Crafting Memorable Experiences: Rosewood Abu Dhabi Managing Director Luigi Romaniello
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"A Rosewood guest is educated, well-travelled, refined, yet looks for understated elegance. we want to give our guests the best there is; however, keeping it residential and timeless. we want our property to resemble their home with a curated art collection -currently 180 artworks- as well as a design that captures the senses.” That design, as detailed by the property’s Managing Director Luigi Romaniello, includes a lobby bordered with flowing water that at once calms and captures guests on arrival, the front desk background of a glass instillation by Lasvit -an award-winning Czech company founded by entrepreneur Leon Jakimi- titled The Reed Wall (“it’s our most photographed location!”), and plush, contemporary fittings that incorporate Middle eastern subtleties throughout the hotel interiors.
Another notable design feature? “The ceiling features a lasvit chandelier called E=mc2 which is a geometric structured design.” Romaniello, who first joined the hospitality group in 1999, prepared for the official opening of the Rosewood Abu Dhabi for a full two years before the property began welcoming guests in May 2013. “With Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, each property is unique and true to our ‘a Sense of Place’ tagline. We want to incorporate the local resources into each property, make them unique and memorable.” And it is memorable- not only for the interiors, but for the service level that is extended to every guest, regardless of room category. “Guests know it’s a Rosewood property by the service they receive and the care and engagement of the associates,” explains the MD, who worked his way up the ranks having started as Resident Manager at the company’s U.S. Virgin islands property.
“I believe guests choose Rosewood Abu Dhabi because of the location, as the brand is still not that known in the GCC. Guests still don’t know exactly what to expect at a Rosewood property and that curiosity also becomes a reason to book. However, the main reason behind the fantastic word-of-mouth-feedback as well as the high recommendations is our associates. They are the reason guests come back; it’s their passion and personality that captivates the guests. I’m super proud of the team we have at Rosewood Abu Dhabi, and every day I receive a guest’s comment, email, or read a TripAdvisor review that mentions our associates and the little things they do for the guests and how they made a difference or created a memorable experience."
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EXEC STAY “The Royal Suite has the office and we have also added a private gym overlooking Al Maryah Island. It keeps the residential feel of the resort and it’s perfect for the guests who want to be discreet and more private. The suite can also be closed off so the guest can have a meeting or presentation in the suite without the guests having access to the bedroom area. All our guests, independent of the room category booked, have a butler at their disposal. Rosewood Abu Dhabi butlers are not your normal white glove butlers- they’re more lifestyle in the approach given. The butler can be the personal assistant to the business traveller, receive a handover from the guests’ PA regarding their agenda in Abu Dhabi and the daily tasks that need to be handled. From unpacking at arrival to polishing the shoes at the end of each day, and arranging for transportation for each meeting, to making sure your gadgets are charged and ready for the next day, our butlers are really the best assets we can offer our guests.”
CONFERENCE CAPABILITIES “We have eight meeting spaces including two ballrooms and four boardrooms all located on the first floor of the property and with a separate lobby. Our ballroom has natural light and overlooks the Abu Dhabi Global Market Square. Our most requested boardroom and also my favorite is Lailaq; it has keeps within the residential feel of the hotel and displays shelves with books and design items. It has a Majlis within the room where guests can enjoy their coffee breaks and network. Our four boardrooms are equipped with 80 inch TVs which are perfect for presentations as it showcases them clearly, and the boardroom table is equipped with built-in cable port boxes so the speaker doesn’t have to be in just one specific location of the table, and laptops can easily be charged and connected to the main TV- this feature keeps the room clean of cables. Of course the lights in the spaces can be dimmed accordingly to guest’s preferences, and an events butler is always on call for anything the host might need.”
TECH “We have guests that are more independent and prefer to handle everything themselves. For this reason and to ease the guests’ stay, we have an iPad Mini in each room. Each iPad has the Rosewood Abu Dhabi application as well as the room controls system. With the app, guests can browse the hotel information and dining collection as well as events and landmarks in Abu Dhabi. The app also allows the guests to request any item or service needed including valet to prepare the car at the entrance. It even has the option to send postcard to your friends, family or colleagues. The room controls allow our guests to sit in bed and control everything from the iPad: lighting, AC, curtains, sheers and TV. Guests can also order in room dining directly without moving from the comfort of bed.”
MUNCH “I’m really spoilt for choice so it’s hard to pick a favorite! At Rosewood Abu Dhabi we have an authentic dining collection of five restaurants: Catalan, the only Catalonian restaurant in the UAE headed by Chef Francisco Sanabria, Spice Mela, our Indian gem very popular within the expat community, Aqua, our all-day dining restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine, Sambusek, the Lebanese restaurant offering a true Levantine experience, and our latest addition, Dai Pai Dong, the Chinese restaurant who has caused a swirl in town! I would say Spice Mela for a business dinner or to host guests due to its authentic Indian flavors and gorgeous views over the Abu Dhabi waterfront. As the restaurant only fits 40 people, it is intimate and the Chef Siddharth’s dishes are simply divine! My favorite being the Black Pepper Chicken Tikka- the aroma when it comes to the table is mouthwatering and you just want to dig right into it.”