You are the global commercial director at Dorchester Collection. What was your background before you joined Dorchester Collection?
I have worked in the hospitality business my entire career. Prior to Dorchester Collection, I spent most of my career at Hilton. During that time, I worked in a number of hotel, regional and corporate roles. My final role with Hilton was director of revenue management at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
What does your job involve? Is there a typical day in your working life as global commercial director?
No two days are the same, which is one of the main things I love about my job. It is a cross-functional role encompassing driving brand positioning, transformation and the development of commercial, marketing, and distribution strategies through customer and competitor insights. The role also requires strong team leadership and understanding the complex, varied needs of our global guests. My direct areas of responsibility include our brand website, digital marketing, revenue management, business analytics and global contact centre.
What attracted you to Dorchester Collection in the first place?
I was keen to transition into the ultra-luxury space. I had admired Dorchester Collection for some time and had often thought, should the opportunity present itself,I would love to work for them. The product is unique; we have the best guests in the business and the culture around our people is second to none with one third of our employees having been at the company for over 25 years. At the end of the day, we are in the business of people looking after people and I am fortunate to work with some of the best in the industry.
We approach things differently. Ultra luxury is all about emotion. It’s very easy to say the customer is at the heart of everything we do.
What distinguishes the hotels in Dorchester Collection from other luxury hotels?
We approach things differently. Ultra luxury is all about emotion. It’s very easy to say the customer is at the heart of everything we do. We took considerable time to research both our luxury competition and our guests. We established nine emotional needs our guests display and go out of our way to address these for each individual guest on each individual stay. They told us what it is that we offer that draws them to us and we ensure we’ve protected that culture in the past, we protect it today and that we will ensure it’s protected in the future. We are a safe haven for their past, current and future experiences and memories.
How welcoming are the hotels in Dorchester Collection to your LGBT+ guests?
Every guest is first class to our mind, so long as you have a thirst for life and enjoy what we uniquely offer, our hotels are exactly where you should want to be. Places for like-minded people who enjoy attention to detail and connecting with our community of global guests. We have no prejudice against race, gender or sexuality be it with our employees or our guests.
How has the current pandemic affected the hospitality sector, and how is Dorchester Collection addressing these challenging times?
Like many others, it has been overwhelming and the financial impact on the industry devastating.
Our first priority was to look after our staff and our guests. We were mindful that our guests needed to assimilate what was going on, so we deliberately chose not to get in touch with constant messages about increased hygiene. Instead, we waited, reassured them and asked after them. In return, their messages of good will, brand loyalty and thanks were extensive. They trust us to do the right thing.
Please sum up in three words what Dorchester Collection has to offer the discerning guest.
Where legends belong.