GHM co-founder Hans Jenni retires

Hans R. Jenni has retired as president and director of General Hotels Management (GHM), after nearly 30 years being at the helm of the pioneering hotel management group.

From Thursday, the group’s current CEO, Tommy Lai, will assume responsibility for GHM’s day-to-day operations and management.

Since 1992, when Jenni co-founded GHM with Aman Resorts founder Adrian Zecha, his vision has led the management group down a succession of roads less travelled to little-known destinations.

Names now synonymous with understated elegance and luxury accommodation – The Datai in Langkawi, The Legian in Bali, The Nam Hai in Hoi An, and the very successful Chedi brand in Muscat, Andermatt and most recently in Sharjah, UAE – are a testament to Jenni’s foresight.

“Hans Jenni was never interested in doing anything easy and was never infected by the complacency that sometimes comes with success,” Tommy Lai was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“He remade the wheel with each new project, which was oftentimes a necessity because many of the places he wanted to go required a whole new means of getting there.”

And when the group did get there, said Lai, these far-flung destinations started lighting on the radar screens of travellers around the world and emerged somewhat transformed and in an altogether more compelling light thanks to the presence of a GHM flag.

A Swiss national, Jenni began his career in hospitality in 1966 and is a graduate of the prestigious École Hôtelière Lausanne in Switzerland. Prior to the launch of GHM, he groomed his skill-set in hotel management at the Peninsula Hotels, Shangri-La International and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Swiss-Belhotel Management Ltd., where he led the company as president.

GHM’s portfolio includes: The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah, UAE; The Chedi Muscat, Oman; The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland; and, The Chedi Luštica Bay, Montenegro.

Properties currently under development include: The Chedi Kudavillingili, Maldives; The Chedi Mumbai, India; The Chedi Khorfakkan, Sharjah, UAE; The Chedi Zhudong, Hsinchu, Taiwan; The Chedi Club Zhudong, Hsinchu, Taiwan; and, The Chedi Residences Zhudong, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Singapore-based GHM is set to launch The Chedi Kudavillingili, its first resort in the Maldives, later this year.

The 99-villa property will feature 36 overwater villas, a 150-metre-long central pool and desirable proximity to the Maldives’ main Velana International Airport, a 25-minute speedboat ride away.

In addition to the 36 overwater villas, and 63 island-based villas, The Chedi Kudavillingili will feature a spa with eight overwater treatment rooms, a beach club and bar, an all-day dining restaurant and Hawkers Stalls featuring four live cooking stations. Recreational opportunities on the island run the gamut from courts for several different sports to surfing and a plethora of on-the-water and underwater pursuits.

Located on a 1-kilometre coral island called Kudavillingili, The Chedi Kudavillingili is shaped by a global team of design talents working closely with the GHM team. Maldivian architecture anchors the resort’s overarching aesthetic appeal, with complementary interior design and landscaping from Singapore and a lighting scheme from the United States.

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