Optimizing guest experiences through innovation with Mikel Ibrahim, GM of Mondrian Doha

Optimizing guest experiences through innovation with Mikel Ibrahim, GM of Mondrian Doha

Mikel Ibrahim GM of Mondrian Doha

Mikel Ibrahim, general manager of Mondrian Doha, has spent more than two decades in the industry, honing his unique style within some of the most iconic properties in the Middle East. Here, we find out how he is setting new standards and pushing boundaries in Qatar’s vibrant hospitality scene.

 In your opinion, what is the importance of innovation within the hospitality industry?

Ultimately, innovation is key to ensuring a drive in profits. Moreover, it ensures a seamless guest experience from the outset. This includes the check-in process, in-room amenities, hotel facilities and outlets and the final check-out process. Checking in, for example, is the first customer touchpoint and crucial to ensure a positive first impression.

Therefore, it is key that we use the most up-to-date technology during the reservation process. This ensures there are no delays, and any special requests are planned and prepared for in advance. Additionally, the system ensures innovation by saving down any repeat customer history, preferences, birthdays and other relevant information. This allows us to tailor each guest’s experience with value-added benefits, such as room location, itinerary suggestions and dining experiences.

Innovation also plays a role in sustainability, which is a rising concern among guests and travelers in this modern day. Consequently, we work hard to amend business practices to become more green-focused. We look at all of our processes holistically from start to end, avoiding plastic where possible and any other carbon-emitting processes.

Furthermore, the most important thing in this industry is to keep things fresh. For instance, upon entering the Mondrian’s lobby, you’ll notice a new scent and a flower arrangement featuring new colors. There needs to be a sense of newness in all aspects of the hotel, whether it’s in the menus, the packages or the creative approach.

This constant innovation will keep guests around to discover all the new and exciting changes happening at the hotel.

How essential is a hands-on approach in ensuring positive guest experiences?

At Mondrian Doha, we sincerely believe that a hands-on approach is key to ensuring positive guest experiences. For instance, recognizing and welcoming guests by name creates a warm first impression. Moreover, walking them to their room instead of just giving directions adds a personal touch.

Additionally, suggesting dinner venues and daily activities tailored to their preferences enhances their stay. This way, we create a general rapport, making guests feel valued, special and at home in our establishment.

Furthermore, our reservation database and WiFi portals capture important information such as birthdays. This data allows us to plan in advance and go above and beyond to ensure a special experience for each guest.

What’s the secret to enhancing customer engagement and fostering guest loyalty in a hotel?

Guest loyalty is one of our most important KPIs. Additionally, maintaining customer loyalty allows us to maintain a profitable room rate. It also enables us to track our quality of service and facilities, as returning guests indicate we are doing something significantly right.

Furthermore, happy guests will share positive word-of-mouth, which in turn attracts new customers organically. To achieve this, we ensure the quality of customer service and personalization is at the forefront of our operations.

Moreover, the beds, walls and bathrooms will not transform a guest’s experience, but quality service will. No guest is the same and hence, all should be treated differently. We offer a dedicated communications channel via WhatsApp, providing each guest direct contact with a staff member for any questions, queries, or booking requests.

At Mondrian Doha, the word “no” is not part of our vocabulary. We work tirelessly to anticipate wants and needs before the customer even thinks about them. This ensures every need is taken care of and treated with the utmost importance.

What challenges have you encountered in maintaining Mondrian Doha’s innovative status and how did you overcome them?

We have been witnessing a strong trend in sustainability and environmentally conscious travel over the past year or so. Indeed, travelers are increasingly interested in brands and businesses that make more sustainable choices and give back to the local community.

It is for this reason that we have focused on becoming more innovative in our approach to sustainability. This ensures we continue to capture the attention of our target audience, whether by supporting local talent or charitable initiatives.

Additionally, making more sustainable economic and environmental choices in daily operations is essential. It’s a significant factor that people consider before booking, so we must keep it in mind and seek innovative approaches.

Furthermore, with tourism growing in Qatar, competition is increasing, with new F&B brands and hotels opening in the region. Despite this, adaptability is always at the heart of Mondrian’s spirit, and the team has developed creative ways to engage with the public.

We constantly offer new and unique experiences, setting ourselves apart and overcoming challenges by remaining a true hospitality trendsetter. Ordinary is not a word in our vocabulary.

What are your future goals for Mondrian Doha?

At Mondrian Doha, we will continue to stay ahead of trends and innovate, bringing our guests unique and memorable experiences. Additionally, we will ensure that we always respond to the latest market developments.

Furthermore, we will maintain our promise to offer guests unwavering commitment to excellence. Our hotel-wide goal is to respond to their wishes before they even appear.

Our aim is to establish Mondrian Doha the entertainment hub of the city, pushing it as a lifestyle destination without limitations. To achieve this, we will secure many new collaborations to set the tone for the rest of the year.


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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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