| THE CHANG­ING FACE OF HOS­PI­TAL­ITY

NIKKI BEACH VP LOOKS AT HOW GUEST DE­MANDS HAVE CHANGED

HotelNews Middle East - - Contents -

There is no ques­tion that Nikki Beach’s story has been one of suc­cess since it launched in Dubai lit­tle over a year ago. That suc­cess is re­flected in Alexan­der Sch­nei­der’s re­cent el­e­va­tion from gen­eral man­ager of the prop­erty to vice pres­i­dent for the group.

“I re­ally be­lieve we are watch­ing a par­a­digm shift in hos­pi­tal­ity right now. I be­lieve that the mar­ket has moved on from ho­tels that were de­signed to give com­fort and se­cu­rity,” says Sch­nei­der.

“Peo­ple are now seek­ing ho­tels that of­fer ex­pe­ri­ences and added value to their lives, this will de­fine hos­pi­tal­ity for the next 10 years.”

The for­mer gen­eral man­ager of Nikki Beach EMEA gives a clear ex­am­ple of how guests have moved on from the tra­di­tional of­fer­ings at ho­tels.

“My favourite in­di­ca­tor is when you look at the club sand­wiches and caeser sal­ads in ho­tel lob­bies, they used to be about 80% of your sales and now they are less than 10%,” he says.

“Peo­ple are look­ing for au­then­tic lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ences. They don’t want the same old, same old any­more.”

Given that Nikki Beach has been a huge suc­cess on the Dubai hos­pi­tal­ity land­scape, it is fair to say that Sch­nei­der is speak­ing from a po­si­tion of first-hand knowl­edge.

“Once you fall in love with some­thing it is hard to let go and what unites us at Nikki Beach is pas­sion,” he says, in ref­er­ence to his re­cent pro­mo­tion.

“I will al­ways be ex­tremely pas­sion­ate about this place, it is our world­wide flag­ship and we have re­ceived such de­mand that we are go­ing to grow to con­cept and brand world­wide.”

Part of the beauty of the brand, he posits, is that you can go to any Nikki Beach lo­ca­tion and im­me­di­ately pick up on the trade­mark brand and mes­sage.

“Any good prod­uct needs to in­no­vate, Dubai is a hun­gry mar­ket when it comes to new con­cepts,” he says.

“That is why we added (Caribbean restau­rant) Key West, our new culi­nary jewel, I be­lieve we have cre­ated an out­let with au­then­tic­ity that is a great add-on to Dubai’s out­let cul­ture.

“We are proud that peo­ple ac­tu­ally per­ceive it as a stand­alone rather than a ho­tel out­let, that was the lit­mus test on

whether we would be suc­cess­ful or not.”

Key West is not the only new brand that has come un­der the Nikki Beach ban­ner since open­ing.

“We also have Nikki Prive, our evening lounge that is very much in de­mand as a MICE venue as well.”

He gives the brand’s re­cent in­volve­ment at Taste of Dubai as a sign of Nikki Beach’s strength in the mar­ket here.

“We brought Key West to Taste of Dubai and it was great to show the restau­rant scene that we do not need to come with Nikki Beach, we can come with our sub­brands and still pre­vail there,” he says.

So, hav­ing suc­cess­fully launched Nikki Beach and its out­lets in the re­gion, what is the next step in its evo­lu­tion in the Dubai mar­ket?

“I think ev­ery good growth story looks like a stair­case, you grow a bit and then you con­sol­i­date be­fore you grow an­other bit and then con­sol­i­date and so on,” he says.

“We are def­i­nitely in a phase of con­sol­i­da­tion when it comes to en­sur­ing con­sis­tency, es­pe­cially when we did so much last year.”

Alexan­der Sch­nei­der, vice pres­i­dent Nikki Beach Ho­tels & Re­sorts

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