Head-to-Head: Fairmont The Palm

Located on The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, Fairmont The Palm features a continually evolving F&B offering
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General manager, Mark Sawkins
General manager, Mark Sawkins
Executive chef, Alain Gobeil
Executive chef, Alain Gobeil

What makes Fairmont The Palm special in comparison to its competitors in the market?

Mark Sawkins: Fairmont The Palm stands out in many ways, from its location, F&B offerings to its award winning Willow Stream Spa — however our ‘Be Your Best’ concept makes the resort special. We offer a wellness concept that focuses on feeling and looking your best, covering all aspects including  fitness, nutrition, beauty, mind and body.

Alain Gobeil: Our people. Our colleagues are well taken care of and happy to be here so they take extra care of our guests. We have many return guests and they keep coming back because of our people. This is something we take great pride in and we make sure to cultivate those relationships.

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How do the front-of-house and back-of-house teams support each other?

Mark Sawkins: Our resort is made up of talented and happy colleagues who are all striving for the same goal. One of the most important keys to our success is that our front- and back-of-house teams work together like clockwork.

Alain Gobeil: We work as a team. As executive chef, I work closely with the F&B director and we make sure we speak the same language. We have the same goal in mind which is to provide exceptional F&B experiences to every guest entering our restaurants.

How do you ensure the hotel is busy and profitable?

Mark Sawkins: It’s our people and their passion that ensures the hotel is busy and profitable. Having a great team that creates new innovative ideas and offerings in line with consumer trends in the market and executes them with a real enthusiasm makes a huge difference.

Alain Gobeil: By offering our guests the best experience we can. We challenge each other and our colleagues to improve on our offerings ranging from reducing food waste to restructuring the menu for one of our outlets.

What are the biggest business challenges you face?

Mark Sawkins: There are no business challenges if you ensure all guests have a memorable and enjoyable experience with the hotel. Guests will become returning guests if you can provide the facilities, activities and level of service that will blow them away.

Alain Gobeil: New hotels and restaurants open up constantly and there are many more scheduled to open in the next few years on The Palm. We have to stay at the top of our game and make sure guests have a reason to choose us over others.

What does the future hold for Fairmont The Palm in the region?

Mark Sawkins: The future is exciting for Fairmont The Palm, with new F&B outlets, a whole new fitness and wellness class schedule in addition to the new development by Nakheel which is an exciting enhancement for Palm Jumeirah.

Alain Gobeil: We have just recently opened Little Miss India, which promises to be a very exciting restaurant, and we want to keep building on this in the year to come. 2018 should see us be a strong F&B destination in the city, with exciting options to offer at a very high standard.

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