GM Jonathan Reynolds joined EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in the third quarter of 2022 possessing an extensive managerial experience from overseeing Shangri-La flagship properties in Surabaya, Indonesia for 4 years, and Malaysia for 2 years prior to coming to Manila.
Reynolds worked his way up starting as a management trainee right after graduation. Being from London himself, most of his hotel career was spent in London.
“My first position was as front office manager at The Savoy,” he revealed. “I originally intended to finish my 3-year management trainee at Claridge’s (The Savoy Group) but I didn’t as I was determined to specialize in F&B and rooms. A lot of times GMs train on these routes.”
He kept getting opportunities so he remained in the city for 15 years holding different positions. His first oversees job was working as front office manager for five years at The Carlise Bay in Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean.
Reynolds first taste of the Orient was on his first posting as Resident Manager of Shangri-La Futian in Guangdong.
“Shangri-La took me on and that was a complete change of scenery from a resort hotel. That was a lot of fun, preferred by very interesting people.”
We asked Reynolds what the difficulties are in being assigned to hotels in different countries of different cultures, traditions, and religious affiliations and he said:
“I would imagine that a common thread for expats would be to challenge themselves outside the country that they are used to as it is the case for me. As much as I love London, I didn’t want to end my career there. I think that if you were gonna work in another country, I think you have to be open-minded, you have to learn new cultures, different way of doing things, and I hope as I got a little bit older and a little bit gray, I would be more accepting and a little less hard-headed about things, prepared to think of having different approaches to work. Why travel if you can’t so you might as well stay where you started.”
“Wherever you work in the world in any hotel, there are unique things that you have to pick up on. It’s different every time and that’s part of the fun. The thing that attracted me to work in different countries is that I don’t get bored, like doing the same thing for 40 years. I find it fun to undergo another learning process again,” he added.
Presently, Reynolds and his team, are nearly done with new programs and strategies for EDSA Shangri-La.
“I can say that we will be focusing more of a family orientation because of its location, somewhat an urban oasis especially if you are in the pool area. The family experience is getting to be more important and I believe we have an advantage as a hotel because we have a lot more resort-type features that we can use as a base, and we we can develop more family-type programs.”