Simon Hirst's Traveller's Tale
As General Manager of Raffles Hotel, Singapore, Simon Hirst looks after the rich and famous as well as those of us just looking for an oasis of luxury at one of the most iconic hotels in the world. A lifetime in the hotel industry has seen him work in many exotic locations around the globe and here he talks to Dom Reilly about his travels...
What's your favourite holiday destination and why?
Warm parts of Europe, with historic cities or coasts for the sea, food and activities, or skiing (badly) in the Alps.
Where in the world would you like to go that you haven’t been already?
What’s your preferred mode of transport?
Walking or driving.
Do you have a favourite hotel?!!
Villa Grand Serbelloni, Bellagio, overlooking Lake Como.
What do you always travel with?
A great book and smart phone.
What's your top tip to beat jet lag?
2 good nights’ sleep before leaving, being fit, drinking water and then exercising or working out on arrival.
If you had to give one piece of advice when setting off on a trip, what would it be?
Make a relevant travel checklist and use it before leaving/charge up all devices!
What is your proudest moment?
Seeing my 2 children (recently) graduate from university.
Who has been your greatest influencer?
My mother, my wife Debra and Winston Churchill.
It’s often said that life’s a journey – all be it a one-way ticket. If you could return as one thing or one person, what or whom would that be and why?
Myself, but a better, bolder version, because learning from experience is everything.
Who is the most interesting person that you have sat next to on a plane?
Hotelier, Gordon Campbell Gray.
What's been your craziest request from a guest?
To have a wedding vows ceremony, with priest, 50 guests and 10 piece orchestra on a large rock, 100m from shore.
Other than Singapore - what's been the best posting you've had?
My first GM’s role for the opening of the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, N. Thailand.
What do you do on your time off?
Be lazy, DVD sets, play golf, gym.
Thank you Simon, happy travels!
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