Hotelier’s Corner: Amery Burleigh

Q) What are the key selling points of your property?

Brand and location. Sofitel is well positioned to embrace the needs of the lux traveller of today. Not only will a friendly welcome greet you, but we’ll do it with flair, and a touch of Francais! Our sizzling hot Broadbeach location is the easiest destination in Australia to sell – it simply has the lot, from uber-cool dining, to world-class retail therapy, oh… and did I mention the stunning beach?

hotelier's corner

Q) What are the key selling points of your region?

The Gold Coast has really grown up over the last few years, plus we’ve been listening to our customer base to ensure the destination touches all the senses when you try us out.

Scratch the surface and you’ll discover a plethora of hideaway cafes, galleries and hangouts. “Live life like a GC local” is our message to guests.

Q) What do you like about your role?

The complete diversity, be it within the operational aspects of the hotel, the interaction with our guests or as an Accor ambassador in the wider community with whom has the commercial reach to influence positive change or promote local issues. But most of all, it’s fun and I manage the hotel with a sense of purpose and care, but it needs to be fun.

Q) What is your customer service philosophy?

At Sofitel we believe in the ‘journey’, and our guests can be guaranteed a rich passage of storytelling via our French heritage or indeed the engagement and interaction of our local community footprint – be it within our hotel gallery, go to Gaureimabah at Sofitel Gold Coast (a place to tell stories) which is our hotel “artwalk” that promotes indigenous artists, and believe me each canvas tells a million stories. Our aim is to make you feel welcome and relaxed within the hotel comforts, however it’s our amazing hotel ambassadors whom really make the difference.

Q) What is your staff development strategy?

I’m a huge supporter for internal development, mentoring, and coaching. Our hotel has been a stepping stone for some, or a training ground for others. I really enjoy helping others succeed in the hotel conundrum of service, hospitality, with a twist of luxury.

Q) What new initiatives are you working on?

My current projects involve developing and upgrading our hotel product – i.e. the hotel hardware. Fortunately our hotel owners understand the importance of a modern day luxury Sofitel property; therefore, my role is critical to ensure the hotel compliments the need for brand flair versus the commercial expectations of all stakeholders within the business. The outcome will be fabulous, something to be really proud of.

Hotelier’s Corner
Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach

Q) What do you think is critical to running a successful property?

Strong leadership, outstanding communication and a broader sense of service empowerment. At the end of the day we are here for our guests, and their level of expectation is as high as ever, therefore, I try to promote a culture of measured risk taking which can embrace the guest journey, but exceed their expectations. We call it ‘cousu main’, otherwise known as personalised service.

Q) What current trends do you think will affect the hospitality sector?

Without doubt Airbnb and Uber are here to stay and our industry needs to understand the challenge of the sector, but also the opportunity which lies within it. How this unfolds of the next few years is anyone’s guess, though as leaders we need to be engaged with the market and fully responsive to rapid changes.

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