At The Smallville Hotel We have the best practice system that follows on the guest needs from check-in till check-out

Interview with Sophia Fakhry (General Manager)
04 آب 2021

1- Managing a hotel requires an understanding of what makes any hotel great. How a person can oversee the daily operatives of running a hotel while providing strategic direction, planning, supervising the activities of an extensive and diverse workforce to ensure the smooth and profitable running of business?
Sure nowadays hotels need personality to survive. People are already stressed at home so when they choose a hotel they choose an experience. And this is what The Smallville Hotel is all about. Let alone the culture of detail and loyalty we built within our team to sustain crisis and standards. We also matched finances with concepts to ensure the hotel survives in hard times. Through follow up dedication and strategic fast decisions are keys. 


2- How much in your work, a satisfied guest is a manager’s personal partner in success and how much you express a need to continuously implement a working best-practices program?
Standards and personal attention to ensure guest satisfaction is key to keep your customers repeat ones! We have a best practice system that follows on the guest needs from check-in till check-out. 


3- Do you believe in the power of a motivated workforce? Is it true that when you align your talent with the purpose and efforts of others you can achieve amazing things together? How much do you empower your people to perform at the highest level?
We have an out of the box way of keeping our staff motivated. We develop heart to heart emphatic relationships between senior managers, owners and staff – we assure that they are well taken care of not just financially but emotionally. The rest, standards and all follow automatically. We empower them to take charge, be creative and become critical thinkers and problem solvers. So far it has worked wonders. We retained our workforce even during dire times of crisis lately. 


4- What are the top five challenges to conquer in the Hotel Industry in 2020-2021?
In order of priority
a. The world tourism crisis due to COVID-19 with travel bars affecting the industry
b. The instability of Lebanon keeps a lot of travelers at bay
c. The financial crisis in Lebanon put a big burden on the industry’s stability 
d. Keeping the employees motivated and financially secure in times 
e. Building dynamic innovative strategies to survive and tactics to lure in customers .


5- Your advertising and marketing strategies. How much you keep an eye on your customers’ reviews on Social Media, on your competitors’ reviews. How do you use these reviews to determine their strengths and their challenges? Do you make sure to thrive where they are falling short? Your means to continue.
We have a specialized digital marketing team that monitor every ad, tactic and strategy we plan our campaigns through. We are fast paced as a design hotel. We weekly analyze traffic, feedbacks and reviews and we reconnect with guests to stay on top. We are leaders in the online marketing realm and this has helped our revenue tremendously. 
6- Branding a Hotel property today means taking it to the next level, how much an efficient Hotel branding helps in growing Hospitality business? What Hotel brand you chose? Did you try to humanize this brand? Did you try to make it easier to communicate with your target audience and encourage them to try out your services instead of going to your competitors?
Each hotel is different – especially bigger design hotels like ours. As I said before, a hotel needs to have personality, a story that people can interact and connect with. Our hotel for instance is named The Smallville Hotel after a small ville Beirut and inspired by a TV series named Smallville where superman was born. We did our homework seriously but in a playful interactive way and it resonated with our target audience where The Smallville Hotel became a household brand name.



7- Your venues, restaurants: strategies of updating, upgrading, how much an F& B sector in a hotel member of an international hotel chain differs from a similar sector in an ordinary hotel?
F&B can make you or break you. Traditionally, restaurants in hotel are viewed as boring and with classic food. In design hotels, we broke that rule and developed a brand and identity for each venue; from food to entertainment to décor and music and bars are key to drive revenue 

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