As we are strolling between the colonial buildings of Capella Singapore, the General Manager spots a piece of plastic in a corner on the floor. As a reflex he is bending down to pick it up. But both the members of his leadership team accompanying us beat him to it.
Norwegian Mr Yngvar Stray was last fall appointed the General Manager of Capella Singapore. Prior to joining the hotel, he led the successful Capella Sanya in South China for three and a half years.
The self-proclaimed “regular guy from Kristiansand” has a keen eye for the perfection and service expected from a hotel operating in the same league as Raffles Hotel and Fullerton Bay Hotel. “Excellence in the craft of hospitality” is Capella’s vision. 35 years of operating luxury hotels in Europe and Asia has given the Norwegian the background for taking the hotel to even greater heights.
Traditional and modern
Capella Singapore is located within 30 acres of lush rainforest on Sentosa Island. The hotel has 112 guestrooms, 72 sea-facing suites and duplexes, and 9 manors. There are also top-class event spaces and a ballroom with a pre-pandemic capacity of 350 guests.
The hotel is famous for tastefully blending the style of the original colonial buildings with modern interior. Lady Gaga and Madonna counts among the superstars residing at Capella when visiting Singapore. It was also here former US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung-un “fell in love” in 2018.
Mr Stray recently joined NBAS as a member. Even on the last day before the Chinese New Years’ rush, he takes his time to meet with NBAS. “It is natural for us to reach out to the Norwegian community in Singapore to explore the common ground”. Mr Stray has fond memories from hosting the 17 May celebrations when he helmed St. Regis Hotel in Bejiing 10 years ago. The experienced hotelier is well aware of both the annual Seafood Dinner, Singapore Norway Innovation Conference (SNIC), the Seafood Weeks, business lunches and other events on Team Norway’s calendar. “I am convinced we will find grounds for cooperation, both this year and in the longer run”.
Relentless pursue of excellence
Although a modest man living quietly in Serangoon Gardens with his wife Julia, Mr Stray is relentless in his pursue of fulfilling Capella’s vision of excellence in the craft of hospitality. For instance, the hotel is now re-building their main restaurant. The refurbishing is to prepare for the arrival of renowned Italian chef Mauro Colagreco, who is heading three-Michelin-starred restaurant Menton in France. “We look forward to the many exciting opportunities in the months ahead, hopefully also with the Norwegian community” concludes the General Manager of Capella Singapore.