As construction of the first GHM-managed hotel in China nears completion, general manager Giulio D’Alberto is putting the finishing touches on his first move overseas. The 47-year-old Italian, who has worked exclusively in Italy since 1999, began unpacking his suitcase 27 June after being hired to lead The Chedi Club Suzhou into market.
While D’Alberto’s surroundings are different, his employer is familiar; in 2007, the economics expert (indeed, he has a PhD in the subject) was appointed director of finance for the property formerly known as The Chedi Milan, which was then managed by GHM.
D’Alberto comes to Suzhou at a time when the foundation is being laid — figuratively, at least — for a hotel unlike any other in GHM’s ever-expanding portfolio.
When open in early 2013, the 36-room Chedi Club Suzhou will occupy three floors of the city’s tallest complex — the all-glass Global 188 towers — and feature a destination rooftop restaurant, a health club and a spa replete with 12 treatment rooms, including a reflexology salon.
To create an urban retreat whose interiors embrace both contemporary and traditional design philosophies, GHM is working with Jaya Ibrahim to blend cool tones and local flourishes in a way that “is going to be striking,” said D’Alberto.
Global 188 is located in downtown Suzhou with panoramic views of the central business district and water features — Jin Ji Lake, the Yangtze River and various canals — that make it the ‘Venice of the East.’
The city is 20 minutes by high-speed train from Shanghai and renowned for its classical gardens, which collectively own UNESCO World Heritage Site status.