Prestige issue 289, Feb. 2018
Prestige has found top leading women in the hospitality industry to conduct interviews with, to tell us more about their experiences. Nadia Madi, director of Sales & Marketing at Kempinski Summerland Hotel, takes us through her experience in hospitality and more. Formerly known as Summerland, Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort, an iconic hotel and resort in Beirut, was inaugurated in 2016 after its complete restoration and renovation. This property provides a luxurious experience, infusing the best European standards and welcoming guests during all seasons from gourmet dinners, relaxing Spa treatments, romantic getaways, or dream weddings.
Tell us more about Kempinski Summerland and what differentiates you from the public. As a global chain, Kempinski’s core value is to turn unique historical landmarks into luxurious travel destinations. Launched in 2016, Kempinski Summerland dazzled the regional community for its unique design and sentimental value: an ever-lasting reputation was revived back in Lebanon. To date, Kempinski Summerland has been awarded with 2 recognitions: locally, it was recognized as «Lebanon’s Hospitality Project of the Year 2017» during the 14th edition of the annual conference «Business Warriors» held by Lebanon Opportunities Magazine; and regionally, Kempinski Summerland received the «Hotel Renovation & Restoration Award» at the AHEAD MEA ceremony held during the Dubai Design week. Designed with a uniquely remarkable European flair, Kempinski Summerland introduced unparalleled luxury to Beirut. It has set a new standard of five-star elegance in the country. A distinguished location on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, a hotel and resort uniquely famous in Beirut for its own private beach and marina, a labyrinth of pools with pool-bars and private Jacuzzi bungalows, Kempinski Summerland is an ideal getaway for creating memories worth a lifetime. Accompanied by the Resense Spa, a renowned European luxury Spa, the facility offers 153 rooms and suites elegantly designed with breathtaking views, a refined Cigar lounge, and impressive outdoor garden venues.
As Director of Sales and Marketing at Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort, what are the tasks you perform? With a bachelor degree in hotel management and tourism, I started my career at a five- stars hotel and subsequently assumed numerous sales positions that helped me become today: The Director of Sales and Marketing at Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort, the first hotel I ever worked at “Summerland” and the first Kempinski in Lebanon. As the DOSM, I lead a team of nine driven individuals in the planning and implementing of short and long range Sales (Banquet, Events, Weddings, Groups etc), Marketing & PR strategies targeted towards new and existing markets. Additionally, I also manage the overall aspects of revenue management of the hotel.
You have gained an international experience and moved between various hotels. How did it help you in your position today? I actually started my career at Summerland Hotel. Working back at the same property 17 years later brings me a lot of memories and emotions but mostly pride to be part of both Kempinski and Summerland, two properties that together have dazzling stories to tell. Over the years, I had the opportunity to work in different international chains, through which I acquired an overview of different market trends, customer needs, competitor activities, marketing & PR strategies, budget and plans. Being a woman in a top-level position within the hospitality field is a challenging job itself. Nevertheless, venturing in this industry for 17 years and working in different hotels, getting exposed to different cultures, and toping to heavy challenges in the Middle East, has given me the strength, knowledge and power to successfully excel as any other men leading the DOSM position.
What are your advices for young fresh graduates venturing in the new world of hospitality? From an ambitious girl who started with a very humble position to becoming the DOSM of one of the most luxurious hotels in Beirut, my advice to young girls is to find their passion, be willing to learn, go the extra mile and gain as much experience as they can. Finally yet most importantly, the key to success is to balance a healthy lifestyle thus by maintaining a balance between one’s personal and a professional life! Good luck! Conducted by R.S.