Insider Stories

Anthony Duggan has been appointed General Manager at Grand Hyatt Deer Valley in Park City
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  • Article tag: AMERICAS
Anthony Duggan has been appointed General Manager at Grand Hyatt Deer Valley in Park City
Anthony Duggan's experience spans over 25 years, marked by a deep-rooted passion for hospitality and global travel. Renowned for his ability to elevate operational performance while fostering exceptional guest satisfaction and staff engagement, Duggan has honed his skills at some of the world's most respected luxury hospitality brands, including InterContinental Hotel & Resorts, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aman, and now Hyatt Hotel Corporation. In the most recent years, he's been tapped by Hyatt Corp. to elevate the experiences at and operational excellence within brands such as Alila Hotels and Miraval Resorts & Spas.
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Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui (Thailand), elevated Ms. Branka Novakovic as Assistant Director of Food & Beverage
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  • Article tag: Asia
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui (Thailand), elevated Ms. Branka Novakovic as Assistant Director of Food & Beverage
Ms. Novakovic has over 13 years of experience in Food & Beverage Operations, showcasing a distinguished career in various prestigious locations. Her most recent position was as Director of Restaurants & Bar at the Four Seasons Koh Samui Resort. Prior to this, she honed her skills and expertise in several renowned establishments including Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Hura, Regent Porto Montenegro, Aman Sveti Stefan Montenegro, Opera Restaurant Novi Sad, Serbia. Her extensive experience across these luxury and high-end properties highlights her capability and proficiency in managing top-tier food and beverage operations. Born in Croatia and raised in Serbia, Branka has grown up in some of Eastern Europe’s biggest tourist draws. Her innate understanding of hospitality paired with a strong resume of more than a decade of experience gives her a cutting edge in this role. Ms. Branka completed a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from the Novi Sad University in Serbia, during which time she spent her summers interning at various dining establishments on the Greek islands of Rhodes and Kos. With a wealth of knowledge about Mediterranean cuisine, she decided to move overseas to the United States, beginning her career at the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, honing her catering as well as English language skills. Branka returned home in 2012 and began her tryst with fine dining at the stunning Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, where she was food and beverage supervisor. Moving to a pre-opening team at the Regent Porto Montenegro, a gorgeous sea-front property, Branka quickly rose to the position of restaurant manager. Leading a team of 20, she worked closely with the executive chef and head sommelier in organizing banqueting events and customizing menus for private functions. Recognizing her contribution to the success of this opening, the Regent group sent Branka to reinforce the pre-opening team in Chongqing, China. Trading in her suits for more tropical wear, Branka breezed into Four Seasons in the Maldives at Kuda Huraa. Roped into budget planning and marketing discussion with the various departments, she has sharpened her business acumen and cultivated a multi-faceted approach to her role. Embracing new experiences and cultures, she leads with panache, “I believe in delivering all-round dining excellence.” Her passion extends to her hobbies so when she’s not at work, Branka is hopping bars, restaurants and cafes. “I love exploring the local culture – it’s important to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the destination. This ultimately determines what our guests expect!”
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Ms. Swati T. joins The Leela Palace Jaipur as Hotel Manager
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  • Article tag: Asia
Ms. Swati T. joins The Leela Palace Jaipur as Hotel Manager
Ms. Thakur brings a wealth of experience from her roles at Taj The Trees in Mumbai, Taj Lands End, and The Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai. She is set to deliver new benchmarks in service excellence with her proactive problem-solving skills, multitasking abilities, and prioritization of business objectives. She holds an MBA in Hospitality Management from Amity University, Mumbai. Mr. Sharad Puri, Senior Vice President and General Manager at The Leela Palace Jaipur, stated, “We are delighted to welcome Swati Thakur, to The Leela Palace Jaipur family. Her wealth of expertise and dedication to excellence align perfectly with our commitment to delivering unparalleled hospitality experiences. Her addition strengthens our leadership team and underscores our continued pursuit of excellence in every aspect of our operations. Together, we look forward to elevating the guest experience and setting new benchmarks for luxury hospitality in Jaipur.”
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Mr. Rami Massoud has been appointed as Vice President of Development for the Middle East, Europe, and Africa by Dusit International
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  • Article tag: Africa
Mr. Rami Massoud has been appointed as Vice President of Development for the Middle East, Europe, and Africa by Dusit International
Dusit International has appointed Mr. Rami Massoud as Vice President of Development for the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Rami Massoud will be based in Dusit’s regional office in Dubai. Fluent in Arabic, English, and French, he is an Egyptian national with over 25 years of experience in hotel development, real estate investment, and asset management. During his career, Massoud has worked for hotel brands such as Marriott, Starwood, and Four Seasons and spearheaded projects for top developers including Dubai Holding, Power Holding, and Shuaa Capital across the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Most recently, he served as the Managing Director of Hotel Assets Acquisition Consultants. He holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel management and advanced certification in hotel real estate investment & asset management from Cornell University. Massoud said, “Joining Dusit International is a remarkable opportunity to contribute to a brand with a rich heritage and an incredibly bright future. I am excited to help drive Dusit’s expansion in the EMEA region by identifying new growth opportunities and fostering relationships that will enable us to bring our distinctive Thai-inspired gracious hospitality to more guests around the world.” Massoud is now responsible for the growth of Dusit’s unique portfolio of Dusit Hotels and Resorts across key existing and emerging destinations in the EMEA region.
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Ilkin Imanov has been appointed Chair at Marriott Business Council Qatar
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  • Article tag: Middle East
Ilkin Imanov has been appointed Chair at Marriott Business Council Qatar
The Westin Doha's GM Ilkin Imanov has been appointed as chair of Marriott Business Council Qatar. His background covers various aspects of hotel management, including operations, sales & marketing, revenue management, new hotel openings, and owner relations. He holds an MBA in hospitality management from Euclea Business School/Imperial State University in France and Azerbaijan State Languages University. His contributions to the industry have garnered him several awards, including the Highly Successful GM of Qatar at the GM International Award 2023 and the Excellence in Delivering Guest Experience from Marriott Hotels & Resorts in 2015. The Marriott Business Council comprises general managers and associates from across all brands and business functions in specific markets or regions globally. These councils address common challenges collectively for a stronger impact—whether supporting the community throughout the year or after a disaster, hosting events, lobbying on issues affecting the hotel business, saving costs, generating revenue, or engaging associates in important causes. The Business Council is known to uphold Marriott's culture, strengthen communities, advocate for Marriott's business interests, and lead cross-brand, market-driven initiatives. These groups hold quarterly meetings and engage in various events and activities throughout the year. Prior to his tenure at The Westin Doha, Imanov was the general manager at Courtyard by Marriott St. Petersburg. He also worked at JW Marriott, Marriott, and Renaissance of Marriott brands in different countries. Previously he served as Marriott's rooms' operations advisory board member for Eastern Europe.
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Syed Zulfiqar Ali heads Hyatt Regency Ludhiana as its new General Manager
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  • Article tag: Asia
Syed Zulfiqar Ali heads Hyatt Regency Ludhiana as its new General Manager
Hyatt Regency Ludhiana announces the appointment of Syed Zulfiqar Ali as its new General Manager, effective May 16, 2024. Zulfiqar’s impressive career journey of 22 years includes leadership roles at esteemed properties such as Courtyard by Marriott SBR Ahmedabad, Four Points by Sheraton Srinagar, Fairfield by Marriott Indore, and Westin Pune, where he garnered recognition for his dedication to excellence and guest satisfaction. Notably, he was awarded Best Housekeeping Leader of the Year in 2014 and Best Director of Rooms in 2016 and 2017 by BW Hotelier for showcasing his commitment to delivering exceptional service standards. Under his leadership, Courtyard by Marriott Ahmedabad SBR secured reputable ranks in South Asia, driving profitability for stakeholders and the brand. Zulfiqar’s tenure was marked by an overall growth in the hotel’s operations. He achieved the highest guest voice growth Year over Year for 2023 in South Asia Marriott International. Zulfiqar’s career also reflects his passion for sustainability and community engagement. At Courtyard by Marriott Ahmedabad SBR, his leadership achieved the highest water recycling rate in the APEC region, emphasizing environmental stewardship. He implemented energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste management measures while supporting local businesses and establishing sustainable practices. “I am deeply honored to join Hyatt Regency Ludhiana, a brand synonymous with excellence and innovation in the hospitality industry,” said Syed Zulfiqar Ali, the newly appointed General Manager. “I am committed to building upon the hotel’s legacy of exceptional service and guest satisfaction, and I look forward to working closely with the talented team to achieve new heights of success.”
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Hotel Co 51 Appoints Wayne Androliakos as New CEO
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  • Article tag: Europe
Hotel Co 51 Appoints Wayne Androliakos as New CEO
Hotel Co 51 is promoting experienced hospitality professional Wayne Androliakos as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Wayne Androliakos took over the CEO reins on 1 June, succeeding Tobias Linder who stays within the Vastint Group as the new Head of Asset Management for Vastint Holding B.V. With over 25 years of hands-on hospitality expertise, Wayne brings his track record of building high-performing teams to the top role. Since joining Hotel Co 51 as UK Regional Director of Operations in summer 2022, Wayne has demonstrated his commitment to driving guest satisfaction by boosting feedback ratings across the 17 Marriott-branded properties in the UK region. This includes increasing food and beverage scores by 18.1%, intent to recommend by 14.4% and staff service by 12.7%. Prior to joining Hotel Co 51, Wayne led the global operations for Generator and Freehand Hotels, and spent 14 years with Cycas Hospitality, where he played a strategic role in the group’s European expansion. Having progressed from General Manager of Cycas’s first hotel to Chief Operating Officer for its European portfolio, Wayne is passionate about developing talent from within. Announcing the appointment, Tobias said: “Hospitality is all about human connections, and Wayne’s ability to create happy teams that deliver exceptional service shines through his leadership approach. I’m delighted that Wayne has agreed to take on his new role and consolidate Hotel Co 51’s position as one of Europe’s most successful hotel operators.” Reinforcing Hotel Co 51’s sustainable credentials, under Wayne’s stewardship the company is on target to secure Green Key certification across each of its European hotels by the end of 2024. Speaking of his focus on delivering sustainable hospitality with purpose, Wayne said: “Since joining Hotel Co 51 in 2022 I’ve been struck by the company’s genuine commitment to putting people and the planet first, and it’s an honor to become CEO of a company with such strong cultural values. “The Green Key process is an important step as we continue identifying new ways for us to break new ground in hospitality and ensure our hotels have a positive impact on our employees, guests and communities. I’m looking forward to harnessing my experience of working across multiple international brands, accommodation styles, cultures and markets to enhance Hotel Co 51’s reputation as an employer of choice as we focus on training and retention programs that help our people grow.”
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Aurélie Chiaffi has been appointed Spa Director at The Westin Bora Bora Resort & Spa
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  • Article tag: Asia–Pacific
Aurélie Chiaffi has been appointed Spa Director at The Westin Bora Bora Resort & Spa
The Westin Bora Bora Resort & Spa, a premier resort opening this Summer 2024 in Bora Bora, today announced the appointment of Aurélie Chiaffi as Spa Director, overseeing both The Westin Bora Bora Resort & Spa and The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. With over a decade of experience in hotel spas across French Polynesia, Aurélie Chiaffi brings a wealth of expertise and passion to her new role and will curate an array of treatments inspired by local Polynesian wellness traditions and modalities for the resort's soon-to-open Heavenly Spa Bora Bora. Aurélie Chiaffi joins the Westin Bora Bora Resort & Spa team from The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, where she held the position of Spa Director for eight years. Prior to working at The St. Regis, Aurélie Chiaffi was the Assistant Spa Manager and Beauty Therapist at Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa at The Brando in Tahiti. Her additional experience includes serving as Spa Supervisor at The St. Regis Bora Bora, where she acquired deep knowledge of traditional wellness practices and local products that are natural and organic. Under Aurélie Chiaffi's oversight, The Heavenly Spa will feature treatments inspired by the local wellness traditions of the Polynesian people and natural surroundings, as well as Asian-inspired and holistic treatments focusing on harmonizing mind and body wellness. The majority of the products used at the spa will be natural and organic, with locally sourced ingredients. Aurélie Chiaffi has selected Phytoceane, a brand rooted in the benefits of natural resources, as the spa's primary facial care partner. The brand offers pure, effective ingredients for well-being treatments that combine expert skincare, sensory delights, and a total sense of escape, aligning perfectly with the spa's ethos. Aurélie Chiaffi's passion for wellness stems from her global travels, particularly during her backpacking trips in Asia, where she learned about the importance of body and mind wellbeing, meditation, and various types of massage from the local people. Outside of work, Aurélie Chiaffi enjoys cooking and exploring dishes from different cultures. She values eating well because it is essential for restoring the body and mind.
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The Iconic JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu Appoints Chef Sanket Sunil Satare As The New Executive Sous Chef
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  • Article tag: Asia
The Iconic JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu Appoints Chef Sanket Sunil Satare As The New Executive Sous Chef
JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, Mumbai’s iconic 5-star luxury hotel is pleased to announce the appointment of Sanket Sunil Satare as the New Executive Sous Chef. A skilled leader with over 15 years of experience, Chef Sanket brings with him a dynamic perspective of flair, panache and innovative cooking techniques to JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu.   Chef Sanket gained a wealth of experience in some of the finest hotels across the country. After his last role at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, Chef Sanket is set to bring his passion, knowledge and creative flair to his new role setting an all-new standard in the culinary industry. His exceptional organizational skills along with his confidence to take up roles and challenges have laid a strong foundation for his guests and team members.  As the new Executive Sous Chef at JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, Chef Sanket will build upon the hotel’s prestige and ensure elevated gastronomic experiences for the guests. Additionally, he will manage and train his team members, curate menus, oversee operations, maintain quality culinary and food service standards and assist in inventory control. His excellence in the hospitality industry will further facilitate the hotels commitment and efforts towards extending world class dining offerings to their patrons, and consequently enriching guest experiences.
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Stuart Procter has been announced as the new CEO of The Beaumont
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  • Article tag: Europe
Stuart Procter has been announced as the new CEO of The Beaumont
We are delighted to announce that Stuart Procter has been announced as the new CEO of The Beaumont at an exciting time in the hotel’s history, having just completed a multi-million pound refurbishment and the addition of 29 new rooms and suites, as well as two private dining rooms. The seasoned and highly experienced, award-winning hotelier brings unrelenting passion for our industry, a wealth of experience and an abiding love of service. He is also very much involved in a variety of social responsibility and charity projects. Stuart works tirelessly to encourage, motivate and mentor young people to succeed in a career within the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry, and works with Hospitality Action, the Hospitality Industry Benevolent Organisation, which offers vital assistance to all who work or have worked within the hospitality sector in the UK and who find themselves in crisis. He is also Vice-President of DEBRA UK, a national charity that supports people living with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), their relatives, partners and carers, and has been instrumental in raising awareness and funds to support the EB community. Commenting on his appointment, Stuart said, "I am delighted to be joining the team at The Beaumont and look forward to building our focus around creating unique guest experiences, rooted in the very best of British hospitality.” We could not be more thrilled.
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Rufat Babayev has been appointed as the Area Vice President for Hyatt hotels in Türkiye
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  • Article tag: Asia
Rufat Babayev has been appointed as the Area Vice President for Hyatt hotels in Türkiye
Rufat Babayev began his career 29 years ago at Hyatt Regency Baku. In 2005, he took on a role at Hyatt Regency Warsaw, and then transferred to Hyatt Regency Kiev in 2012. After working at Hyatt's headquarters in Chicago in 2014, he was appointed as General Manager of Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki in 2015. Since 2019, Babayev has been the General Manager of Grand Hyatt Istanbul, where he has made significant contributions to strengthening the hotel's position in the industry and maximizing guest satisfaction. In his new role, Rufat Babayev will be responsible for the strategic management of Hyatt hotels in Türkiye. With his extensive knowledge and vast experience in the industry, he will continue to contribute to the success of Hyatt hotels in Türkiye and play a role in the growth of the Hyatt family in the region. Babayev will once again reinforce the Hyatt family's commitment to providing exceptional service to its guests.
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