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"Whatever the business traveller wants, they get. There is no standard business traveller, so equally, there should be no standard amenities,” says the General Manager of one of the UAE’s finest hotels, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. Moustafa Sakr adds that the property’s “percentage of business [clientele] does fluctuate depending on the season and what's going on in town, however, year-round they make up 40-50% of our guests," giving the hotel ample experience in a variety of business visitor needs, and catering to what are often specialized accommodation desires.
“The success of the St. Regis brand is a result of our commitment to delivering an unrivalled setting and bespoke service to each and every guest, from arrival to departure. We need to be true to the St. Regis legacy and to our core values that provide the framework for everything we do. Most importantly, we need to understand luxury. Luxury should never be intimidating– it should be welcoming, warm, discreet, and timeless.”
In addition to putting into place the art of anticipating guest requests and adapting to specific requirements, Sakr says that at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi the top-of-mind constant question is always, “What does the customer want?” And if you’re the customer who is already a global St. Regis patron, then you’ll find those hallmark hospitality values in place here, too. “If I compare The St. Regis Abu Dhabi to the original St. Regis New York, we share a lot through the St. Regis legacy. Our service culture, which is at the heart of the St. Regis brand, and core values are the same. We have a shared history and shared brand rituals, and you’ll see that the language we use is similar,” he explains.
In terms of how the brand’s resort culture has translated, Sakr says that the St. Regis Saadiyat Island really upholds the company’s ethos in that regard as well, adding that outside of MENA, The St. Regis Bali is a haven of tranquillity. It just might be time to check in!
RECOMMENDED BY THE GM
EXEC STAY “As a luxury city property we have the high-speed Wi-Fi and technology facilities that one would expect, but our approach is to adapt to the needs of the individual business traveller. Empowering our butlers to be one step ahead, and to be able to anticipate and exceed an individual’s expectations is central to our approach. All [of] our guests receive personalized butler service– so their butler is their personal concierge. Beyond our butler team, every one of our staff -including me- is responsible for personalizing a guest’s experience.”
CONFERENCE CAPABILITIES “Meetings and conferences are an important part of our business operation. As a new hotel, we have great technology available to ensure each is a seamless event. The hotel features a grand ballroom, Al Muhaif, which, depending on the meeting style, can accommodate up to 1,000 people. We have quite a big number of large conferences, and we have a team of dedicated event specialists to handle every imaginable detail. We also employ in-house IT specialists and A/V technicians to ensure everything runs smoothly."
"In addition, we partner with an A/V specialist company as required. We also have five more boardrooms of various sizes, and we have two library spaces that are regularly used as a Majlis. I believe the key to success in the Middle East is privacy, and often a Majlis cannot be enforced by the hotel operator as it’s where our guests feel comfortable. With this in mind, we will create a Majlis wherever the guest needs it- and often this means creating a Majlis in one of our top suites.”
CONNECTIVITY “The other thing that have proven to really appeal to our business travelers is our Starwood WhatsApp service: ‘Let’s Chat.’ It allows our guests to message their butler via WhatsApp, and our policy is to respond within 60 seconds. It’s great seeing the different ways guests make use of this service; the other day I saw one of our butlers in the gym taking an in-room dining order from a guest training. They had sent for the butler to take the order via WhatsApp so their meal would be ready when they finished working out- that’s what we’re there for.”
MUNCH “As the General Manager of a St. Regis, I guess most people would expect me to select a fine dining option, but my personal favourite is Cabana Beach Bar & Grill. It’s located right on the beach at our Nation Riviera Beach Club. They do a fantastic quinoa salad with seared salmon, plenty of avocado, fennel and roasted peppers.
DOWNTIME “Being [situated] on the Corniche, we have a great city location but we also provide lots of options when it’s time to relax– we have our fabulous Nation Riviera Beach Club, great restaurants and bars, and our 3,200 sq. m. multi-award winning Remede Spa.”