Guillaume Ferraz, managing director of the Sunset Hospitality Group Daylife division, oversees the group’s beachfront and pool experiences. He brings two decades of experience to the role, spanning beach club and restaurant operations, overall team management and leadership, as well as strategic and commercial execution. Here, he discusses SHG’s day-life destinations and reflects on his career path
What have been the highlights of your professional experience?
I began my career at Nikki Beach Marbella in 2002 and worked my way up from a junior role to beach manager and assistant GM. It was there that I cultivated my passion for the hospitality industry which offered me plenty of opportunities to live and work in the most luxurious destinations worldwide.
In 2016, I joined Sunset Hospitality Group as operations manager, and a year after, I was promoted to general manager at DRIFT Beach Dubai located in One & Only Royal Mirage, leading an extensive team and handling all aspects of operations for four-and-a-half years. DRIFT is one of the UAE’s most recognized beachfront destinations and has won several prestigious awards, continuing to exceed performance and revenue expectations.
The industry has allowed me to combine work and passion, and I am now the managing director for the Sunset Hospitality Group Daylife Division, where I oversee all the group’s beachfront and pool experiences.
What differentiates Sunset Hospitality Group’s daytime destinations from its other venues?
Sunset Hospitality Daylife prides itself on crafting unique and immersive experiences that blend relaxation, luxury and entertainment. Unlike our other divisions, which primarily cater to evening and indoor experiences, Daylife takes full advantage of Dubai’s amazing weather and picturesque coastline to create an unparalleled daytime experience.
Each Daylife venue is strategically situated along Dubai’s beautiful coastline, providing guests with captivating views of the Arabian Gulf.
The group places immense emphasis on curating experiences that cater to a diverse range of preferences. Whether guests seek a serene escape by the pool, energetic beach parties or family-friendly activities, there is something for everyone.
Another key focus is infusing entertainment options that elevate the experience. Live music, DJ performances, themed parties and interactive events keep the energy high and the excitement constant.
Just as in our dining division, culinary excellence is a hallmark of Sunset Hospitality’s Daylife offerings.
All of our Daylife destinations are known for their stylish and contemporary designs that fuse modern aesthetics with comfort and functionality. The venues’ architecture and decor enhance the overall atmosphere and contribute to the uniqueness of each experience.
The thoughtful combination of stunning locations, curated experiences, entertainment variety and unwavering service excellence creates an atmosphere that resonates with a wide range of individuals seeking an upscale and immersive daytime experience on Dubai’s iconic coastline.
How is technology impacting guest experiences and how are you catering to the new traveler?
In today’s rapidly evolving hospitality landscape, technology plays a pivotal role in shaping guest experiences. At Sunset Hospitality, we recognize the profound impact of technology and have embraced innovative solutions to cater to the needs of the new-age traveler.
We understand that travelers seek convenience and personalization. Through advanced booking platforms and mobile apps, guests can effortlessly reserve their experiences, customize their preferences and even pre-select their favorite spots at our Daylife destinations. This ensures a seamless and tailored experience right from the start.
In response to the evolving travel landscape, we’ve integrated contactless technologies to enhance safety and comfort. From touchless check-in to digital menus and contactless payments, guests can enjoy a worry-free experience while minimizing physical interactions.
Virtual reality and augmented reality have broadened the horizon for immersive experiences. Through these technologies, some of our locations, such as Aura Skypool, are offering virtual tours, giving potential visitors a taste of what awaits them, and those unable to visit, the opportunity to experience it virtually.
By harnessing data analytics, we gain valuable insights into guest preferences and behaviors. This allows us to continually refine and enhance our offerings, ensuring that each experience is better than the last.
In catering to the new traveler, we’ve adopted a forward-thinking approach that continues to redefine the standard of excellence in the hospitality industry, ensuring that our Daylife destinations remain at the forefront of the ever-evolving traveler’s expectations.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Sunset Hospitality Group has an exciting array of new projects on the horizon.
Some recent openings include our beloved Ammos in the iconic Ushuaia Ibiza, as well as Azure in Marbella. Building on the success of these and other brands, we have also secured new locations for Ammos, Azure and RAISE Fitness in Qatar, with the aim of offering guests the same captivating experience they’ve come to love.
We’re further thrilled to announce the opening of a second beach club in Turkey and a new Folie beach club in Morocco. These new ventures will encapsulate the unique charm of their new locations while embodying the distinctive luxury and relaxation that Sunset Hospitality is known for.
Another exciting development is Sunset Hospitality’s expansion into Asia, with imminent openings of Attiko and Folie planned for Bali, as well as locations for another Attiko and Azure confirmed for vibrant Vietnam.