In Conversation with… Julien Gonzalvez

The General Manager of Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha opens up about hospitality and culture.

Please share your experience of travelling around the world in the hospitality industry.
My career has taken me around the world, including comprehensive experience in upper-upscale and luxury Hyatt properties in the UK, Australia, Asia and finally the Middle East. Among some of my achievements was being part of the opening team of the iconic Park Hyatt Saigon and I most recently opened the luxury Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi and Residences Emirates Pearl.

Where do you draw your inspiration? Were there any mentors who influenced the way you work and think?
I grew up in a hotel, it was my playground during my younger years which is where I grew passion for this industry.
I have always wanted to travel and start my career overseas. Being able to work with different people has taught me to learn a lot of things. My mentors were my superiors in Hyatt Hotels. I have been with the company for 25 years and many great and creative people have influenced me today with the way I think and work

Tell us about your cultural background and what’s it like being a host at home? Are there any traditions you follow when welcoming guests into your own house?
I have been away from my home country for so long and have spent most of my years in Asia. I can say that Asians are hospitable by default, very welcoming and gracious in manners. Rich in culture too!
I have no traditions when welcoming guests, everyone has their own way of doing so and my way is to welcome them with great food and company.

Can you share with us a day in the life of one of your hotels? What makes an international hotel like yours tick?
Being the General Manager means I am the first salesperson of the hotel. Normal days for me are meeting the guests, ensuring that their stay with us is smooth-sailing and every requirement is met. I also check that the property is in good shape and operations are working well.
As much as I take care of our guests, I also make sure that our purpose of care for associates is taken care of, so they can be their best. Through listening, noticing their needs and extending meaningful gestures.
Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha is an iconic landmark in the vibrant and bustling city of Doha. We have been operating for a year now and I know the hotel will be a shining star among the Hyatt properties in the country. With the planned hotel renovation in the pipeline, where I will be leading combined with a truly dynamic team, I am confident that we are going to deliver guest experiences that will make Hyatt and the city of Doha very proud.

What advice would you give for someone aspiring to a career in the hospitality sector?
Hospitality is a fantastic industry to meet different cultures, be ready to challenge yourself. Every day is a new day. Be passionate. ✤