difference with our customers and will make us stand out against our competitors.

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