BEST OF THE BEST

Kuwait 2019 | TOURISM | INTERVIEW

Offering the ultimate luxury and European flair in an Arabesque setting, The Regency Kuwait is the crown jewel of Kuwaiti hospitality.

BIOGRAPHY
Otto Kurzendorfer is the General Manager of The Regency Kuwait. He joined The Regency Kuwait after a well-established career in hospitality management and operation, spanning three decades and three continents. He has worked with global hotel giants, such as Kempinski, IHG, and Starwood, which included 10 years in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Syria, and Qatar before taking on his first General Manager role in Shanghai in 2007. After six years in China, he returned to Dubai with JA Resorts & Hotels as General Manager of its flagship resort complex, which included JA Palm Tree Court and JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel.

In what category would you place the Regency within the sector?

The Regency is renowned across the entire Gulf region for its unrivaled conference and banqueting facilities, which altogether span over 8,000sqm. The Regency Kuwait Hotel has features that are second to none, such as its two exclusive private beaches and five pools, with one of each exclusive for our female customers who prefer privacy. There are extensive fine-dining facilities as well as fitness options available to our guests. I would define The Regency as a leading luxury boutique estate rather than comparing it to other conventional hotels. Our style is a fusion of classic taste and Arabic heritage, founded upon a nearly 40-year long tradition of hospitality. Our Kuwaiti hospitality heritage and individual branding are as much part of our niche as the design and décor of the hotel itself.

What specific initiatives is The Regency implementing to differentiate itself from other luxury hotels?

We recently launched a program named ValYou, which will assist in better tailoring the services we provide for our guests to improve customer loyalty and ensure that the value added for each individual guest is optimal, further justifying our rates. At the same time, we are launching training programs held by hired-in coaches, online university courses, and tailor-made classroom sessions across levels of our organization in order to ensure that our staff, both beginners and long-serving members, are constantly learning and improving so we can deliver the highest standards possible.

Have you noticed any change in consumer behavior within the past few years?

The process of traveling has simplified significantly in recent years. For example, people can just book online and arrive at their destination. Similarly, while traveling, consumers have experiences that are unavailable in their home country and return with new demands. This phenomenon has led to an elevation of expectations in terms of food, service, room quality, and the overall guest experience. The new trend now appears to be around socializing rather than just going outside to have a meal. Millennials, especially, travel often and have experienced the two extremes of luxury and basic accommodation, which has undoubtedly altered the demand in this sector.

What projects does the Regency have in the next 12 months?

We rebranded the hotel in 2018 with a new line of collateral, prints, and pictures. We are currently re-carpeting the entire hotel and have ordered new chinaware for the Al Liwan Lobby, which will arrive in early 2019. We are constantly working on unique and novel ways to improve our guest experience; the time our visitors stay with us must be as exceptional, as has been the case for the past 38 years. A hotel of such grandeur cannot be judged, however, on our future projects alone. Besides investing into new TV sets in all rooms and the implementation of a new security management system to ensure the highest level of security, it is our longstanding traditional values and our caring employees that ensure we maintain our position as the leading luxury hotel in Kuwait.