Lew Yen Ying: Ascott’s Country General Manager for Vietnam

This June, Ms Lew Yen Ping, Ascott’s Country General Manager for Vietnam shared some words with Wanderlust Tips about the challenges and motivation after a year of being in this position.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Lew Yen Ying: Ascott’s Country General Manager for Vietnam

How are you taking the challenge as the first female Country General Manager for Ascott Vietnam?
It has been wonderful. I have grown so much in my Ascott journey and although the workload has always been very challenging, I have learned to embrace the importance of time management, strategic thinking, critical decision-making, and prioritising tasks to be more effective and efficient in my work. I’m honoured to be leading the Vietnam team and bring Ascott to greater heights under my leadership.
How would you describe yourself as a leader?
I am the type of leader who loves to recognise and celebrate my team’s accomplishments, even the little ones. I believe that this gesture helps in strengthening all of us – myself as a leader and my team as important members of the organisation. I personally believe you attain success not because of what you do but yourself, but because of what you do to grow and develop your team. Each accomplishment achieved by any of my team members is my greater success.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
I keep myself abreast with what’s happening in the market, understand how the competitors are performing, and how we can do things better and different at Ascott. I continue to challenge myself by looking for innovative ways to enhance our brand and make Ascott stand out in the market. I also read leadership and motivational books to learn new things to move forward and help me get closer to what I want to achieve.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Lew Yen Ying: Ascott’s Country General Manager for Vietnam
What do you consider the primary factor that led to Ascott’s success in Vietnam?
What differentiates us from our competitors is the Ascott Lifestyle. Many operators provide fully furnished serviced residences and some others even offer a wide range of facilities and services. What we provide guests with is not only a place to stay when they are away from their homes. With us, residents and guests step into the world of the Ascott Lifestyle where it’s fascinating and exhilarating. From culture to gastronomy, community living to wellness activities, we offer diverse experiences that leave residents wanting for more.
In nutshell, we are focusing into giving our residents an exclusive experience and that they can come back to a HOME.
What other factors make Ascott a successful brand?

Ascott has enjoyed excellent brand equity because of our strong customer-centric approach. We invest heavily in enhancing the capabilities of our staff and developing their potential. Ascott is the only serviced residence company to have a dedicated training centre of its kind, the Ascott Centre for Excellence. This helps ensure that we are able to deliver the high service standards that have defined our award-winning brand of service.
We are conscious of the need to continuously improve our backend systems to support our frontline staff. We have for example a global reservation system that better serves our customers across the different regions.
In addition, we have a strong Product & Technical Services team who ensure the high quality standards of our products throughout the development process. The team also conducts rigorous audits regularly at every property and we constantly look into the upgrading of our properties to create the best staying experience for our guests. This customer-centric approach has enabled Ascott to receive many prestigious international awards for consecutive years. These include awards such as the World Travel Awards, Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards, DestinAsian Readers’ Choice Awards and TTG Travel Awards.
Ascott has also won numerous awards in Vietnam including the World Travel Awards for Vietnam’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand, the Guide Award for Excellent Performance and the Golden Dragon Award. The Golden Dragon Award honours top foreign direct investment enterprises that have made significant contributions to Vietnam’s economic development, and recognises outstanding achievements in brand, service and management excellence.
Because of our strong track record and branding, travellers prefer to stay with us. Developers and investors also choose to partner with us, as they know that we will strive to help them achieve higher returns on their investments.
What’s your outlook on the serviced residence market in Vietnam? Will Ascott consider expanding into other parts of Vietnam?
The serviced residence sector has been booming in Vietnam for some time and it looks set to continue. Increasingly popular among urban families and young professionals, serviced residences combine the space, comfort and privacy of an apartment with the services of a quality hotel.
FDI into Vietnam in the first five months of the year reached USD12.13 billion, an increase of 10.4% as compared to the same period last year, according to a report from Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency. This will in turn attract a large number of expatriates to the city and generate greater demand for serviced residences in Vietnam. We will continue to expand our presence in the major cities – Hanoi, Hai Phong, Danang, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong Province.
We have also expanded to Halong City with Citadines Marina Halong and strengthened our foothold in Danang last year. With the influx of foreigners, we expect demand for both long and short term accommodation to soar.
We will be opening Somerset West Point Hanoi, Citadines Bayfront Nha Trang and Citadines Blue Cove Danang this year. Travellers can also look forward to new properties such as Citadines Regency Saigon and Citadines Central Binh Duong to be opened next year. The new serviced residences will cater to the growing demand and further consolidate Ascott’s leadership position as the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Vietnam.

Wanderlust Tips Magazine | Lew Yen Ying: Ascott’s Country General Manager for Vietnam
How many apartments will the project of Somerset West Point Hanoi add to the market? What are the advantages (location, facilities, services,…) of Somerset West Point Hanoi compared to other similar products?

Nestled within a 25-storey mixed-use residential and commercial development, Somerset West Point Hanoi is located by the picturesque West Lake in an up-scale, mid-density residential area. The vicinity is popular amongst expatriates with its tranquil environment, and is well served by a plethora of international retail shops, food and beverage amenities fronting both Xuan Dieu and Tay Ho Street. With close proximity to the main transport axis of Au Co Road, Somerset West Point Hanoi enjoys convenient passage to the existing business district in Hoan Kiem Area, the new business district in West Hanoi, Noi Bai International Airport and neighbouring industrial parks.
With 284 units ranging from studios, one to four-bedroom and penthouse layouts, residents are offered a myriad of options designed for their distinguished needs. With a panoramic view of the West Lake from a private balcony, each apartment is fitted with contemporary décor, modern fittings, a fully-equipped kitchen with separate living and dining areas, home entertainment system and wireless Internet access that offers relocating executives and accompanying companions the space and security to build a warm and comfortable home away from home.
With facilities such as a gymnasium, swimming pool, business centre, children’s playroom and conveniences at the adjoining shopping outlets, residents will be able to enjoy a complete lifestyle experience.
Besides the Ascott’s track record in managing award-winning brands – Ascott, Citadines and Somerset, could you share more information about the two new brands: The Crest Collection and LYF.
Each property in The Crest Collection is infused with a perfect blend of contemporary design and European grandeur. Combining unprecedented services amidst chic living, The Crest Collection represents a true abode that you can cocoon away in with comfort.
LYF signifies a new way of living and collaborating as a community, connecting guests with fellow travellers and change-makers. Designed for and managed by millennials who wish to experience destinations as locals do, LYF is a unique accommodation tailored for this demographic. LYF will provide global jetsetters and trendsetters with the opportunity to ‘Live Your Freedom’ in a dynamic environment and network with like-minded creatives to bring more ideas to life.
What’s the difference between co-living apartments and serviced residences?
Serviced residences focus mainly on providing corporate travellers the comforts of a home, spaciousness and privacy of an apartment with quality services. Most of the apartments, which range from studio to one- to four-bedroom apartments, come with a fully equipped kitchen and separate living and dining areas. Co-living apartments are serviced residences designed to cater to millennial business and leisure travellers. The apartments will have an unconventional design and there will be social spaces with facilities like social kitchens, co-working and event spaces. Social programmes will be held regularly to foster a new way of community living, building connections and being inspired by a like-minded travelling tribe.
Your schedule keeps you busy each day. How do you handle the work-life balance?
The key to keep going is to love what you do. I find enjoyment in what I do. Yes, there are challenges, but I always go through them with a smile on my face. I’m always passionate to deliver. I work long hours most of the day, but I always make an effort to enjoy each day at work. When I’m done with my work, I spend the rest of the day with my friends or colleagues in restaurants, playing golf or calling my family.

Thank you for joining the interview with us and we wish you good health and success.

Wanderlust Tips | Cinet

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