Caravelle Saigon has recently seen a change in its Executive Management team as John Gardner, former General Manager, takes over from Martyn Davies, who has been with the property for nearly twenty years. Effective from 1st September, John Gardner commenced the position of General Director of Chains Caravelle Hotel Joint Venture Company Limited.
New Zealand native, John Gardner has more than three decades of experience at the helm of leading hotels within the Asia-Pacific region. His long career in hospitality has led him to premier hotels in cities as diverse as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Auckland, Bangkok, Surabaya, Singapore, Jinan, Chongqing, Phnom Penh, Shenzhen and, for the past ten years, Ho Chi Minh City.
Gardner began his journey in hospitality with the Accor Group in Australia, captaining small hotels around the country before being handpicked to head the launch of the first Accor property in New Zealand in 1993. Gardner spent 18 years with Accor, striking out to the Asian continent with executive posts in Indonesia, Cambodia, China and Thailand. He also spent four years as a General Manager with the 5 star InterContinental Hotels group in China, before relocating to Vietnam in 2007.
Under his direction, Caravelle re-branded its signature restaurant Reflections, and celebrated its 50th anniversary with an event that drew luminaries from its wartime past such as Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Arnett. Most recently, Gardner has shepherded the property through the first stage of a significant enhancement project, which saw the refurbishing of the lobby, acclaimed buffet venue Nineteen and ground-floor lounge Café de l’Opera, along with the newly open Tapas Kitchen and Vietnam’s very first Champagne Corner, in collaboration with Moet Hennessy.
In his new role, Gardner will be overseeing both Caravelle Saigon and Vegas Gaming club, working directly with Hong Kong and Vietnamese Board members on major matters while maintaining a close contact with the Hotel Management. “I am delighted to hand over to John – there is no one more suitable to take on this role. With his strength in leading and managing plus a pool of knowledge and understanding of both Caravelle Saigon and the hospitality industry, I am confident in his ability to successfully lead the hotel to new heights”, said Martyn Davies, former General Director of Chains Caravelle Hotel Joint Venture Company Limited, who has nearly 20 years working entirely as one of the pioneers of this iconic property.
Gardner is an avid sports person both as a participant and a spectator being a regular gym goer, cyclist and scuba diver but also a keen follower of sports especially New Zealand’s national rugby team.
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