Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Araya

Andres Araya

Managing Director, Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Spain

A consummate hotel executive with 25 years of experience with leading luxury hotels worldwide, Chilean-born Andres Araya took the reins of Spain's exclusive and historic Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine hotel in 2010. During the first two years, he guided the 900-year-old abbey through a sensitive restoration to convert it to a unique hotel, that earned it an award from the European Union for conserving cultural heritage, and committed to making LeDomaine a property that would be on the wish list of every discerning global traveler. He opened the new hotel in March 2012 with the first complete butler service in Spain and in 2015 oversaw the addition of a spa that is among the best in Spain. As part of his F&B strategy to position LeDomaine as a world-class culinary destination, he partnered with one of the world's superstar chefs, Spaniard Andoni Aduriz; within two years, in 2014, the hotel had earned a Michelin Star. Today, LeDomaine is one of Spain's most renowned properties, recognized as the country's #1 hotel in several prestigious magazine and industry rankings, while the Abadía Retuerta wines have been recognized as being among the Top 100 Best in the World by Wine Spectator. Mr. Araya's distinguished career includes serving as managing director of internationally acclaimed, Five Diamond Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico, and holding executive positions with the Ajman Kempinski Hotel & Resort, United Arab Emirates; Conrad Cairo Hotel & Casino, Cairo, Egypt; St. Regis Aspen, Colorado; Sheraton María Isabel, Mexico City, and The Palace of the Lost City, Sun City, South Africa.

Please visit http://www.ledomaine.es for more information.

Mr. Araya can be contacted at 34-983-680-368 or info@ledomaine.es

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.