Hotelier’s hotelier  Laurent Boisdron lights up Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila

Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila facade. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila

A French and American citizen and a hotelier by heart for over three decades, Laurent Boisdron has served and led various properties in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Today, he helms Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila.

With a degree in Hospitality Management, majoring in Food and Beverage at Nantes Université — Campus de La Roche-sur-Yon in France, Laurent pursued master’s courses at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, with additional professional internships and management training programs.

Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila facade

Over the years, he has held key positions in several top-echelon properties, such as The Hilton, Radisson Hotel Group and Accor. Today, he is the vice president and general manager of Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila, which houses 247 hotel rooms and 143 room-serviced suites.

Laurent’s incredible sense of humor influences his leadership approach. It is his way of breaking the ice between sessions, making the attendees feel comfortable and allowing them to showcase their abilities. He is stern — yes — but he keeps the conversation light as much as possible to not discourage the individuals he is speaking with, for he feels that anxiety and fright may cause them to shut down and thus prevent them from exhibiting their potential.

Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila GM Laurent Boisdron

Though no two days are the same, the GM describes a typical day. “To be more exact, I enjoy a cup of tea, then do my rounds around the hotel, checking in with guests and also with the employees,” he started.

“I greet them with full energy and address any issues that need attention so they can be resolved immediately. This is followed by a morning meeting with the leaders for their daily updates and what to expect for the day,” the gentleman continued.

(Front Row) Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila Executive Committee members with (Back Row, L-R) Lanson Place Hospitality CEO Michael Hobson and Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila GM Laurent Boisdron

“I prefer being on the floor to ensure everything is in order and to make the team feel that we are all together. Regardless of the job title, we should have the same goal of making Lanson Place a hotel of choice,” he firmly stated.

The post has its challenges, however. “I always keep the equation of trust in mind,” he said. “By understanding and applying the Trust Equation, you can foster stronger, more reliable connections and build a foundation of trust that leads to positive outcomes, which is particularly beneficial while managing and balancing owner relationship and brand,” he expounded.

GM Boisdron during the soft opening day

When asked who makes a better GM — one from food and beverage or operations, sales and marketing — he quickly responded, “I don’t think it matters.” 

“In the end, it’s all about your personality, innovative thinking, good leadership, excellent communication, attention to detail and the ability to be present when needed and respond quickly to problems,” Boisdron explained.

The hotelier believes repeat clients are born from devoted hosts and their impeccable service, as they shot up in rankings on Tripadvisor within just a few months of operations. “In their reviews, guests keep saying how they felt during their stay. They appreciated the warm welcome of the team, the attentive service and everyone’s effort to always be present and available in case of requests,” he recalled.

During Laurent’s free time, he de-stresses by being close to nature, traveling to Bohol with loved ones and cuddling with his beloved pet dogs.

The Lanson Place Mall of Asia Manila team visits the EarthCare Biosolutions plant in Laguna

Should he not be in the hospitality industry, Laurent believes he could have pursued the arts due to his early exposure to Baroque music, opera, theater, photography and painting. He likewise theorized an entrepreneurial path to establish a relaxed space in the Philippines where one can enjoy delectable French cuisine — his small way to promote his heritage.

We sat down with the GM to hear more of his thoughts.

Career highlights

I left France at the age of 22 and started living abroad. This is one of the books that is my most outstanding personal achievement. I have met different personalities — it is a treat to collaborate alongside them with excellent work ethics, eventually becoming friends.

Above all, it continues to amaze me that our different backgrounds and expertise, when combined, have led us to where we are now and reflect genuine guest experience.

Management style

I like to lead from the front. My long years in the industry have helped me build the confidence that resonates with everyone around me. I encourage and motivate the team to become mindful of their abilities and intentionally work on areas that need further improvement. 

Time management is essential. If you can manage your time effectively, there is always little work. I value other people’s schedules to ensure other agendas are not delayed.  

I also place a high significance on communication and transparency. I wouldn’t say I like sweeping concerns and challenges under the rug. I address them right away and include everyone concerned. I do not look into titles, everyone in the hotel should feel free to talk to me, as I am always ready to listen.

Essential ingredients to be a property of choice

First, start from within. A strong brand culture is one of the most essential parts of being a property of choice. Whatever is cultivated within will eventually resonate with the external guests and customers. 

Second, as a new hotel, we need to show the public a strong brand and its values. A sound marketing plan needs to be in place, as well as competitive rates and packages. Every property needs to build its competitor set strategically and efficiently to accurately track trends and flow with them.

Third, be consistent in product and service. A property of choice is not just a property that wows the guest the first time; it is a hotel that makes the guest book repeatedly due to unforgettable memories during their stays. 

Marketing preference

While social media may have a wider reach, the most powerful marketing strategy is through advocacy. You let the information flow through trusted sources while subtly turning them into brand advocates. Both are essential in shaping opinions, influencing decisions and spreading information in today’s interconnected world. However, my preferred choice would be organic word of mouth. 

Dream post

I am living it. Everything I have now I owe to several people I worked with before and now. It is an endless learning process, regardless of where it is about the feeling of belonging.