The importance of culinary experiences at hotels with Karim Abdelhamid

The importance of culinary experiences at hotels with Karim Abdelhamid

Karim Abdelhamid _General Manager_Sofitel Al Hamra Beach Resort

Karim Abdelhamid, GM of Sofitel Al Hamra Beach Resort, is a passionate hotelier who has honed his skills in diverse roles across prestigious international luxury brands. In this exclusive interview, he explains the importance of F&B in hotels.

What have been the highlights of your journey with Sofitel?

Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of luxury brands in diverse destinations, which has been immensely rewarding. Transitioning from these experiences, I am beyond excited to launch the stunning Sofitel Al Hamra Beach Resort in RAK.

With your extensive background in F&B operations, how do you intend to elevate the culinary experiences at Sofitel Al Hamra Beach Resort?

I plan to enhance our food and beverage services by prioritizing innovative and sustainable practices, exceptional quality, personalized attention and authenticity. This entails selecting the best talents in the market and collaborating with chefs to create menus that showcase local ingredients. Furthermore, we’ll incorporate global trends to offer our guests a diverse and memorable experience.

You’ve overseen Michelin-star venues and executed banquets in large convention centers. How relevant is the F&B component in a hotel?

From my experience, exceptional food and beverage services not only satisfy culinary expectations but also set the stage for memorable events and stays, directly influencing guest satisfaction and repeat business. These operations require meticulous attention to detail, innovative menu planning and impeccable service standards. By consistently exceeding these standards, we enhance our brand’s prestige. This creates a compelling reason for guests to choose our hotel over competitors.

What challenges do you anticipate facing in your new role?

One key challenge that is often faced is talent acquisition and retention. However, with proactive measures and leveraging resources from Sofitel and Accor, I’m excited to lead the team at Sofitel Al Hamra. We commit to setting new standards in guest experiences and fostering a positive work environment to promote our team’s growth.

What are your plans for the property?

As the GM of the new Sofitel Al Hamra, my plans are focused on enhancing our guest experience and operational excellence. Moreover, we aim to integrate more sustainable practices across all aspects of our operations, from energy-efficient technologies to locally sourced dining options. Furthermore, prioritizing our staff’s professional development ensures their motivation and skillfulness in delivering exceptional service to our guests consistently. Finally, we are committed to maintaining open communication channels with our guests to continually improve their experience. Furthermore, we are exploring strategic partnerships to expand our brand presence and offer unique travel experiences.


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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