This year marked the start of an exciting new chapter in Shenzhen with the opening of the first ever Hard Rock Hotel in Mainland China. The Hard Rock brand is one of the most recognizable in the world and its arrival is a landmark moment for the city.
Glenn Peat is the General Manager at the hotel and comes to Hard Rock with over 20 years of experience with Hyatt International and Shangri-La across New Zealand, Australia, India and China. He spoke to Shenzhen Party about what makes a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel unique, their plans for live music in Shenzhen, and his own love of music, including rocking out to Guns’N’Roses in Delhi with 30,000 other fans.
What excited you about the opportunity to work with a Hard Rock Hotel?
I have always been looking for the right brand for me and my style and my personality. I feel Hard Rock is the perfect fit for me as I am a music lover and we are all about the music, not just rock, but all genres. In addition, it’s great to finally be able to express my personality and deliver it through the customer service we are able to provide.
Do you feel a sense of responsibility or excitement to be the first Hard Rock Hotel in Mainland China?
Absolutely, we are the flagship for the brand in China and it is a great opportunity to establish our hotel brand in this fantastic country. It is an exciting time and our property is very well supported by Hard Rock International and Mission Hills, who are helping to ensure we are successful in all aspects and create a positive first impression of our brand within China.
How does the Hard Rock Hotel distinguish itself from the other luxury hotels in Shenzhen? What can guests experience at the Hard Rock Hotel that they would not find elsewhere?
We do this in many ways. Memorabilia is one of our key areas. It is a key differentiator along with our live music activations. Live music and supporting both international and local artists is another key aspect for us. We have established for 46 years now a great rapport with artists globally including China where we have access to them and their networks and assist in growing them internationally.
Our Sound of Your Stay Program is very unique as each guest has the opportunity to have one of four music elements in their room free of charge. Picks – a Fender electric guitar with amplifier and headphones to play to your heart’s content. Plus our interactive TV has guitar lessons to learn from free of charge as well. Wax – we have retro style Crosley vinyl record players available for guest use in their room. Tracks – our music playlist system that can be delivered to your room for the guest to choose their own music selection and play through our sound bar and subwoofer, which is in each guest room. Mix – we have a DJ system which again the guests can play with in their room. Again all of these four elements are free of charge to the guest and they can book through the front desk.
We also differentiate ourselves through embracing the local culture to a different level to others. Enhancing the local music brand is key and as I said earlier supporting local artists. Their memorabilia is displayed throughout our hotel and also added to our global collection. We also allow our staff to express their local personalities. We encourage individuality and instill this attitude into the team so we can serve our guests better. Staff can express who they are through how they interact and their appearance, which makes them more comfortable and able to deliver amplified service.
Hard Rock Hotel has a strong and proud tradition of live music. How does the hotel hope to work with local musicians and grow the local music scene? Can we expect to see Hard Rock Hotel bring in acts from overseas?
We are already operating locally with Hip Hop Allstars (Ten top Chinese Hip Hop artists) staying with us and we are supporting them through enhancing their own individual brands. In addition, we worked with Project Ace a local Guangzhou 9 piece Jazz Hip Hop band, who stayed and played with us and are one of the hottest groups in China right now. It is important to both Hard Rock International and Hard Rock Shenzhen that we support local music talent and this is a specific initiative to ensure we are locally strong and globally aware.
In relation to international artists, in 2018 we will have a full schedule and with many Hard Rock Live events planned including Battle of the Bands and Summer Vibes. We are unique in the sense that we have more than 30,000 live music activations globally each year. Now Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen is part of this and we will be launching Hard Rock Live events in 2018.
How can we expect the Hard Rock Hotel to grow and develop in the near future?
The hotel will naturally grow and develop in business levels through increased exposure and awareness. We are already seeing this current trend. We will have many live music activations in 2018, supporting local and international artists. Hard Rock International will be increasing its presence in China as well with continued support for our hotel from corporate office and also opening a number of Cafes in China in 2018. In addition to this, Hard Rock will open Hard Rock Hotel Haikou in 2019, followed by Hard Rock Hotel Dalian in 2020. These strategic openings in the café and hotel business entities will continue to strengthen our brand in China and also result in increased growth and development for Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen.
Do you have a much of an affinity with live music yourself?
I am a huge music fan. The first concert I attended was U2 and the last concert I attended was Guns n Roses in Delhi, India. The Hard Rock brand supports all music genres from Indie and Hip Hop to R&B and Rock. Whatever your preference is we have something for everyone. That is what differentiates us from the rest as well. Everyone has some connection to music and we are able to satisfy this and create unique memorable moments with our guests through music. This is why I am so proud to work with this brand.
Who are your favorite musicians? Do you have a favorite memory of live music?
My favorites range from Pitbull and Flo Rida to Guns n Roses and Imagine Dragons. Plus I enjoy pop, rock, punk, EDM and Hip Hop. My favorite album is easily Throwing Copper by Live, with my favorite song from that album being Lightning Crashes. My favorite live music performance was watching Axel Rose and Guns n Roses rock out in Delhi infront of 30,000 fans.
The Hard Rock Hotel is located at No.9 Mission Hills Road, Guanlan, Shenzhen. For more information, head to www.hardrockhotels.com/shenzhen. To make a reservation, please call 0755 33952888.