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 July 17, 2013
Simon Hirst Moves To Raffles Singapore As GM; Christoph Ganster Replaces Him In The Seychelles

 Raffles Hotels & Resorts has announced the appointment of Simon Hirst as General Manager of Raffles Singapore. One of the UK's best-known hoteliers, Simon moves from sister property Raffles Praslin, Seychelles to take up the position in Singapore on August 1, 2013. Simon's role in the Seychelles will be filled by Christoph Ganster who succeeds him as General Manager, Raffles Praslin, Seychelles, from July 15, 2013.

Peter French, President of Raffles Hotels & Resorts says: "I am delighted to announce the news of Simon's move to Raffles Singapore. Simon's high regard within the industry and his extensive international hotel experience speaks for itself - as do the results of the past eighteen months he has spent with us in the Seychelles. I am more than confident that Simon will be an exceptional custodian of Raffles Singapore and do justice to the legacy of such an iconic property, especially in this, its 125th anniversary year."

Simon joined the Raffles family in February 2012 as General Manager, Raffles Praslin Seychelles. Since then, he has solidified the reputation of the resort as one of the leading properties in the Indian Ocean.

Simon established his reputation in the hotel industry with over 15 years of working with hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray. In 1997, Simon was appointed opening General Manager of One Aldwych, London. In 2008, he moved on to be Operations Director of Campbell Gray Hotels, overseeing the whole hotel collection.

Simon's career began with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, where he held management positions in Hong Kong and San Francisco over 11 years. He then joined Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in 1988, as Resident Manager of the Four Seasons, Park Lane, London. He returned to Asia in 1991 as Hotel Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and then re-joined Four Seasons in 1994 as opening General Manager of The Regent Chiang Mai (a Four Seasons hotel).

Ever since it opened in 1887, Raffles Hotel has epitomized the romance of the Far East -- an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and colonial ambiance that no other hotel can match. It is still home to the legendary Raffles Butlers and the Singapore Sling. The story begins at the door: Raffles' fabulous doormen, Narajan, Swaran and Sarjit, greet their guests in true Raffles style. Their splendid uniforms are from Gieves and Hawkes -- and their smiles are wide and genuine.

Simon's role as General Manager of Raffles Praslin Seychelles will be filled by Christoph Ganster, effective from July 15, 2013.

Peter French said, "We are delighted to welcome Christoph back into the Raffles Hotels & Resorts family. Having been pivotal to the Raffles team in Dubai, Christoph knows the Raffles philosophy inside out. With extensive experience in luxury hotels across the globe, I am more than confident that Christoph is the right leader for Raffles Praslin, Seychelles at this important time, continuing its success."

Christoph moves to the Seychelles from the Ukraine, where he held the position of General Manager at the Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, which opened in 2012. Prior to that, he was General Manager of Fairmont Towers, Cairo from April 2009.

Christoph originally joined Raffles Hotels & Resorts in 2005, as Director of Food & Beverage at the former Raffles Canouan in St. Vincent and The Grenadines. He was promoted to Executive Assistant Manager of the property in 2006, before moving to the UAE in 2007 to work on the opening of Raffles Dubai in the same capacity. He was promoted to Hotel Manager in 2008.

This is also a return to the Indian Ocean for Christoph: he has previously worked at the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Port Louis, Mauritius and at One&Only Kanuhura, Maldives. Christoph's career started with the Rafael Group of Hotels, in his native Germany and in Miami, Florida.

Raffles Praslin, Seychelles opened in February 2011, set in 30 acres on the Northern tip of Praslin Island, with 86 spacious villas each with 24 hour butler service and private plunge pools. It is home to the first signature Raffles Spa, which embraces the philosophy of transformation.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts

Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises nine luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to city hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Philippines and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in Istanbul, Indonesia and China scheduled over the next two years. With a compelling mix of cultures and styles, every hotel in the Raffles family has its own individual personality, with its own story to tell and its own sense of place. However, each one is proud to draw on the timeless essence of Raffles -- to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests.