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This hospitable life
26 May 2015
Until I moved to Perth in 2007, I'd always worked in financial services. That trend continued when I created Writeability, as many of our clients in Perth were in the financial sector. 

In Riyadh, however, I was the editor of a newsletter for the American Business Group of Riyadh and that was a departure from the usual 'long copy' that I would write for financial information booklets and annual reports.

In Doha, I turned my hand to hospitality. I had no previous experience in this field but the General Manager of the St. Regis Doha saw something in my eyes; the hunger for a new challenge after two professionally unremarkable years in Riyadh, perhaps. 

I accepted the Director of Marketing role and for 6 months enjoyed learning about what made the 3-year-old property tick; what makes Starwood the most profitable hospitality brand in the world; and I learned - by trial and error in some cases - the best (and the worst ways) to promote 11 dining/drinking/music outlets, a Remede Spa, a Recreation Club and 336 rooms /suites in a highly competitive and very small market. It was full-on. Here's a summary of some highlights:
  • Employees representing 65 nationalities worked under the roof of the St. Regis Doha, which made the experience culturally enriching;
  • The St. Regis Butlers were the most helpful, supportive and attentive staff members who were all dedicated to making the guests' stay the most memorable possible;
  • The chef and his open-kitchen team at Astor Grill cooked the best Aussie steaks in the Josper grill, and the truffle sauce was to die for;
  • Sommelier KG knew his wines and had a wonderful ability to remember what I liked and recommend some little red gems;
  • Mary and team at Sarab Lounge made the smoothest soy latte in all of Doha;
  • Al Sultan Brahim served the freshest Lebanese food I've ever tasted (and I have eaten a lot of Lebanese food over the years!);
  • Chef Elias at Opal is a genius;
  • Outside Catering is not for cissies, and the team at SRD nailed it each and every time - kudos!;
  • Dominick Farinacci plays a mean trumpet;
  • The turquoise Arabian Gulf is so blue and clear, it felt a crime each day not to be out on the water; 
  • Working alongside young, fresh talent with inexhaustible energy and commitment inspired me every single day. 
Sadly, my tenure was cut extremely short by circumstances outside my control, and my husband and I left Doha after just short 6 months. However, now I've tasted the hospitality life, I've been left wanting more.

Until next time...