Niklaus Leuenberger has had a long, fruitful career with Peninsula Hotels, but he has also managed other hotels throughout Asia and North America. This international experience in management has given him the skills needed to manage luxury hotels even when they are in periods of remodeling and reorganization.
An Education in the Hospitality Industry
Niklaus Leuenberger's first experiences in the hospitality industry came from the Hotel Management School Lucerne in Switzerland. He attended the school from 1975 to 1977, during which time he held a service internship at Hotel La Palma au Lac in Locamo, Switzerland and a cooking internship at Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, Switzerland.
After finishing his studies at Hotel Management School Lucerne, Leuenberger took the assistant front office manager and chief cashier positions at Hotel International in Basel, Switzerland. After a couple of years getting the experience that he needed to boost his career, he moved to the Philippines to accept a more challenging position.
International Hotel Management Experience
Niklaus Leuenberger moved to the Philippines in 1980 to assume the food and beverage manager position at the Peninsula Manila Hotel. By 1981, though, he had the opportunity to take a resident manager position at the Marco Polo hotel in Hong Kong. Unable to pass up such an opportunity, he moved to Hong Kong, where his career really began to take off.
Following the resident manager position in Hong Kong, Leuenberger moved to Beijing, China, where he accepted the deputy general manager position for the opening of the Jianguo Hotel, the first joint venture hotel in China.
His success at this new type of hotel lead to another position with the Peninsula Hotel Group. This time, though, he worked as the executive assistant manager and resident manager at the Peninsula Hong Kong.
Not one to grow complacent with success, though, Niklaus Leuenberger was promoted to the general manager position at the Garden Hotel in Guangzhou. China. This presented a real challenge for the young executive. The Garden hotel was the largest hotel structure in China, and he took it over as the youngest general manager in the company's history. This leap meant that Leuenberger oversaw 3,200 employees in the operation of a hotel with 1,300 rooms and suites, 160 apartments, 330 offices, and 13 restaurants.
The hotel was profitable within six months of operation and established itself as one of the first successful joint venture hotels in China.
A blossoming Career with the Peninsula Hotels
In late 1988 The Peninsula Group lured Leuenberger back to The Peninsula Manila after a managing the Kowloon Hotel for 18 months, but this time as the general manager. The company proved to be a good fit for Leuenberger. Over the next 20 years he moved up the organization's ranks. In 1992 he took the general manager position at the Peninsula New York. In 1999 he earned the regional general manager title. By 2004 he was the senior vice president of the Peninsula Hotels in the Americas.
Leuenberger's focus on financial success and renovation has helped several organizations meet their business goals. With such a devotion to the luxury hotel industry, any organization would be lucky to have an executive with so much international management experience.