Hirst is Raffles Singapore GM, Ganster at Seychelles
HONG KONG: Raffles Hotels & Resorts has appointed Simon Hirst as general manager of Raffles Singapore, moving him Raffles Praslin, Seychelles, where Christoph Ganster takes over as GM.
“I am delighted to announce the news of [Hirst’s] move to Raffles Singapore,” said Peter French, president of Raffles Hotels & Resorts. “[His] high regard within the industry and his extensive international hotel experience speaks for itself – as do the results of the past 18 months he has spent with us in the Seychelles. I am more than confident that [Hirst] will be an exceptional custodian of Raffles Singapore and do justice to the legacy of such an iconic property, especially in this, its 125th anniversary year.”
One of the UK’s best-known hoteliers, Hirst joined the Raffles family in February 2013, as GM of Raffles Praslin Seychelles.
Hirst established his reputation in the hotel industry over 15 years working with hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray. In 1997, Hirst was appointed opening GM of One Aldwych, London. In 2008, he moved on to be operations director of CampbellGray Hotels, overseeing the whole hotel collection.
Hirst’s career began with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, where he held management positions in Hong Kong and San Francisco over 11 years. He then joined Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in 1988, as resident manager of the Four Seasons, Park Lane, London. He returned to Asia in 1991 as hotel manager of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and then re-joined Four Seasons in 1994 as opening general manager of The Regent Chiang Mai, a Four Seasons hotel.
“We are delighted to welcome [Ganster] back into the Raffles Hotels & Resorts family,” French added. “Having been pivotal to the Raffles team in Dubai, [he] knows the Raffles philosophy inside out. With extensive experience in luxury hotels across the globe, I am more than confident that [Ganster] is the right leader for Raffles Praslin, Seychelles at this important time, continuing its success.”
Ganster moves to the Seychelles from the Ukraine, where he held the position of GM at the Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, which opened in 2012. Prior to that, he was GM of Fairmont Towers, Cairo from April 2009.
Ganster originally joined Raffles Hotels & Resorts in 2005, as director of food and beverage at the former Raffles Canouan in St Vincent and The Grenadines. He was promoted to executive assistant manager of the property in 2006, before moving to the UAE in 2007 to work on the opening of Raffles Dubai in the same capacity. He was promoted to hotel manager in 2008.
This is also a return to the Indian Ocean for Ganster – he has previously worked at the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Port Louis, Mauritius and at One&Only Kanuhura, Maldives. His career started with the Rafael Group of Hotels, in his native Germany, and in Miami, Florida.
Raffles Praslin, Seychelles opened in February 2011, set in 30 acres on the northern tip of Praslin Island, with 86 spacious villas each with 24-hour butler service and private plunge pools. It is home to the first signature Raffles Spa.