1-How do you conciliate between your duties as A. GM of Lancaster Plaza Beirut and Lancaster Hotel Raouche?
As you know Lancaster Hotel and Lancaster Plaza are a walking distance from each other and accordingly I manage them as complex rather than two different entities. Having a complex of 4 star superior rooms with 5 star luxurious ones will make it an added value and appealing destination for both, 4 and 5 star clientele seeking Raouche area.
2- A word about Lancaster Plaza Beirut. Location. Grading. Number of rooms and suites. Facilities offered to guests.2017 promotions and packages to attract a greater number of guests and Restaurants.
Lancaster Plaza Beirut is a five star luxurious hotel in one’s of Beirut prime locations: Raouche, overlooking the Mediterranean seacoast. The 151 spacious rooms and suites at Lancaster Plaza are all Sea View with modern facilities and venues. In addition we have 4 different F&B outlets that cater all tastes: “Daoud Basha” the famous Lebanese restaurant with the star Marwan Chami, “Fume bar” a panoramic restaurant on the 19th floor serving international food and Sushi menu with a relaxing seaview terrace, “Prime 18” a fine dining restaurant on the 18th floor, and “Lancs” the seasonal rooftop pool and bar. We have 3 fully equipped meetings rooms (Edward, Henry and Catherine) with a very high tech facilities that satisfy all business needs.
Lancaster Plaza is also a great venue for Wedding ceremonies: Orabel and La Rose are two luxurious ballrooms that fits up to 300 guests; they offer high quality entertainment and state-of-the-art lighting and sound system.
There is “La Foglia” a Health club and Spa where an amazing experience inspired by the 4 element (Air, Water, Fire, and Earth) is the perfect opportunity to unwind using the different amenities: a steam room, Sauna, Jaccuzzi, and heated indoor pool.
At Lancaster Plaza we regularly have attractive packages and promotions. Our accommodation package includes complimentary beach access with arranged transportation during summer and Complimentary Round trip visit to Faraya Mzaar Ski slopes during winter. Here to note that all guests staying at Lancaster Hotels and Suites are entitled for free airport pick up and drop off 24/7. We also have continuous attractive packages on our wedding venues and F&B outlets.
3- A word about Lancaster Hotel Raouche, Location. Number of rooms and suites. Facilities offered to guests.
Lancaster Hotel is a four star superior hotel with 100 rooms and suites featuring “Le Monde” the hotel main restaurant where Guest could enjoy a rich breakfast buffet in addition to lunch and dinner, “Dweik” is a shisha lounge with traditional Lebanese menu, plat du jour and refreshments, “Alfred’s’’ the ideal bar to enjoy cocktails in an English atmosphere and ambiance and finally “Forbes” a meeting facility available to satisfy all business needs. A fitness zone for guests staying at Lancaster Raouche.
4- How do you rate these institutions on a local level, and as compared to similar hotels in the Arab Region, mainly Dubai, what they miss what additions do they need?
Lancaster Hotel and Suites is the only local hotel chain available in Lebanon; competing with several 4 and 5 star international hotel chains. Our Hotels’ prime location, modern and luxury product, and genuine service lead us to become one of the leading hotels in the market. In comparison with the Hotels in Arab region, I believe we are surely an added value to the hospitality in Arab region specially that we, as Lebanese, have always been renowned for our outstanding hospitality skills.
5- Is your hotel a part of the International chain of Lancaster Hotels. And if so what kind of cooperation exists between Lancaster Beirut and the Mother Company? Means of cooperation if any?
Till this moment, Lancaster Hotels and Suites are constituted of 4 four properties located in Lebanon. We are continuously receiving proposals for management and franchise agreements in Lebanon and the Middle East. We are also looking forward to have certain agreement / merge with Lancaster Hotels worldwide which will definitely be a great move for Lancaster Hotels and Suites.
6- How much the Lancaster management updates itself and its staff (through workshops, training sessions) to face competition and ensure its continuity in the Lebanese touristic market?
We are always cautious to ensure that our management team’s presence in most of the important workshops, seminars and hospitality exhibitions that take place locally and internationally (ATM, WTM, Horeca, wedding exhibitions, etc…). We believe that such occasions are of great value for both team members and Lancaster Hotels and Suites. It is an opportunity for them to keep learning and remain aware of new trends and gain great exposure.
7- Marketing and advertising strategies. Your hotel’s place on touristic online sites such as Trip Advisor, Bookings.Com and Trivago?
The hotel industry has witnessed enormous growth in the past period and the credit for this achievement goes to the effective online marketing business. I doubt to find any hotel business nowadays operating without online bookings/reservations or not existing on tripadvisor and booking .com. We at Lancaster believe that online reservations have become a norm that requires us to greatly invest to have excellent coverage and unique presence in all online booking / advertising channel. The same applies for tripadvisor that turned to be the traveler first site to visit and get feedback before staying in a hotel or dining in a restaurant.
8- Your personal strategy to increase the booking rate in the hotel? How much this rate was negatively affected with the prevailing security and economic conditions in Lebanon?
Tourism and Security supplement each other and it’s always challenging to have a prosperous touristic sector with unstable security conditions. This economical and security conditions will definitely lead to price reduction where the supply becomes much more than the demand unlike the previous years when you had to book long time prior to arrival. We at Lancaster Plaza are avoiding the price war strategy where we always study our rates in a way that keep providing guests with good value of money paid against a great 5 star service.
9- Promotions and packages you offer to businessmen and businesswomen and corporate business sectors to incite them on organizing their conferences, meetings, workshops, and seminars in your hotel?
At Lancaster Plaza we have 3 meeting rooms providing the business and corporate sector with a high tech meeting facilities that cater all their needs. In addition we have one daylight sea view meeting room on the 20th floor with sea view terrace for coffee breaks. Our 2 luxurious ballroom would be the best choice for big workshops and seminar; they can fit up to 300 guests.
10- Relations with the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism? The requests you would like to address to the new Lebanese minister of Tourism.
We have very good relationship with the ministry of tourism that is working hard to support and enhance the hospitality business despite the difficult period we are passing through in Lebanon. I will also seize the opportunity to thank the minister of tourism Mr. Avedis Guidanian and the General Director Mrs. Nada Sardouk for giving us the chance to host their launching of Phoenician route at Lancaster Plaza. We were so delightful to hear the wonderful feedback from his Excellency after his first visit to Lancaster Plaza. All we need from the ministry of tourism is to help attract new destinations as our Lebanese tourism used to be mainly depending on the gulf region which is now slow due to several economical and political reasons. Approaching new virgin markets in Asia and Europe will definitely help boost the sector as well.
11- Willingness to participate in local touristic exhibitions and events?
Despite the few touristic exhibitions that are taking place in Lebanon, we believe that our presence and participation is mandatory, as we are convinced of their importance. We hope those exhibitions will increase in the upcoming period; especially that now there is a new minister of tourism who showed great willingness to develop this sector and make it prosperous again.
12- Any intention you might have to participate in international touristic exhibitions and forums like the WTM and ATM?
Lancaster Hotels and Suites are regularly present in ATM, WTM and other international exhibitions where we believe that those touristic exposure are very important for us in a time we in Lebanon have missed the opportunity of hosting these events.