NEW RECRUIT: Le Gray Beirut GM Rana El Khoury
The new GM reveals plans to make Le Gray Beirut the group's flagship
Recently-appointed general manager Rana El Khoury reveals her plan to establish Le Gray Beirut in Lebanon as the flagship property for CampbellGray Hotels, through continued innovation and careful cost control during the current market turmoils
What first attracted you to the hospitality industry?
My attraction at the very beginning was related to travelling the world, learning new languages and discovering different cultures. I wanted a far-from-routine job, and the hospitality industry offered that. With time my conviction grew stronger and with the opportunities being endless, I always felt challenged and motivated to excel and make a difference.
Having joined Le Gray in January 2011 as business development manager, what first drew you to the firm?
Le Gray is a perfect combination of modernity and comfort, with a very big emphasis on the ‘human’ approach which makes it all the more special. My conviction of joining Le Gray was reinforced after meeting Gordon Campbell Gray and identifying with his vision of the hospitality industry.
What has been your most memorable career moment to date?
Moments shared with the opening team of Phoenicia Hotel is one of them; anyone having gone through an opening knows how trying and demanding this can be, making it a school of its own. The experience gained through managing unusual and unexpected situations as a night manager at Four Seasons Ritz-Carlton Chicago is certainly one to remember as well.
There are few female GMs in the region, why is this?
I am an unconditional defender of parity between men and women. When a woman has the required experience and knowledge to fulfill a high-ranked position, she should certainly not be disregarded under the pretext that she is a woman. I feel an evolution in the thinking of management and owners when it comes to the appointment of women to top positions, but in certain cultures the challenge remains.
How do you feel the industry can benefit from employing more female GMs?
Women can bring a different vision and new perspectives to the business.
What do you feel you can bring to Le Gray as general manager?
I can continue to improve the quality and high standards of service that Le Gray is known for, while also continuously innovating. Simultaneously, optimising cost control to strengthen Le Gray’s immunity and cope with exceptional situations similar to the one we are experiencing at present.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Having started very young in the profession I had the opportunity to cover all aspects of the field from F&B, rooms, to sales and marketing. The position of GM, however, is only the beginning of a new page in my career; a new challenge.I am confident of what the team and I can achieve in strengthening the position of Le Gray in the market.
- 2008-2010: Cimes Holding s.a.l., Lebanon managing partner.
- 2007-2008: InterContinental Hotel Phoenicia, Lebanon, F&B director.
- 2005-2006: Palm Beach Hotel, Lebanon, general manager.
- 2004-2007: Cimes Holding, managing partner, operations.
- 1999-2000: InterContinental Hotel Phoenicia, conference sales manager.
- 1998-1999: InterContinental Hotel, Le Vendome, executive housekeeper.
- 1994-1998: Four Seasons Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Chicago, fast-track management.