Malcolm Thompson

Malcolm Thompson

General Manager, The Peninsula - Tokyo hotel


Originally published on on October 2007


What do you see as your main role?
I have to give direction and, most importantly, support. My management team and I are the face of the hotel. Personally, I like to be in the lobby greeting people. Customers want to see and be welcomed by the GM.

How did you come on board with Peninsula?
The offer came while I was in LA. The Peninsula felt that they didn’t have enough experience in the local market. So here I am.

It must have been exciting for you watching a hotel be born.
Yes, you have an opportunity to put your stamp on it from the beginning. The greatest driving force is the expectation in this market for Peninsula because Japanese already know it from Hong Kong.

What are the Peninsula’s strengths?
I hope that when guests come to this hotel, they will find high-end luxury without any kind of arrogance. There are some establishments in the world that are very high-end, and there is an attitude. It is similar to the movie Pretty Woman, when the staff size up Julia Roberts as she arrives in the hotel lobby. At Peninsula, we say ‘Come and enjoy it.’ Whether it is the high-end customers who stay in the suites or the office lady or salaryman who wants to come in for afternoon tea, we can look after them in the same way.

How do you relax?
I like to read, or just walk around the streets.

By the way, what was your first hotel job?
I was a kitchen steward, scrubbing the chef’s dishes at a hotel in London.