Ameen Al Darawsheh, Director Sales and Marketing at THE TORCH HOTEL Qatar sheds light on various distinctive and innovative services at the hotel combined with a motivated long serving staff that merge together in providing a unique Customer Experience.
Q: THE TORCH DOHA won the award for ‘Best Performing 5-star Luxury Hotel in Qatar 2014.’ What factors enabled you to achieve this benchmark?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: It is a simple practice. We continue offering our guests extended, personalized service and invest in our associates to represent THE TORCH DOHA at its best. The operating team enjoys a high level of stability with more than 190 employees and top management serving our guests for the last five years.
Q: What Customer Service essentials make “THE TORCH DOHA” distinct from other 5 star hotels in the vicinity?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: We provide a unique experience to all our guests. By meeting their needs and maximizing overall Customer Satisfaction, the hotel offers distinct facilities starting from in-room check-in, to iPad room solution, the only revolving restaurant in Qatar and the most exciting experience of swimming in our cantilevered swimming pool. For guests who love shopping, the hotel is conveniently connected to one of Qatar’s largest mall – Villagio through an air-conditioned walkway.
Q: What Customer Service Protocols are in place for guests arriving at the hotel premises?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: Our royal furnished VIP lounge is occasionally used to welcome guests. Local welcome drinks and wet towels are provided upon arrival. Pre-check-ins, escorting guests to their rooms, follow up calls during their stay are all followed by post checkout messages and questionnaire for Customer feedback. We also offer Loyalty rewards such as complimentary upgrades and mouthwatering amenities.
Q: Please tell us about THE TORCH DOHA’s unique architecture and how it enhances Customer Experience?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: Situated at a height of 300m, with 360° panoramic views across Doha, the hotel is the result of comprehensive architectural, engineering and technical design, shaped to represent a colossal torch which for the duration of the 15th Asian Games in 2006, held its symbolic flame, the highest flame in the history of the games.
THE TORCH DOHA holds the Guinness World Record for the’ highest torch holder in the world,’ and the highest tower in Qatar. The hotel’s iconic silhouette with its kinetic light display at night is standing high against the Doha skyline. The hotel’s unique structure and modern interior design are captivating for high-end travelers.
Q: In what ways has THE TORCH DOHA incorporated innovative technologies in facilitating and enhancing Customer Experience?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: The hotel has created a mobile application called “THE TORCH DOHA” which allows users to book rooms, reserve tables, check menus and see special offers at the hotel. As a pioneer in the luxury hospitality sector, the hotel provides its guests an easy multifunctional application with rich content where travelers and customers can access a wide range of services and information wherever they are and whenever they wish. The application provides easy access to all hotel facilities and is considered the first application for a luxurious 5-star local hotel in Qatar.
Rooms and suites are equipped with iPad based In-Room Solution which offers guests customized in-room control. All rooms feature mood lighting system in 12 different colours, Interactive LED TVs and complimentary WiFi. Meeting rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology including built in LCD projectors, high speed internet to support real-time video conferencing and smart TVs.
Additionally, we have recently installed Braille code on elevators, restaurant menus and handicapped rooms for visually impaired guests.
Q: What sort of Customer Service trainings do you conduct for your staff and how often?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: In-house trainings are conducted on a regular basis with an average training taking place every two months for all staff. External trainings are also supported if required, to improve and develop staff skills.
Q: What kind of online Customer Support do you offer to address online queries and reservations?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: Our recently launched mobile application is considered to be the first of its kind for a luxurious 5-star local hotel in Qatar, it provides easy access to all hotel facilities and promotions. Furthermore, we actively engage in social media channel reviews and communication to respond to guest queries.
Q: Please share some details about the famed revolving restaurant at THE TORCH DOHA?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: Three Sixty is Doha’s only revolving restaurant located on the 47th floor, 240m above ground, offering panoramic views across the city. A must-see while in Qatar that offers delicious cuisine, chef’s signature dishes, live entertainment and a breathtaking panoramic view. The restaurant tables follow the curves around the outside glass window, so every guest can enjoy a full panoramic view in 90 minutes. The restaurant features either a 23 or 45 or 90-minute rotation setup. The 90-minute setup is mostly used in every day operation. Fashioned to the finest standards, the revolving restaurant has two smoking lounges and a reception area. The furniture mixes shades of olive, brown and burgundy leather cladded pillars.
Q: What kind of loyalty programs and special offers do you have for returning customers?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: Guests can enjoy special offers at THE TORCH DOHA through ‘The Leaders Club’, a membership program offered by ‘The Leading Hotels of the World,’ with a collection of more than 375 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. The program provides exciting benefit for Leaders Club members, enabling them to earn complimentary nights at any of the Leading Hotels affiliated with the program. It is comprised largely of independent high-end hotels. It’s categorized in two divisions: Leaders Club Access and Leaders Club Unlimited which has different benefits.
Q: What are some perks hotel guests can look forward to on their birthdays or anniversaries while staying at THE TORCH DOHA?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: Birthday and anniversary setups are arranged upon request. Setups can be arranged in rooms, restaurant or a skyline dinner. Skyline dinner is private, with a view of the skyline, a personal butler to assist the guests and flower petals either scattered on the floor or formed as words for a more personalized touch.
Q: What developments are in the works to enhance and elevate Customer Experience in the future?
Ameen Al Darawsheh: The hotel is currently in process of extending the property by building a new ballroom. It is projected to be ready by the end of 2017 and will add unique value for event and wedding organizers even during the summer due to its proximity to local living areas.
About Ameen Al Darawsheh
Ameen Al Darawsheh has more than 17 years of experience in the hotel industry between hotel operation, conventional sales, and marketing. Currently he is the Director of Sales and Marketing at THE TORCH DOHA since August 2013. Prior to joining THE TORCH DOHA, Ameen held various positions with Starwood Hotels & Resort (Jordan, Qatar & UAE) for 14 years and holds a degree in Hotel Management.