Thank you for TUI-ing this together!

How do you look at the one you love and tell yourself it’s time to walk away?

Tam Tien Beach 🏖

I was told to be one of those overachievers at work, I thought I was one of those who has been blessed to have met so many amazing mentors, partners and beautiful colleagues who have been a great motivation for me to keep striving.

I’ve been very busy doing the things I love and loving the things that I do, this is all thanks to the people who have got my back and myself for not giving up on pursuing my own dreams.

Discover your smile

It was me delivering one of my presentations to give an introduction of TUI during the first Partners’ Briefing Series – a nation-wide roadshow to promote TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An. TUI stands for Touristik Union International – the world’s largest travel company.

About one and a half year ago, I got the offer as the Pre-Opening Director of Sales and Marketing to open the first TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An, which happens to be the first TUI Blue hotel in Asia – a member of TUI Group. And while people have the absolute rights to feel what they feel, I did feel very special while accepting this new offer. TUI for us is giant, it was like I got an offer from Yahoo or Google of my own industry. The TUI Smiley logo has become an icon in the world tourism industry for many decades.

Explore the more…

“You are Miss 001, because you are the first employee of TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An”, I was explained by the employer. It took me 2 months to warm up, the probation period is what it is called to get acquainted to a completely new working style and environment. After 2 months, I started seeing rainbow and butterflies 🌈 🦋 . I was able to build my own team and do take on the challenge to build a hotel brand awareness from the scratch, with a new hotel brand, located in an complete unknown destination.

Partners’ Briefing Series at Press Club Hanoi – October 2019
Partners Briefing Series continued in Hanoi 2019
Partners Briefing Series continued at the Deutsches Haus Ho Chi Minh City.
Partners Briefing Series in Danang – November 2019
Partners Briefing Series in Hue – November 2019
Partners Briefing Series in Hoi – November 2019
Christmas High Tea in Hoi An – Destination Wedding Briefing – December 2019
Some people dance in the rain, other people just get wet ☔️

Soft Opening – COVID-19 then now what?

We never really stopped our activities. For many reasons, the show must go on. 2020 was tough although we have been the luckiest people on Earth who have been able to live in Vietnam during Covid-19. And despite of a global pandemic still ranging, and followed by a tropical storm and rainy season, TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An has still been able to operate throughout the year while most hotels and resorts in the regions had to temporarily shut down.

Culture event with partner Y Van Hien – Celebrating the 45 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Germany 🇩🇪
New Year’s Eve Gala and Auction Dinner at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An to raise fund for Operation Smile Vietnam.
Arts for Smiles Gallery was founded in 2020 – the first Art Gallery in South of Quang Nam, located at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An.
Cooperation with Tohe Social Enterprise in 2019-2020

Until we are TUI-gether again!

I don’t know what people do out of a global pandemic. We made face masks, we followed the government instructions, we tried to keep our activities alive whenever we had a chance.

Thank you to all the senior leaders for giving me the chance to do what I am capable of. Artur, I haven’t been to Hanover yet 😔
Dieter and Tania – without you I will not be Miss #001
Thank you anh Kien for all your support!
Marko, I hope to see you again after the pandemic 😷

Last but not least, I am thankful that I had a team that would never give up on me, although I was the first person who came and found the team and I decided that I would eventually need to depart, for one and many other reasons that make more sense for my future endeavors.

Thank you to my (extended) Sales & Marketing team!
Don’t stop dreaming!
Thank you for TUI-ing this together with me! Chị Hồng & anh Hoàng Anh – two of my most senior members of the Sales and Marketing team.
When life gives you lemon, make lemonade. When life gave us a major flu 🤧, which turned out to be a global pandemic 😷, we made face-masks with a smiley logo 😊
Andreas and Bridget – it was a pleasure knowing you and thank you for your great support and trust!
Thank you lovely Hoa for being part of my incredible journey! This lady really made me cry on the day of my departure.
Thank you Tuan – this talented and young little brother for being a great multiplayer of the team. We won’t be able to have our name today without your support 💙
Thank you Trang for your resilience and commitment. I know we don’t talk much but just so you know I am very proud to have you to be part of the team.
This little sister was the first person that I hired to the team, one of the members that I spent the most time with in both professional and in real life. Chau has lot of potentials and I hope she would always find joy and peace in what she does in life.
Phuc I was really tough on you while you were our intern but I hope the experience was worthwhile. You are the best 💙
Thank you Thao – the newest member of the team – Our meeting was very brief but I have confidence that you will be great at what you do ❤️
Once upon a pandemic team 😇

This is definitely not Goodbye as I am sure our paths will cross again soon, one way or another. Please take care, don’t stop dreaming and till we are TUI-gether again! 💙

Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho

I always wanted to share my first thoughts and experiences about Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho as I was one of the very first guests who had the pleasure to stay at the resort on its opening date on the 01st of December 2020 but I never really did. I only said yes I would like to recommend you to go and see the resort by yourself and I am confident that you will not be disappointed because the experience will be unparalleled for each and everyone of us.

Regardless of how much I wanted to write, I also had the feeling that sometimes, words cannot really describe how we feel about something or someone, and words can be cheesy and totally unnecessary at times. But for a year of battling with a global pandemic and for someone like me who happens to stay in the hospitality and tourism industry, I have convinced myself that I would need to start with all the little things that could potentially help saving the industry whenever I have a chance. Some of the things that I do would include the acts of giving more public compliments such as a positive review on TripAdvisor or a five star rating on Facebook to all service providers who are able to maintain high quality of services regardless of the challenging business situation that we are all facing.

Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho is one of those resort projects which has been brave enough to open their resort during the unprecedented months of Covid-19. When I first heard of this project and had the chance to see the first sneak-peeks of the projects, I was convinced that Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho will be a project that makes Vietnam so proud to have.

Where is the resort and how to get there? Well I get confused most of the times as I have a pretty horrible sense of geography and directions. So Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho is located in Phu Yen Province, closer to the South Central Coast of Vietnam. Although it’s in Phu Yen but I heard that the resort is closer to Quy Nhon City of Binh Dinh Province, this will give you two flight options. You could either fly to Tuy Hoa (Phu Yen) Airport, which takes you 1.5 hour drive to the resort or to Quy Nhon (Binh Dinh) airport as the travel distance is about 1 hour drive away only. I chose to fly to Tuy Hoa, a bit more time for the transition but it did not matter so much. Tuy Hoa airport is tiny but neat, and driveway is quite nice and refreshing as you would easily catch a view to the sea as soon as you leave the airport. Most importantly, Tuy Hoa city has still been able to keep its natural beauty with beautiful landscapes, mountains and green fields. I hope they will be able to keep it like this for a longer while before the new developments will turn the city into a touristic place.

Tuy Hoa Airport in Phu Yen

Who wants to be there? I guess old people want to be there ☺️ No, I actually I would like to refer to people who appreciate privacy, nature, culture, history and a sense of discreet elegance. I heard there are about 5 or 6 Zannier Hotels in the world only so Vietnam must be very lucky to have one. The brand was founded by Arnaud Zannier in 2011 and wherever they are, Arnaud would like bring out the authenticity and uniqueness of what the host country can offer. This does make me think quite a bit and I do raise quite a few questions for myself too.

I feel pretty humble to stay in this 98-hecta resort, in the middle of a beautiful national park, the coast and not far away is the coral reef. Some of the rooms are located up on the hills and would take quite a long walk for you to get to the reception, and of course you can always call the buggy service to save time too.
Every room is designed in different style, reflecting the lives of several Vietnamese minority groups such as Ede or Cham ethnic people.
One of the Hill Villas in Ede ethnic style with a
private swimming pool.
A great place to escape from reality ☺️

The resort has been built and developed to serve several targeted groups but mostly to international travelers. Sadly those people won’t be able to get here anytime soon unless Covid-19 would be under control but then there’s a great chance for affluent Vietnamese and a small portion of expatriates to explore and learn to appreciate what they have. Since when all those simple things have become a luxury in our modern life?

I didn’t try these bicycles but that would be an option for you to travel around the resort too. You can also contact the travel desk if you would like to have a bicycle tour to explore the surroundings too.

I have the feeling that Vietnamese started to have to pay much to gain back what we have lost from the past, for things which are both tangible and intangible.

The only picture that has my face in it while I was at Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho – Myself (on the left) and Michael Wirz – Resort Manager who was always attentive and helpful.

I was welcomed by the team led by Michael Wirz, the Resort Manager at arrival. We spent a bit of time to talk and I could feel how much passion that they have put on this project and to be able to put things together. You don’t get to see a collection resort like this that often, and I was very lucky again to get upgrade to a Beach Villa with a Private Pool. I was told it is designed in the housing style of Cham ethnic group.

Beach Villa Living Room

The French style bed 🛌 ☺️
I found this knife in the living room area, not sure if this would be safe to display it like this but I was quite happy the moment I saw the knife because I thought I could only find those things at my grandmother’s 👵.
The Library at the resort lobby
My beautiful private pool on the day of departure 😞
A corner of Ba Hai’s Restaurant (Mrs Hai Restaurant). I am pretty sure that I had seen this very often whist I was a child whenever I get a chance to visit my grandparents or relatives in the Northern provinces.
My favorite corner from Nha O restaurant.
Hoa Sen Spa is a gem. I will have a separate review for the spa later.

I think I will need to go back for a second visit because I did not get a chance to see everything during this 3 days and 2 nights trip. I thought I would need at least a week for my slow-motion brain to process but hope that I have been able to give a little bit of here and there so that you can have the first glance look.

The food service was alright for a pre-opening stage. I might not be the right person to give comment on food services as I am no expert here but I thought it could be improved as the resort will receive more guests but over all the team has done an excellent job to make me feel very happy and welcome 🙏
I will remember this feeling of having a princess-like bedroom while it is made after the turn-down service 👸

Thank you again to Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho for this short but lovely stay! See you soon!

Arts for Smiles

I often find myself living in contradictions. Yes I want to make a different in life and I keep surprising myself every day now and then, for all the new things that I am able to come up with, knowing that the only way that I should live myself is to move forward. Another part of me keeps saying to myself that I should really live a quiet life because all the noise won’t bring us happiness.

Some people would like to help other people in silent, at their own capabilities. I wish I could do that someday, too, but it will take more time I guess. For now, I am pretty happy with the fact that I would at least still able to come up with new ideas regardless of having to bear with all the current burdens caused by the economic situations and plenty of social issues.

So I have come up with this idea to finally do something meaningful in my birth month, with hopes that I would be able to do something good to help ourselves and those who are in need.

Happy November – Here’s to celebrate the Arts for Smiles!

Ain’t No Sunshine

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
It’s not warm when she’s away
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And she’s always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Only darkness every day
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home
Anytime she goes away…”

This song has stuck inside my head over the past few days. For one, it is now rainy season in Central and South of Vietnam, we even have major storms in some parts of the country. By the way, thanks to this new job assignment, this is the first time that I’ve got a chance to witness the rainy season in Central Vietnam which I only knew via the songs I used to listen whilst I was a kid.

I am truly blessed to live in Lam Villa Riverside, a home away from home which is full of natural daylight. It’s small but cozy and I have everything, literally everything that I need for a young female professional. It’s got to do with security, comfort and privacy. Because of this, I would trade my time traveling to work so that I could go home everyday to enjoy my own space. For me, it’s always like a bit of a contradiction, I work in travel industry and I am ready to move all the times. But I don’t even think that I am an experienced traveler. I don’t even have interests to go to many different spaces but more into having a space where I can have my time and space, or else, I would rather be home, even if it means that I will spend most of the time by myself.

I also learned that whenever I am by myself, I tend to be a more responsible adult when it comes to having to set my own rules to keep the house clean and to be a super organized person when I can. I can’t do that when I am with my parents because whenever I am with them, I feel like I am Olaf and I have no skull or no bones.

Meet my friend – Detective Pikachu sitting on the couch.

My goal is to enjoy every moment, except for times that I overthink about many things ☺️

It’s really almost 2:30am now and I am still writing this, perhaps it will be the last blog post for this month, knowing that I will be super busy from now until end of the year. By the way, today is my official but fake birthday as it is written on my passport. The day is known as the Business Day Vietnam (13 October), I thought it was just a coincidence but it’s kind of fun to think as well. I never thought that I would see myself as a businesswoman. If I keep saying this then many people would get worried with the fact that I am in a position that I am today, as a so-called…businesswoman. But who knows…

October is the month that I often get a little crazier than usual because all my ideas would come all together at once. I often gain lots of energy to do everything everything but I am sure by middle of next year I will get tired again. So I will try to see this time how I manage myself more effectively.

P/S: I am so in need for a holiday after all this happening with all of this busy-ness!

2020

Here comes the last quarter of 2020, the year that you might think that perhaps nothing else can surprise you anymore. I think it wasn’t so bad after all considering how much I have learned from this pandemic, to grow myself a little more mature and to get to know people a little deeper.

I feel blessed that I am living in one of the safest countries in the world right now and somehow, I still have a career and a peaceful life that I am deeply thankful for. Let us pray that this pandemic will leave us soon so it wouldn’t be too hard on those vulnerable people who are trying to make a living throughout these difficult days.

Image Credit: 2BroStudio – The garden workers at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An
Image Credit: 2BroStudio – A garden worker at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An
Image Credit: 2BroStudio – A watersports team member at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An

2BroStudio has made itself to my preferred list of media partners that I have the opportunity to work with. Harris Hoan Vo and the team have done a terrific job to help us discover more smiles at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An.

Try everything, keep the best!

I have recently decided that every time I see something good or someone who has done something that I found meaningful, I will make a record out of it. Either to give them a recommendation on Social Media or at least to write a blog post or to tell the story to related people that I know just to show my appreciation.

I first met this brother – Kyo Phan about 2 years ago when I was in charge of the Sales and Marketing activities for Legacy Yen Tu – MGallery. He was the make-up artist in the first photo-shooting project which I had the chance to take care of. He didn’t really have chance to talk much as was mainly for him to listen to me and to what other people had to say. We added each other on Facebook, occasionally “Like” and “Comment” to each other’s post but hardly ever talked, maybe once or twice because there was actually no reason to do so. We barely knew each other. I remember that one time I told him that I had a job change to Hoi An area.

About a month after, he contacted me and see if we could have a chance to work on another shooting, this time at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An, the new resort where I am currently assigned to work. I would love to say yes but the resort was not ready, I referred his proposal to another sister property in the area so that he could still get the work done. Then he said, whenever I need something regarding make-up or taking profile pictures I would need to let him know. I thought it was kind for him to say so but didn’t really care much at that moment.

I guess about 2 months after we finally had the chance to meet again when I was back in Hanoi for my business trip, we met up over a nice dinner at Ming Restaurant of the Pan Pacific Hanoi. He wanted to introduce me to the lead model in one of his recent projects – Dr Kha Le from Trend Smile. And the moment he introduced my name and how we met, I was stunned. He said I was the one who took care of him so well in one of the best shootings that he has ever done. Because of me taking time to introduce to him everything about the Legacy Yen Tu, from the pottery and the meaning of the rice-husk wall so he remembered and the crew was able to capture the best shoots of the property and models.

Then we kept talking the entire evening and ended up having a nice drink at Angelina’s of the Sofitel Legend Metropole. He reminded me that we needed to do a shooting for me so we decided to do in a few days after. And here are the results:

This is the most like-able picture of the entire album. I do not know why people like it so much ☺️
For this picture to be done, it took me no less than 30 times passing the road ☺️
I think I actually look more like an actress in this picture.
Another “celebrity” moment ☺️
I don’t know how they were able to capture this look…
And this too ☺️
I think it’s kind of fun to do this once in a while ☺️

And only once in a while should be enough I guess. But the experience was worthwhile as I do believe that I had the chance to work with one of the best teams in the make-up and styling industry in Vietnam. Kyo Phan is definitely a genuine, fun and talented make-up artist. I was also blessed to know Duc Nhat, his hair stylish and especially Ms Mai Giang who did a great styling job for me on the shooting day. She was so gentle and caring and so humble for her own tittle as Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2012. I guess the next level of maturity when you know how to stop taking yourself too seriously.

Here are two of my favorite people: Mai Giang (Left) – Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2012 & Kyo Phan (Right) – The super talented make-up Artist 🤗

He is also a fashionista and a great model, too 😇

The best version of you

It’s been a hazy Sunday afternoon today and I couldn’t get lazier. Life has changed a lot since my last blog post and I guess it was written 4 years ago maybe. The feeling is somewhat similar to what you do with a long distance relationship. You had spent so much time apart and you had so much to tell to the other person, but when you actually have the chance to meet and talk again, you simply don’t know where to start.

So what have I been doing over the past few years?

I am still a hotelier, but much different now. Not in a five-star city hotel where everything is just so close and convenient and professional like how much I wish I could have in my recent jobs. Although I do feel like I am going backwards in terms of system and technology but still, I am so glad that I got to see new things, new people, new challenges and finally managed to step out of my comfort zone.

I’ve changed my job twice (2018 and 2019 respectively) and currently moved to Saigon to live and work. Life has been fair to me I guess.

I have decided to go back to university after my first 5 or 6 years of work experience. For me this learning process has been quite complicated as how I find it, sometimes useful, most of the time a waste of time and money, but in the end, you’ll learn something anyway and you’ll hopefully get the degree, sooner or later.

I’ve got to meet new friends and re-united with some long lost ones. The best part, I guess is that I am blessed to be surrounded or under supervision of those who love me, to talk and laugh together during happy moments or to find ways to give me some comfort when I am weak.

“You haven’t changed a bit since we first met”. I have heard this several times from several people. Some told me: “You are still the same person that I met 5 years ago. My response was like: “What do you meant? How would that be possible? That’s not true, I have changed a lot, emotionally and physically, I am prettier, can’t you recognize?” I said jokingly. But obviously some people may perceive you one way while others see you in different way as how you allow them to see you. But for me, I think it’s quite true that I don’t change a lot, my habits, my way of seeing the world and seeing people. I just hope that if I had to change something about myself, that would be for the better, like how I am getting more and more comfortable with being my authentic self and to believe that I am a beautiful lady even with knowing that I do have lots of flaws and silly thoughts. Nevertheless, let’s keep calm and trust the process then, because I believe that the best version of yourself is always the current version of yourself, even when you are happy or when you are sad, when you are strong or vulnerable, there’s always beauty, if you know where to look.

This portrait is one of my favorite shots which was taken recently during my last trip back in Hanoi in July 2020. Some said it was definitely the best version of me while other said they would like to see me more in a natural and gentle form. Well, this is still me, a different version of me. This is just to show that I am capable of changing my style as I how I want to. It’s just the authenticity that I would like to keep for myself and the ones I love and treasure.

Okay that sounds very irrelevant but there’s a guy who keeps starring at me the whole time now as I am sitting in a corner of a coffee shop and writing my first blog post after a long time. Not that I am going to do anything about it, just find it quite amusing.

Saigon, 23 August 2020

#From Work: Young & Innocent

#TinyStoryFromWork:

20ccf708b3c84f1105ae1ef66410996b

To me, the worst thing about wearing a uniform and following the same dress code is the fact that you will not be able to tell who is who and you will not be able to tell if he/she’s got a style… Well, I am not going to have a uniform debate by the way, I am just making excuses for not knowing some of our junior colleagues’ names because they all look similar in their uniforms on a regular basis. But there’s one person that I am going to remember his name forever from today.

Where to start? I merely went for a general check up a V.I.P function at the hotel today to ensure the event was under control. Unfortunately, I got to know that it was actually not-so-under-control from the very first few seconds…

“Why?” – I asked the supervisor.

“One of our staff went unconscious for a few minutes in the V.I.P room and when the majority of guests had been seated”.

“Who? and Why?” – I asked while getting a little bit shocked.  I could not think of any suitable reason, did we make he/she work too hard? It was 12:00 and perhaps he/she skipped breakfast? “Was that a he or a she? Do I know him/her?”

“It’s a he”. She replied and continued: “I think you do know him. He had been with us for a long time but he worked as a casual staff. And today was actually the day that he has his officially contract signed with the hotel that makes him so nervous and then it happened… A bit unfortunate that there were so many V.I.Ps in the room but I hope they understood if we tell them the reason”.

“Where is he now? Is he okay?” – I continued.

“He’s right there, working like nothing has happened”. She answered.

“Oh”! I stopped for a second and looked to the right where the boy was standing to welcome the guests.

Yes, I do notice him, this tall and young male Sofitel ambassador who wears glasses, about 20 years old. He’s got a friendly smile with both politeness and shyness. At that very moment, I could not think of anything else – Who could be so mad at him now? And for taking his job too seriously? Hmmm I do not think so… Instead I thought it was cute and innocent of him – and I would say this frankly if and only if this did not make me any less of being a hospitality professional. I have not felt this way for a long time about someone I know. Perhaps it was just for a simple reason that I have met too many people, and yes including myself who often appear in the most ‘damn’ mysterious, confident and …fearless!

This ‘junior’ moment actually made me smile. I hope the boy is all okay now. But since he has taken this career so seriously and to the extent that he got so emotional like that, I hope he will end up being a good person and a good career advancement ahead.

And for me, it would be interesting to know what happened to Miss No-Longer-Afraid…!?

#IWorkInAHotel

W T F

Some of my favourite quotes at all times: After Monday and Tuesday, the rest of the week says W-T-F.

I firmly believe that your attitude decides how your day should be. But it does happens that some days are simply worse than the rest of other days, and we shall call it the terrible, horrible, no good and very bad day. I know someone has turned this into movie.

I have a terrible, horrible, no good and very bad week that I called a “W-T-F” week. Obviously, it stands for Wednesday – Thursday and Friday, in case you wondered.

Well I am a hotelier where getting feedback is a fundamental part. I am no longer surprised getting complaints from people so I am not here to talk behind my clients’ back. But I did meet some ugly clients over the past week: not so much about the ugly look (although there are some visually not-so-pretty ones) but mainly about the ugly manners and how they abused us as service providers and abused my colleagues.

Having said that, I don’t know how should I feel, I got angry for a second then I decided that I should not get angry anymore if we all know deep inside, everything happens for a reason: Many people lack of education no matter what age or what degrees that they have at hands; some people are treated the way they are normally treated and that they are too ordinary to know… And that is a terrible, horrible, no good and very very bad consequence…

 

 

Brighter

Following one of my recent conversations with a close friend that I have not seen for quite a while…

Me: You know what, I do not have to wear uniform but as a hotelier, we often choose black as a safe colour for clothing. But recently I have decided to go for some brighter colours…

My friend: Like what?

Me: Grey. Don’t you think it have lifted up my dress-code in a whole new level of brightness?

My friend: Right. Can’t agree more…

tumblr_n4ko8y25e11ssdfcyo1_500.gif

Photo Credit: Internet

Me [thinking]: And do not forget within one single colour like grey, there are even at least 50 Shades…

#business #relativity #greyisnotthedarkest #betweenblackandwhite #fiftyshadesofgrey