Features, Hospitality Leaders - August 3, 2022

#HospitalityLeaders: Manuela K. Brode, General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn


What is your vision for Hilton Garden Inn?

My vision for Hilton Garden Inn Bahrain Bay is to be the leading hotel in Bahrain by delivering bright-hearted service to all our guests – where everyone enjoys a feeling of home away from home.

I also envision the hotel to be the employer of choice for our current and future team members. We are striving to be a great place to work where every team member can thrive and build a career in hospitality.

What have been your biggest challenges (and successes) over the past difficult years?

Opening the hotel was surely the biggest challenge and success over the last two years. This included recruiting under pandemic restrictions (delays in visa processes and flights) as well as remote training. The commercial positioning of the hotel during the uncertainties of the pandemic with continued travel restrictions was certainly an added risk we had to deal with. Everyone from the leadership to all the team members went the extra mile to successfully open the hotel on 15th July 2021.

Other than a great team, what qualities does your hotel have that make it stand out in Bahrain?

The team comes first and does make all the difference. They are the heart and soul spreading the light and warmth of hospitality. It is a wonderful combination of local Bahrainis (about 35%) and international team members from 18 different nationalities.

One of the additional unique selling points for Hilton Garden Inn Bahrain Bay is certainly the location. Our hotel is directly connected to the Avenues Bahrain Mall. Another unique feature is the spectacular 360-degree sea view from all the rooms, restaurants, and public areas.

What does hospitality leadership mean to you?

Hospitality leadership for me is all about teamwork and lifelong learning. Teamwork starts with everyone understanding each other’s work. Lifelong learning is part of learning from each other and learning from our guests. My role is to provide the tools and environment for every team member to be at their personal best to every one of our guests.

I remind myself and my team to put ourselves in the guests’ shoes and understand what they really want. It is vital to know your customer and their preferences to continuously improve our products and services. No matter the position or department, we are all ‘people serving people’. It is the only way we get to be a great place to work and ultimately create extraordinary experiences for our guests through reliable and friendly service.

Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?

‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land amongst the stars.’

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