It’s been over a year since the pandemic brought the world to a standstill, drastically altering the way we work, live and play. For the hospitality industry especially, to survive has meant thinking on your feet. Fortunately, this is what W Muscat is made for. It’s ready-for-anything attitude and ability to constantly reinvent itself have helped its teams (Talent) navigate an unprecedented year and come out with a renewed lust for life. So how did the pandemic test the hotel’s “Always On” approach?
“Our Talent and the work environment are always our highest priory and that’s something that’s a non-negotiable. Proactivity, flexibility, and an upbeat attitude have been our go-to’s through this time. From the beginning, we introduced a number of measures to support our Talent as they adjusted to the new normal.
"Hospitality was the name of the game, whether we were using plastic cutlery or speaking to guests from behind screens, we continued to think outside the box to ensure our guests felt every bit welcomed and at ease,” said Rahma Al Shidhani, Director of Talents at W Muscat. “Our teams know we’re all in it together and we make it a policy to be very transparent and to lead by example, while being mindful of how they may have been impacted by the pandemic on a personal level."
Though the pandemic may have altered the face of hospitality, from additional cleaning measures to social distancing protocols, overall, the hotel has focused on turning a challenge to an advantage. Utilizing the low occupancy period, the team increased training and development opportunities, including Omani succession plans, Marriott Careers program in addition to offering a variety of digital learning opportunities.
On the outside, the hotel’s creativity has been in over-drive, coming up with new and COVID-friendly ways to entertain its guests that still embodied the vibrant spirit of W. It launched DAYDREAM, a live-streaming, Friday music session from its in-house DJ, Armando, and was quick to launch W2GO and SIP, delivering its popular B&F menus and famous mixology blends to guests in Muscat.
The hotel also kept up its unexpected programming in different ways with Chef Guido going head-to-head virtually with Chef Mohammed in a battle of the cuisines cooking Argentinian Asado against an Omani classic, Mishkak. During the year it also hosted its first ever DJ LAB, a W initiative that mentored three of Oman’s emerging artists and gave inside access to the world of DJ’ing.
“None of this could have been possible without our Talent, who have embraced every change, have navigated working under different conditions, all the while continuing to drive our passion points – design, music, fashion, fuel – and bringing a fearless and fun-filled W twist to life,” added Rahma.
“It may not have been the year we have expected, but it’s brought us all together in unexpected ways. As we forge ahead, we’ll be doing even more to amplify our culture of Whatever/Whenever and we’ll never give up on our objectives and our philosophy in life to make the most of everything. Meanwhile, we are committed to the wellbeing of our Talent, our customers, and our community, and that will get us through this and anything else that life throws at us.”