Ritz-Carlton: Sheer excellence

Allison De Pattenden, Middle East Director of Public Relations for the Ritz-Carlton hotels spoke to TTN about the group's presence in the region and the Ritz-Carlton Doha in particular.
The Admirals' Club at the Ritz-Carlton, Doha.

Q. How long has the Ritz Carlton brand been present in the region?

A. Almost four and a half years.

Q. Which are the group's major hotels in the region?

A. The first of our hotels in the Middle East was The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai which opened in September 1998.

This has since been followed by The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh in December 1999, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul which both opened in October 2001 and most recently The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain in January 2003.

Q. Any plans of expansion in the region? If so where are you looking at?

A. Yes, several, though we are unable to name them at present. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company never discloses projects under negotiation until they reach the point of a signed agreement. We look forward to future announcements!

Q What according to you is unique about the product you offer? How

different is it from the competition?

A. All guests of Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide have come to expect the same level of service in all of our hotels, no matter which destination.

It is this level of service and commitment to quality from our ladies and gentlemen that our business travellers and regular guests recognise.

The one thing that clearly defines a Ritz-Carlton is the philosophy of the company as embraced and energised by all of it's employees. Without the implementation of our Gold Standards, no physical hotel building could qualify as a Ritz-Carlton.

Q. Do you think the amenities provided in the region are comparable with the rest of the world?

A. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is known worldwide for its commitment to service excellence.

In a rapidly developing hospitality industry in the region, the refinement of luxury properties has become an expectation by today's travellers. There is no question that Ritz-Carlton Hotels, all over the world, has set new standards for its competitors to follow and will continue to do so. The opportunity to come to the destinations that we have in the Middle East and be part of a region of substantial growth within our company is a unique and exciting challenge.

The region is on the brink of becoming one of the world's foremost leisure and business destinations, and we feel privileged to play a part in this development.

Q. Could you list the special facilities provided by you hotels for both business and leisure visitors?

A. We have some of the finest physical structures in the world as our hotels are beautifully appointed in their location and design.

Facilities are second to none for both business and leisure travellers alike and cannot be understated in their value.

It is however the animation of the physical property that brings a hotel to life, and makes it a Ritz-Carlton.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. was founded on principles of groundbreaking levels of customer service. The essence of this philosophy was refined into a set of core values collectively called The Gold Standards: The Credo, The Three Steps of Service, The Motto, The Twenty Basics and The Employee Promise.

The Gold Standards are introduced at intensive orientation for new employees. Thereafter, the concepts are reinforced in daily departmental "line-ups" attended by all employees. Daily topics for line-up discussions are issued by the company's Atlanta headquarters to Ritz-Carlton Hotels worldwide. The Gold Standards provide the basis for all ongoing employee training; The Ritz-Carlton is an industry leader in providing 120 hours of training per employee per year.

From the Far East, to The Middle East and on to Europe and the Americas, the company philosophy and commitment to quality remains the same.