Marwan Alameddine Executive Housekeeper, Centro Waha by Rotana, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
This month, we are going to look into the inspiring journey of Marwan Alameddine, who made a humble beginning of his career as a bellboy in a Beirut hotel. He took this opportunity to learn every aspect of operations and progressed to become the Director Of Housekeeping at Rotana Hotel Management Corporation PJSC. Currently, he works as the Executive Housekeeper at Centro Waha by Rotana in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Let’s learn more about his journey and learnings.
My name is Marwan Alameddine, and I'm a Lebanese national. I have been working in the hospitality industry for over 17 years now, mainly working in international hotel chains. I actually started my career in hotels as a bellboy, and this role allowed me to observe how most operational departments functioned.
How I got into the industry
As a young graduate looking for an entry level position, I found a vacancy for a bellboy at a new hotel in my hometown Beirut. Since then, I moved to different properties switching from the front office to housekeeping. Most of the experience I gained was at the Movenpick hotel and resort, Beirut where our executive housekeeper was a seasoned hotelier with years of experience. Under her guidance I evolved and learned a lot.
My journey wasn't without challenges and obstacles as the first part of my career was spent in my home country, which was passing through some difficult times as I spent periods in between jobs.
What drives me in my career
First and foremost the domain itself. As a challenging industr y, it motivates me to learn and do better every day. Also, it is my ambition to become a hotel general manager. Last but not least, my family who rely on me to maintain good living conditions and education for my sons, drives me!
I take pride in my achievements throughout my career, but one milestone really left its mark: we received a certificate from a leading auditing company as the country’s leading hotel in cleaning and hygiene (the hotel was in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia).
The best part of my job
I see my success in building a strong and competent team that prides itself in exceeding guest expectations.
Sustainability is essential and very challenging to apply, but hotel companies and suppliers alike are constantly changing material and guest supplies in order to introduce more sustainable material.
Housekeeping practices you follow
I ensure that we are maintaining a clean and hygienic hotel from public areas to rooms. The spread of the Coronavirus pandemic also stipulated different protocols and policies to protect the hotel team and guests. Cleaning practices at my property ranges from disinfecting high touch points all over the hotel to using EPA approved chemicals that eliminate bacteria and viruses to ensure the guest and staff are safe. Rotana hotel company along with its strategic cleaning partner Ecolab have developed the Rotana Safe Space program, which ensures guests and staff alike are safe inside the facility.
Rotana has a strict program for SOPs, policies and procedures where the team members are always being trained on all aspects of services provided both on and off the job. We adhere to that.
Challenges you faced
I faced several challenges at different periods of my career - language barriers, cultural differences, volatile political situation, and currently the pandemic and its ramifications. Currently, the biggest challenge for me is the COVID-19 pandemic and how to properly cope with it.
Innovations you look forward to
I would particularly look forward to innovations in new chemicals that are both efficient and cost effective.
Your future goals
In the future, I would like to further develop my knowledge and experience and work towards achieving my dream, which is to assume the role of a general manager in the hotel.
How to deal with COVID-19
Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge. The best thing to do is to comply with all the protocols, policies and procedures which were laid down to protect the team and guests and prevent the spread of the virus.