HOTELIER MIDDLE EAST AWARDS CATEGORIES
Fitness/Spa Person of the Year
This award recognises the renewed focus on wellness in the hotel industry, which includes health, fitness, spa and lifestyle initiatives. The award is open to hotel leisure directors, recreation managers, spa managers and health club managers, whose roles no doubt include overseeing all elements of wellness. It is also open, as in previous years, to fitness instructors and spa therapists delivering superior service and results-driven programmes and treatments to their guests.
Concierge/Guest Services Person of the Year
The category welcomes nominations from a variety of front office roles, such as guest relations, guest services, reservations, and front office staff, in addition to concierges. Candidates must have a ‘can do’ attitude and be able to address every customer need. Service with a smile is paramount and hotel and local knowledge is essential. Candidates should be able to demonstrate outstanding customer service, and the ability to resolve guest challenges throughout their stays. Those staff members that have a real aptitude for upselling and promoting hotel services will gain extra recognition from the judges, and those who go above and beyond the call of duty to fulfil guest requests will be given extra merit.
Housekeeper of the Year
Attention to detail is paramount for a successful Housekeeper, ensuring rooms are always ready for arrival and maintained to the standards customers expect. The Housekeeper of the Year runs a tight ship, but is respected by team members for their ability to be an organised perfectionist. Those that have helped to implement new initiatives, as well as housekeepers who have streamlined processes, or succeeded in finding new ways to help motivate their peers in the department, will gain extra credit.
IT Person of the Year
Responsible for Information Technology issues, products and services, the IT Person of the Year will excel in every aspect of their role, implementing network enhancements to keep their property ahead of the game, while juggling a range of day-to-day tasks such as inventories, licenses and maintenance agreement. As well as being an absolute expert in their field, the IT Person of the Year must be an excellent communicator, able to identify and implement solutions to user challenges and concerns associated with personal computer equipment and they must be able to efficiently deliver all kinds of hardware and software support. Examples of innovations and cost saving strategies are essential for nominations in this category.
Hotel Engineer of the Year
Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, gardeners and grounds staff ensure hotel operations run smoothly. They might be behind the scenes, but without them, the hotel’s services would come to a grinding halt. The Hotel Engineer of the Year is a reliable colleague who is dedicated to maintaining hotel standards. The nomination must include evidence of the engineer’s role in energy saving and environmental awareness, and their ability to implement cost-saving initiatives.
Safety & Security Person of the Year
The Safety & Security Person of the Year is an individual who goes above and beyond to ensure the safety and security of all guests, team members, contractors and visitors while at the hotel. The nomination will demonstrate how, to the highest standards, they maintain constant vigilance of hotel operations and premises, and how they ensure documents and key systems adhere legal and company requirements. They must also be able to recognise weaknesses in a hotel’s processes and recommend improvements to security systems. Evidence of how the candidate has quickly and thoroughly reviewed any incidents with the intention of preventing re-occurrences, as well any new initiatives they have introduced will be considered by the judges. Security personnel who are excellent team players, both within the security department and across the hotel, will gain extra recognition too.
HR & Training Person of the Year
This year the HR Person of the Year award has been expanded to include training. We are looking for an HR professional who delivers an outstanding staff experience through managing employee relations issues, and supporting managers to ensure their teams’ success. They will ensure a timely, efficient recruitment and selection process, while controlling costs and meeting or exceeding hotel and departmental financial targets. Distinction will be merited to those candidates that have an aptitude for bringing on board local employees, ensuring that their employers meet and exceed workforce localisation quotas and targets. Those that go above and beyond to promote the hotel industry by working with schools or organisations will also stand out to judges, particularly if this involves promoting the sector as a career choice for local people. From a training perspective, we are after a candidate who has expertly identified training needs and developed cost-effective training initiatives to achieve the hotel’s goals, while ensuring standards and procedures are applied. The ideal candidate for the award is highly efficient and has a real passion for leading and developing associates. They will have a very positive demeanour and outstanding communication skills to boot.
Procurement Person of the Year
Meeting suppliers, co-ordinating deliveries and getting the best value for money all affect a hotel’s bottom line, making the Procurement Person of the Year a valuable hotel asset. The candidate will ensure the efficient purchase of goods and materials with optimal cost reduction and profitability while maintaining the ethics and quality of the hotel brand. The preferred candidate will have identified ways to improve the purchasing process in order to reduce waste and will serve the team in a very environmentally-conscious manner. They will also maintain excellent communication and working relationships with all hotel areas.
Finance Person of the Year
Candidates from the finance department must have a track record of achieving the highest standards when it comes to forecasting and budgeting, ensuring financial regulations are met and assisting with/ implementing audits of cash deposits. For this award, the candidate must back up their story with numbers. They will also maintain excellent communication and working relationships with all hotel areas.
Sales Person of the Year
Hotelier is looking for a sales professional who has achieved record sales in the past 12-18 months. We want to hear how they have increased their hotel’s profitability by booking record rooms and/or events through innovative strategies, good client management and the commitment to closing a deal. We are looking for evidence of how a sales person has managed big accounts and gone over and above the call of duty to secure business, while still ensuring that the hotel’s profitability is maximised. We’re also after a team player that maintains the customer database, generates new leads and develops client referrals. The Sales Person of the Year will be ambitious, results-driven and dynamic, with the numbers to back up their story.
Marketing & PR Person of the Year
Creativity, style and endless enthusiasm are the key strengths the Marketing & PR Person of the Year should possess. They are responsible for creating a hotel’s personality, brand image and awareness in the market place. The nominee should also be known for their ability to capably manage all members of the press, from sales reps to journalists. Examples of PR and marketing campaigns are welcome. Additionally, the candidate will be able to demonstrate a real flair for imaginative use of media and social media, and we welcome entries from digital marketing personnel who are working hard to train fellow staff on the importance of the digital world.
Executive Chef of the Year
Innovative menu creations, a team spirit, leadership qualities, and a character as happy front-of-house, conversing with diners, as back-of-house, creating new dishes, sum up the attributes of Hotelier’s Executive Chef of the Year. Menu examples and details of innovations, in terms of dishes and restaurant interior and ambience instigated by the chef, are welcome. We are also looking for evidence of the executive chef’s ability to motivate, retain and train their team, and well as an ability to work with the F&B department to ensure a profitable food and beverage operation. We need to hear why this executive chef is an essential part of the hotel fabric and this needs to be backed up with examples of creativity and evidence of financial savings and successes.
F&B Manager of the Year
Open to F&B managers and directors, this award is for those who concentrate on creating innovative promotions, diner loyalty schemes and partnerships with supporting brands to serve up a unique dining experience. Providing a personal service as well as managing and motivating staff effectively is also integral to this role.
Young Hotelier of the Year
For the Young Hotelier Award, we are looking for a hotelier aged 30 years or below, who has worked in the Middle East hotel industry for at least two years and in the international hospitality sector for at least five years. The Young Hotelier can hold a position in any hotel profession front or back of house. They might have entered the industry through a graduate management scheme or started their careers as rank and file — both routes into the industry are equally valid for this award. What we are concerned with is the progression of the nominee since entering the industry. Within a minimum period of five years, the nomination must chart the development of the individual, explaining why their achievements to date are above and beyond someone of their years and experience. This does not mean they need to have been promoted to key management positions — just that they have excelled and developed significantly since their first role as a hotelier. We are also looking for candidates that have demonstrated significant contributions to their team’s performance. We want to hear stories about how they have brought a fresh perspective to the hotel management and importantly, been able to deliver upon these ideas. We want to know how they inspire their colleagues daily and enhance their guests’ experience. Ultimately, Hotelier Middle East’s Young Hotelier of the Year should be a dynamic individual striving for to fulfil their greatest potential and bringing great success to their property.
Unsung Hero of the Year
A category open to anyone that works in hotel operations. This award is for the real unsung heroes; those that chop vegetables all day, sweep lobby floors, valet parked cars, clean rooms, and always manage to have a smile on their face, and a ‘can do’ attitude.
GM of the Year
A role model to all associates, the General Manager of the Year tackles all business challenges head on, and still makes time to meet and greet guests and talk to line staff on a daily basis. This award celebrates a General Manager who has a passion for their work so great that they go beyond the call of duty and are as willing to muck in and get their hands dirty to get a task done as they are to make big business decisions. Alongside examples of the GM’s leadership and service skills, we are also looking for hard facts that demonstrate their management acumen and strategies to drive revenue, beat the competition and take their hotel to the top of its game for the benefit of all stakeholders – owners, staff and guests.
Hotel Team of the Year
This award is designed to recognise and celebrate groups of colleagues who have worked together to bring success to their property. The Hotel Team of the Year will be represented by the executive committee, who will in turn represent every member of their department. Whether new or old, if your hotel has an exciting story that the team deserves to be rewarded for, this award is for you.