This paper reports on a case study undertaken at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, Australia. The study is an interesting exemplar case of the issues faced by a large Chinese hotel chain's first venture into a western culture. Further, the rapid success of the Shangri-La, Sydney property warranted a close examination of the multitude of factors that influenced this process. Consequently, the re-branding of the luxury hotel required a sensitive reading of cultural difference between that of the Chinese parent company and the new location. This research identifies the key drivers behind the high levels of customer retention at the Shangri-La, Sydney. Findings showed how Shangri-La, Sydney faced restrictive workplace legislation, minimal staffing levels and a set of entrenched cultural values often at odds with the desired organisational culture. However, Shangri-La management successfully navigated a course that would preserve brand integrity while adapting to cultural difference.