Name: Clinton Lovell
Position: General Manager
Company: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast
Coming from the Hotel industry, Clinton Lovell first started his career as a Guest Service officer at the Park Hyatt in Sydney, Australia in 1995 and rose through the ranks in the Oceania continent to a managerial position in 1997 as a Duty Manager at the Rydges Carlton, Melbourne. His first gig as a General Manager of a hotel began in 2001 at the Regus Business Centre in Perth. For almost 15 years, he was then based in Thailand as the lord of the manor in some of the most prestigious brands in the market such as Sofitel and Novotel in Bangkok, Pullman in Pattaya, and Anantara in Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Clinton landed his dream job with the Hard Rock International brand at the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast in Johor, Malaysia.
Tell us more about the Hard Rock Hotel brand and what are its unique selling points?
Music is our differentiator. Hard Rock is music-inspired brand. Since the first Hard Rock Café opened in London 1971, we are tightly connected to the music and entertainment industry, and we take part in forming the pop culture with these musicians and artists. Our services and amenities are all designed to amplify our love for music. Many travellers may have challenges remembering which hotel they stayed in their last trip, but you can hardly forget a Hard Rock Hotel if you stayed in one.
Among the facilities distinct to the Hard Rock Hotel brand, which one is your favourite and in your opinion, the most unique to the Hard Rock brand?
I would say it has to be the background music, memorabilia and of course the Sound of Your Stay programme where you can inform us in advance of your favourite music genre and check in to your room to it, or pick your favourite guitar off the 20 available from the guitar menu to jam in your room with headphones provided. Of course there are other music-inspired services and facilities such as Rhythm and Motion treatment at the Rock Spa, Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club for the young travellers and the underwater sound system in our swimming pool!
We just had our Grand Opening of the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast with star-studded artistes performing. The destination itself is a visionary development, and with our presence, we can infuse the vibe and spirit of Hard Rock to this world-class resort.
Malaysia is a very unique country because it bridges many cultures including Malay, Chinese, Indian and others. The cultural diversity and harmony is phenomenal, and that is what Hard Rock brand stands for. Two of our four mottos are about inclusiveness – All Is One, and Love All Serve All.
Hard Rock brand is globally recognised, so when we open a new Hotel or a Café, it often brings international awareness and attention to the destination.
Since the opening of Hard Rock Hotel Penang 10 years ago, the brand has been loved and embraced by many Malaysians and international guests travelling to Malaysia. I believe our brand and services amplify these guests’ feelings – free spirited, fun, a little rebellious but very kind and genuine. We wish to continue spreading this spirit and hospitality through our hotels in Penang and Desaru Coast, and hopefully more to come.
How is Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast different from the others?
Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast features all of the Hard Rock Hotel amenities, and many firsts for the hotel brand in Asia, such as introducing the Elephant and the Butterfly restaurant, which is a Mexican contemporary pool side bar and grill, and Constant Grind, that is a casual coffee shop during the day, and a good spot to chill in the evening. These new dining concepts are actualised at Desaru Coast, and they have been tested and loved by our guests.
In addition to the dining options, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast is also exceptionally suitable for family travels. The destination has many leisure establishments such as the Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark that is connected to us, and the world-class golf course at Els Club. In the hotel, we have an amazing Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club that provides daily fun activities for the children. The Roxstars Toys and Sweets Shop is a perfect place to spoil your kids, too. The children really love it here and are disappointed when they have to go home.
What are some of the CSR activities conducted by Hard Rock Hotels in Malaysia?
Philanthropy is our soul. Our brand was founded in 1971 with four mottos – All Is One, Love All Serve All, Take Time To Be Kind, and Save The Planet. This forms the culture of our company.
In October, we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Pinktober, and Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, along with many of our hotels and cafes joined in this full month event. We curated specially designed pink room package, food and drinks contributed to the Breast Cancer Support Group in Johor Bahru.
In the Asian music industry, who are some of the talents/artistes or musicians you like or are familiar with?
I have to say that I am impressed by Yuna when I met her and she is now an international star. Other than her, I know some of the local legends such as Dato’ Khadijah Ibrahim, Dato’ Ramli Sarip, and most recently, I was privileged to meet with Amy Search.
What do you do in your free time?
Well, when you are working in the hotel industry, you don’t really get a lot of free time, but when I do have some time, I’d spend it with my family and kids.