ACV15: From Corporate Lawyer to 7 Michelin Stars and 5 Boutique Hotels (Loh Lik Peng, Founder of Unlisted Collection, Part 1)
By Paul Tern
Loh Lik Peng trained as a lawyer, but has since gone on to set up 5 hotels and 27 restaurants across the world. I talk to him about how he left law, started his first boutique hotel in an unlikely location, and built it up into a worldwide empire of hotels and restaurants.Dynamic hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng (instagram: @pengloh) was born in Dublin, Ireland. He attended Law school in England, University of Sheffield and Postgraduate at London School of Economics followed by bar exams in London before returning to Singapore in 1997. Loh became a corporate litigator upon his return before leaving the profession to step into the hospitality industry. Since then, Loh has started ventures across Singapore, Shanghai and London under the umbrella of his company, ‘Unlisted Collection’. Presently, he has 27 restaurants with a combined 7 Michelin stars and 5 hotels across 6 countries.3 things I learnedFear is a crucial element of success. Loh notes that the times he was complacent were the times he fell flat on his face. So having some level of fear is essential in keeping you at your best, by forcing you to constantly re-examine why you are doing what you’re doing. Take things one step at a time. You are never going to have every issue solved when you start a new project, and navigating the learning curve often means taking one step forward then two steps back. All you need to do is keep going, address problems as they come and not mess up too badly along the way.Make choices for you. In building his first hotel, Loh was guided by his own interests and desires for a hotel, not necessarily to be successful. It’s this thinking that helped him find a gap in the market between 5-star and budget hotels, and inspired his room design choices.