FOH Interview: Salalah Rotana Resort director of leisure Salah Hashish
Salalah Rotana Resort director of leisure Salah Hashish says maintaining good relations with guests is one of the pillars of hospitality
What is your career background?
After completing my degree in physical education, I started my career as a life guard and worked my way up across different hotel chains. During the course of my career, I have had roles such as spa supervisor, health club coordinator and assistant spa and recreation manager, which marked the beginning of my managerial roles. I was then promoted to spa and recreation manager after successfully managing a pre-opening. I was offered the position of assistant director of recreation at Art Rotana Bahrain and subsequently moved to Oman to serve as director of leisure at Salalah Rotana Resort.
What inspired you to take up a career in front-of-house hotel operations?
My passion for people relations drove me to pursue a career in the front-of-house. I believe this is one of the pillars of hospitality and crucial to the success of any hospitality establishment. With my educational background and being a physically active person, I knew I would succeed in the recreation department.
What are your responsibilities at the hotel?
I am responsible for overseeing daily operations of the resort’s leisure department, which features a 400-metre white sandy beach, three swimming pools, Zen the spa with eight treatment rooms, tennis courts, beach volleyball, gymnasium and Flipper’s Kids Club, while ensuring maximum guest and colleague satisfaction. I am also responsible for developing strategies to drive revenue from various initiatives such as monthly promotions, beach club memberships, team building activities for corporate clients and more. Another key aspect of my job is guest safety while using our recreational facilities. With adequate training and safety measures, my team and I ensure maximum safety.
How do you keep yourself motivated for your job?
I am lucky to have a hardworking team who show dedication in ensuring our guests are happy. Knowing the efforts my team puts in, receiving positive feedback from our guests, and challenging myself to look after small details in such a huge operation keeps me motivated.
What are some of the challenges you face in your role?
Operating a five-star resort of a significant size in an emerging destination can be quite challenging in terms of availability of the required equipment and tools required to maintain the service quality. I choose to see challenges as learning experiences. So I embrace them and take advantage of the opportunity to grow.
How do you keep your staff motivated?
My career growth is a depiction of how praise and opportunity can positively impact an individual. Knowing this, I take every chance to praise my team for their effort and follow through with a personal development plan for every colleague in my department with the necessary training.
What would you say are your favourite elements in the job?
Guest satisfaction. With the many options available, I’m always thrilled to have guests visit us and ensure they get value for their time and money.
What would you say are some of your significant achievements so far?
Salalah Rotana Resort is a 422-key property with the best recreation facilities in town. My most significant achievement in this role so far has been building a strong team dedicated to managing daily operations and making sure our guests are happy. Considering the busy resort that we run, guest satisfaction is definitely one of our most significant achievements.