Interview with Frank Bochmann: General Manager of Sheraton Grand Danang Resort

The Sheraton Grand Danang Resort, opened in January 2018, is the first Sheraton Grand Resort in Southeast Asia. It was selected to host the APEC Gala dinner and provides first-class services for senior government officials from many countries across the world. It has been said that under the leadership of the General Manager Frank Bochmann, the Sheraton Grand Danang Resort has achieved a great success as it has today.

Do you have any special reason why you choose Sheraton Grand Danang Resort to pursue and develop your career?

Foremost my wife and I like Da Nang as a place to live, it is a city of people with pride in their culture and heritage. Pursue my career working for Chairwoman Nga, a woman that can make things happen and is proud to give back to her country. Moreover, I like to work for Marriott, a company that firmly believes in looking after its employees so that the employees will look after the customers.

Which aspects of this resort make you the proudest?

The Sheraton Grand project was a particular challenge due to the extremely tight time frame that we faced to open the resort and the pressure to open in time to host the APEC Gala event. In March 2017, we still didn’t have a roof on any building and even had to frantically pump water out of the basement to finish pouring the concrete to build the last 128 of the 258 rooms. In November 2017, we hosted the APEC Gala dinner and hosted 21 country heads, some sleeping in our luxurious beds.

This great result was achieved in those 9 months with the efforts made by the best team. I am extremely proud to be the leader of the team that has achieved this fantastic work not only for Da Nang but also for Vietnam.

Sheraton Grand Da Nang Resort is the first Sheraton Grand resort in Southeast Asia and one of 37 Sheraton Grand properties across the globe. What are the most outstanding features of Sheraton Grand Danang Resort?

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Interview with Frank Bochmann - General Manager of Sheraton Grand Danang Resort

Luxury and elegant room furniture of Sheraton Grand Danang Resort

Just 20 minutes from the airport, Sheraton Grand Danang Resort provides direct access to Danang’s most prestigious beaches, tourist and cultural attractions, and close proximity to UNESCO Heritage landmarks such as Hoi An Old Town and Hue Ancient Capital.

The resort is located on the white sandy beach of Non Nuoc, encompassing two 6-floor hotel blocks: one block with 130 hotel rooms and suites including the Ambassador Suite, and the other one with 128 rooms and suites including the luxurious Presidential Suite with a private lift and helipad access.

The six distinctive restaurants and bars at Sheraton Grand Danang Resort provide a wide selection of international cuisine, ranging from authentic Vietnamese dishes to Asian favourites.

For meeting planner, the dedicated convention centre spanning over 3,300 square metres has some wonderful attributes including very impressive MICE facilities such as a 1,267 square metres grand ballroom for large-scale exhibitions and events, plus outdoor venues including stunning beach area and pool lawn.

Featuring the above mentioned advantages, what is your plan to attract potential customers?

Our main target markets comprise 80% Asian market and 20% European and UK market. Currently, 16 flights a day direct to and from Korea means many of Da Nang’s guests come from all over Korea. For emerging markets, Japan and Southeast Asia has become some of our preferred markets, especially the upscale leisure and business travellers. This requires providing these guests with special care, giving them more than just a stay but some cultural exchange. That is also what we are focusing on.

In Vietnam in general and Da Nang in particular, both the quantity and quality of luxury hotels and resorts are dramatically increasing. Does Sheraton Grand Danang Resort have any plans to compete with other hotels in the same segment?

Each hotel has its own strengths, and we must constantly be aware of changing trends, this is the situation nearly everywhere in Asia. There is a perception that the market place is Danang and this is not the case. When we are bidding on conference business, we are bidding against the location with a company that is making a decision between bringing their delegates to Bali, Phuket, Chang Rai, and Cebu. We always make an effort to provide the best services for every guest, so that they will have a good impression of Da Nang – a destination of Vietnam, not just Sheraton Grand Danang Resort.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Interview with Frank Bochmann - General Manager of Sheraton Grand Danang Resort

The world-class resort features a total of 6 restaurants and bars, offering a wide range of Vietnamese and international cuisine

Staff training always plays a very crucial role in the development of the resort. What are your criteria in staff management and training for Sheraton Grand Danang Resort?

What really sets a Sheraton Grand property apart is that the owners care for details when building and fitting the property and providing services for guests so that we can satisfy their desire to personalize the stay of each individual guest. We are constantly looking for young associates who are ready to go beyond, take the extra step and responsibility to personalize the holiday or conference of the guest. Constant training for all levels of our team is an ongoing challenge ably met by our fantastic Human Resources and Learning and Development team.

During your time spent in Da Nang, what are your feelings regarding Vietnam and Vietnamese people?

My home is Australia, and it is also where I completed my original training then moved to work in Europe and Fiji for a total of 11 years. Moving to work in Asia since 2005 starting in Cambodia, Japan, China, I finally landed in Vietnam in mid-2014 to open the Le Meridien Saigon project before moving to Central Vietnam. My experience so far with most Vietnamese that I have worked with is that they seem shy but carry great national pride. They are good employees, always willing to learn and open to being taught. I am happy to have mostly Vietnamese on my team, only 4 foreigners in a team of 360.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Interview with Frank Bochmann - General Manager of Sheraton Grand Danang Resort

The Grill – A signature restaurant features sumptuous steaks and sublime seafood.

How do you feel about Vietnamese cuisine?

In general, Vietnamese food is based on fresh ingredients, so it is healthy, tasty, and nutritious. The Vietnamese diaspora in Australia and around the world has managed to introduce Vietnamese specialities to international friends. I have found restaurants selling Vietnamese food not only in my hometown but also on my travels to France and Germany. This assists in peaking people’s interest to come to Vietnam and look for more.

Which food services does Sheraton Grand Danang offer to satisfy the needs of customers? How is local cuisine introduced in Sheraton Grand Danang Resort?

We introduce many Vietnamese specialities throughout the day, from breakfast with Pho and Banh Mi in all its variations, to other familiar dishes like fresh or fried spring rolls, Com Ga Hoi An, Buncha, and so on. Buffets must feature Banana blossom salad with various toppings, Mango salad with Prawns, and the list is endless depending on what is in season. Of course we are by the sea and must feature a full variety of freshly grilled seafood and shell fish.

Thank you very much for your time and the useful information you have shared with us. We wish you and Sheraton Grand Danang Resort success in the future.

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