For decades, Ritz-Carlton as a prestigious hotel brand, has set itself apart as an epitome of luxury, authenticity, and grandeur, offering its guests unforgettable experiences demonstrated in the finest details and dedicated commitment to offer a world-class service. In celebration of its 8th anniversary, The Nile Ritz-Carlton held a cake-cutting ceremony in the presence of Ahmed Hozein, Marriott Area VP, Joe Ghayad, General Manager of The Nile Ritz-Carlton, and Amr Attia, Chairman of Misr Hotels Company. On this occasion, we had the opportunity for a talk with Joe Ghayad where he takes us through the rich history and legacy of the brand and shares insights on the hotel’s performance and its contribution to tourism in Egypt over the past 8 years.
On its 8th anniversary, what unique aspects or experiences has The Nile Ritz-Carlton added to the hospitality industry?
When we speak about the Ritz-Carlton as a brand, we automatically see 100+ years of history unfolding before our eyes. It is a brand with an unshakeable credo and corporate philosophy of unwavering commitment to service, both in our hotels and in our communities. The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo precisely is an iconic property where the elegant past meets the modern present. Ever since this renowned building made its way on Cairo’s skyline, it has been known to be one of fine standards and home to elite corporate events, international guests, governmental delegations, bespoke social events, and distinctive dining experiences.
It upholds its legacy and the city’s ancient history while located in the heart of a city beaming with heritage and life overlooking the Nile. The Nile Ritz-Carlton boasts a distinctive location from which you can marvel at Cairo’s Skyline featuring the Cairo Tower, Nile River, and Opera House from one side and the remarkable Egyptian Museum from another. There is no better view in Cairo to be honest. I find that this property is where boundless luxury meets unmatched views and intuitive service and this is what makes it stand out.
With such rich history and class, the hotel and brand sets itself apart from any competition being home to genuine care and comfort. We constantly aspire to create #RCMemories wherever our guests go and strive to make every Ritz-Carlton guest, a guest for life and this is what makes us unique.
What are the upcoming projects or plans for the luxury hotel?
Regarding the upcoming projects, I believe it isn’t the time to reveal the whole project just yet but as a little spoiler in celebration of our 8th anniversary I can tell you that something extremely exciting is coming up – Cairo is about to embrace its talk-of-the-town rooftop lounge very soon with an international concept and world-class service and offerings. This lounge will definitely steal the spotlights and contribute more to our unique positioning of being a property of heritage but also one that is trendy and fresh.
You have worked for the Ritz-Carlton brand alone for over 24 years of your wealthy 32+ years of hospitality experience. How different is your leadership experience here and what potential do you see for the property?
Well, my long fruitful career has been in several countries and continents, and through this wealth of experience, I could easily conclude that the dynamism of the Egyptian market and tourism in Egypt is unmatched which opens up many opportunities for our properties. It is worth highlighting that with the efforts the Egyptian Tourism Authority is putting into marketing this destination, the potential grows one day after another especially when you have the power to innovate and the Ladies and Gentlemen to execute so finely. My leadership in Egypt has been challenging but very abundant, in this very fast-moving city I had to implement effective yet quick resolutions to facelift this property once I joined. I had to make sure that motivation and positivity start with me, and I was to lead by example igniting the engine for the changes and development to kick-start. I would say my journey here is one for the books and the potential I see for this property is limitless.
In terms of operations and the management of The Nile Ritz-Carlton, what are the key factors behind sustaining this level of excellence and luxury and maintaining this strong position in the hospitality industry?
One of our core beliefs is in our Ladies and Gentlemen being our most valuable resource in our service commitment to our guests. As our motto says, we are “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” at every Ritz-Carlton.
With such rich history and class, the brand sets itself apart from any competition globally being home to genuine care and comfort. We aspire to create #RCMemories wherever our guests go and strive to make every Ritz-Carlton guest, a guest for life. Creating guests for life is what we, as Ladies and Gentlemen of The Nile Ritz-Carlton, strive to achieve every single day. The essence of our job is to enliven the senses and fulfill even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests. With that being top of mind, we ensure customer happiness and satisfaction through guest engagement and communication. The more we engage with our guests staying with us, the more we are able to anticipate their needs and leave them with memorable experiences. I am proud that the hotel today is known to present every guest with a personalized ever-lasting memory, this level of intuitive service and captivating experiences took practice so it becomes so natural and habitual. Today, the hotel is home to enticing dining experiences brought to our guests by authentic Italian, Asian, Indian, and Lebanese Chefs and rejuvenating Spa experiences presented by Asian therapists. It has grown into a property of fine details and luxurious experiences leaving us with loyal ‘Guests for Life’ as we name it
Our property is one with authenticity and grandeur, if I may call it “La Grande Dame, du Caire”. Here, every associate is empowered to leave our guests with a touchpoint paving the way to gaining our most sought-after reward, guest satisfaction and loyalty. You can’t imagine the number of ‘WOW Stories’ shared internally from so many different departments highlighting initiatives our Ladies and Gentlemen took to delight a guest or make their stay a memorable one, across all levels. It is those initiatives we encourage and embrace to craft ever-lasting experiences. On another note, we constantly listen to the consumer's needs and our guests’ preferences to make sure that we are the answer to their every demand and that we have an offering to satisfy their every craving.
Does The Nile Ritz-Carlton run staff training programs and what key soft skills are focused on?
In the belief that our Ladies and Gentlemen are our most important resource in delivering our service commitment to our guests, we spare no effort to constantly develop them and prepare them for their next step. We inherit this core belief from Marriott International, being a people-first company. With such a philosophy, we provide training programs that are focused on service, guest journey, leadership, communication, and many more, all of which are accessible via our Marriott global platform.