INTERVIEW

In Focus: JW Marriott

3 months ago by

In an interview with CustomerService.ae, the General Manager for JW Marriott Muscat, Giuseppe Ressa speaks about the focus on extraordinary guest experiences and ensuring guests feel nurtured with a deep sense of well-being. He also highlights the hotel’s emphasis on continuous staff training and the use of innovative technology to create unique experiences.

In Focus: JW Marriott

Q: In your opinion, what sets the JW Marriott Muscat apart from other international hotels?

Giuseppe: The list of what sets us apart is infinite, but let me narrow it down to the following:

  • Property strategic location to the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre which is directly connected, in close proximity to the airport and several world-class golf courses.
  • One of the largest ballrooms in Muscat, Pillar free, seats up to 500 people.
  • One of the largest hotels in Muscat, with 304 rooms & suites. With spacious rooms and suites starting at 40 square meter.
  • Various categories of rooms & suites (6 Categories).
  • More than 7 different restaurants, bars and lounges with international cuisine where the main restaurant Kitchen 7 and Pink Salt are overlooking the breathtaking views of botanical gardens. Kitchen 7 is encircled with floor to ceiling, wall to wall, glass windows.
  • 24 hour health center featuring state of the art fitness center, 3 outdoor pools, sauna, steam rooms, Jacuzzi, tennis courts and multi-purpose court. The fitness center is flooded with natural daylight as it overlooks the pool. The center features over 20 pieces of equipment including a combination of cardio machines and free weights.
  • Breathtaking views from all rooms and suites of the soothing botanical gardens.
  • The availability of meeting rooms with daylight and outdoor venues to create unforgettable events.
  • The JW brand caters to those seeking approachable luxury, JW Marriott is the world-class hotel that doesn’t use excess to create elegance. Expertly orchestrating an environment that is free of distraction, pretense and show, we help guests maintain balance, allowing them to pursue their ultimate luxury: the freedom to focus on what matters most to them.
  • Offering simple, well-defined, signature treatments at the spa that are organized by four distinct benefits (renewal, calmness, invigoration, indulgence).

Q: Tell us about the customer journey at JW Marriott Muscat from the moment guests enter till they check-out. How do you take care of them and ensure they get great customer service?

Giuseppe: I would like to start by highlighting one of the key factors to guest satisfaction is “The JW Treatment,” where “true luxury is created by people who love what they do,’ and this is exactly what the associates at our property are committed to deliver.  As J.W. Marriott believed, “treating guests exceptionally starts with the way we treat each other”.

On the other hand, every JW Marriott property is unique in its own way. We approach the guest experience with a curated sensibility designed to mirror the passions and interests of The Accomplished travelers and guests. Our guests expect intuitive service and seek out opportunities to delve deeper into the stories beneath the surface. JW delivers on its promise of “approachable luxury” by creating beautiful spaces which promote interaction and connection between people in search of a meaningful experience catered by the entire team at the JW Marriott Muscat.

Lastly, at the JW Marriott Muscat, we foster to deliver intuitive personal service in an authentic and crafted environment. JW public space connects us with our guests in a simple and thoughtful manner.  Every aspect of the design is service-oriented, promoting ease of interaction with an invitation to engage that is compelling and personal. We break down the barriers between “front of house” and “back of house” to put our process on show in an authentic experience.

Q: In your opinion, what is the best way to gather feedback from guests staying at your hotel?

Giuseppe: Connecting with guests and actively listening is the key.

Q: What steps do you take to make sure you offer a memorable experience to your guests and keep them coming back?

Giuseppe: I strongly believe that the JW brand core values that inspire everything we do is what keep our guests coming back, they include:

  • Creating an authentic sense of place, allowing our guests to immerse themselves and be enriched by culturally genuine experiences.
  • Creating a guest experience that is grounded in craftsmanship and the art of detail. Our service and design are seamlessly integrated, leaving our guests inspired.
  • Everything is poised and ready to meet guest needs. Our design is thoughtful, and our service is attentive and adaptive, never overbearing or intrusive, so that our guests can always be at ease.
  • Making our guests feel comfortable and free to be themselves.

Q: How often do you conduct trainings for your frontline staff and what are the key soft skills that you focus on?

Giuseppe: JW associates orchestrate the exceptional in every aspect of the guest experience so that our guests can indulge in what they consider to be the ultimate luxury in a lifetime to think and the freedom to focus. In order to achieve this, our associates are on ongoing trainings covering all aspects to be able to deliver. We create tools and resources to identify, develop and engage best-in-class JW associates.

Q: How have guest expectations changed over the years and have you seen any difference according to the region?

Giuseppe: The Millennial generation value experiences over stuff. They seek to collect unique experiences unlike the way many Baby Boomers tend to collect stuff such as rare coins, stamps, key cards etc. The importance of creating unique experiences has always been the key focus while now a days providing highly shareable social media content and trackable word of mouth has evolved. As a result, Marriott Bonvoy Moments allows members to use their points for exclusive access to unforgettable experiences they will love. The goal of this program is to curate extraordinary experiences to engage and strengthen a member’s connection with Marriott’s family of brands.

Q: What is your hotel’s brand philosophy when it comes to Customer Happiness?

Giuseppe: Regarding customer happiness and satisfaction our focus is inspired by our namesake, JW Marriott associates welcome guests unconditionally with genuine warmth and service that is thoughtful and intuitive. Together they enable guests to be fully present, foster meaningful connections and leave feeling nurtured with a deep sense of well-being.

Q: How are you using technology to further enhance the guest experience at The JW Marriott Muscat?

Giuseppe: The importance of technology, mobiles and smartphones in our daily lives has grown aggressively in the region and we have catered to guests needs by offering:

  • Mobile check in & out.
  • Mobile key: Allows Marriott Bonvoy loyalty members to use their smartphone as a room key to access guest rooms and common areas (e.g., fitness center, pool, business center).

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your online customer support process and is this available 24/7?

Giuseppe: Online customer support is available around the clock which enables powerful search & filtering quickly to allocate the right property that meet our customer’s specific needs. Use the map view to filter and display properties by room count, meeting space, brand and more.

Q: What are your plans to ensure a luxurious Customer Service Experience in the future?

Giuseppe: Not only do we cultivate enriching experiences that deepen and shape our guests’ passion-filled journeys through life. But we also choreograph an authentic, inspiring and comfortable environment with warm, intuitive service that allows our guests to leave richer than when they arrived.

About Giuseppe Ressa

Giuseppe was born in a southern city of Italy called Bari where he studied Hotel Management. He began his career as Chef from the age of 18 where he joined the Hilton in Stratford upon Avon in the UK. During his career as a Chef he worked in Switzerland, France, in a star Michelin as sous chef de cuisine, and Venezuela where he moved to Food and Beverage Management. He worked in Taiwan, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam and became General Manager at the Sheraton Moorea in French Polynesia 15 years ago. Since then he managed hotels in Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia and Jordan prior taking over the Grand Hills Broumana in 2014. As a true Italian, he has a passion for soccer, besides loving golfing with friends and martial art, holder of a black belt in Taekwondo.