60 SEC­ONDS WITH THE RE­GIONAL VICE PRES­I­DENT OF FOUR SEA­SONS HO­TELS AND RE­SORTS

HN speaks to Rami Sayess, re­gional VP and gen­eral man­ager of Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Beirut, to learn more about the chain's lat­est de­vel­op­ments

Hospitality News Middle East - - NEWS - Foursea­sons.com

Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Beirut has been work­ing on de­vel­op­ing its F&B of­fer­ing, in­creas­ing its op­er­a­tions from two to four out­lets. The ho­tel is cur­rently op­er­at­ing Arabesque, the sea­sonal restau­rant on the third floor, serv­ing Le­banese food with a Greek touch, The Grill on the sec­ond floor, The Roof, in ad­di­tion to an ex­tended lobby ter­race. “We are be­com­ing a true des­ti­na­tion, helped es­pe­cially by our ex­panded ban­quet­ing fa­cil­i­ties,” Sayess said. The prop­erty is also fine-tun­ing its soft re­fur­bish­ment plans. “We are re­ju­ve­nat­ing our 230 rooms with­out clos­ing down the prop­erty. The tim­ing is right to do it as the ho­tel has been op­er­at­ing now for seven years,” he said. The project, which is ex­pected to kick off this Septem­ber, will be fi­nal­ized within 18 months. Sayess told HN that the ho­tel has wit­nessed healthy growth, with year-round oc­cu­pancy hover­ing around 70 per­cent and ex­ceed­ing 90 per­cent in some months. “We have been ac­com­mo­dat­ing many leisure Euro­pean vis­i­tors, mainly from Hol­land, Ger­many, Italy, the UK and France in the past two months, which echoes a pos­i­tive trend,” he ex­plained. The ho­tel has also been host­ing cor­po­rate guests, mainly from Egypt and Syria. Sayess added, “The Gulf busi­ness is com­ing back, even if not at the same pre­vi­ous pace. How­ever, this seems to be promis­ing.”

The Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Beirut was one of only a few prop­er­ties to stick to its reg­u­lar price range dur­ing the dif­fi­cult con­di­tions that ho­tels in Le­banon faced. On the sub­ject of cater­ing to mil­len­ni­als, Sayess be­lieves that even with grow­ing in­ter­est in reach­ing this im­por­tant mar­ket, man­age­ment chains should avoid com­pro­mis­ing on qual­ity. “There is a mis­con­cep­tion about mil­len­ni­als and about what they seek,” he said. “It is not al­ways the case that mil­len­ni­als only seek bud­get ho­tels. From our per­spec­tive, we want to cater to mil­len­ni­als by of­fer­ing the finest ser­vice.”

The Gulf busi­ness is com­ing back, even if not at the same pre­vi­ous pace

In a sep­a­rate de­vel­op­ment, Four Sea­sons Ho­tels have been run­ning an in­no­va­tive pro­gram called the MIT (Man­agers in Train­ing), where sees chain lead­ers travel to top ho­tel schools in Switzer­land, mainly Glion, Lau­sanne and Les Roches, to source po­ten­tial tal­ent. Within an 18-month pro­gram, suc­cess­fully-se­lected can­di­dates will be el­i­gi­ble for as­sis­tant man­ager po­si­tions through­out Four Sea­sons prop­er­ties. “Since I rep­re­sent Europe, the Mid­dle East and Africa (the EMEA), I am look­ing to meet fresh grads and tal­ents who would be suit­able for the 33 prop­er­ties across our re­gion,” he ex­plained. When it comes to open­ings, the ho­tel chain is pre­par­ing for the grand open­ing of its Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Kuwait at Burj Al­shaya, a 284room prop­erty with seven restau­rants, slated for Novem­ber. The chain will also be open­ing a new prop­erty in Tu­nisia this Septem­ber.

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