In Conversation with… Cyril Mouawad

The Multi-Property General Manager for Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments, Doha talks pride in his team and a fun encounter.

Congratulations on taking over one of the largest hotel complexes in Qatar. What is it about these properties that makes them stand out from the crowd?
I am very excited about my new role with the two iconic Marriott hotels in Qatar. Our properties continue to offer world-class services and products to our guests consistently.
Every hotel can talk about how good their design, location, facilities etc. are, which are common in most hotels. At the end, our associates make the difference. We engage our team members to own the hotels’ business strategy and empower them to curate comprehensive solutions for our guests. Having clear communication and training motivates them to make a positive impact on our guest experience. Personalised experiences foster loyalty beyond reason and will make Marriott Marquis City Center Doha and Marriott Executive Apartements stand out as a preferred destination for our guests.
Sustainability and inclusiveness are two other strong pillars I advocate in everything we do, which will have a long-lasting impact on our customers directly and indirectly.

Between them, the properties boast 12 dining destinations. If you had to recommend just one for visitors to try, which would it be and why?
All the venues are part of the same family and I choose them based on my cravings of the day and time. Each dining concept we have offers something different. If I am craving meat, I would go to New York Steakhouse or Ipanema. As an ardent fan of Italian cuisine, I am yet to find any venue in Qatar better than Cucina. I make a pit stop at Quick Bites while I am rushing through a busy schedule for a quick breakfast or lunch. It is difficult to pick one of them as they all cater to different moods and cravings. I had the tastiest burger ever at Farmore Thn Burger at Marriott Executive Apartments and thus, they all are unique in their offerings.

You have been in hotels for almost 25 years, what is the funniest or strangest thing you have experienced or seen during that time?
There are so many stories which are very close to my heart and unfortunately can’t be shared to respect confidentiality and privacy. We are in a people business and our days start and end with conversations with our guests. We receive so many unusual requests on a day-to-day basis and I can highlight something unique from one of our guests without specifying the hotel or location. A customer once had a special condition which meant he could not fall asleep if he was alone in his room. My kindhearted bell desk team were taking turns to wait in his room until he fell asleep many times during his stay.

What is your favourite thing about working in the hospitality industry?
Personally, I am very passionate about this Industry and I get priceless gratification when I see guest appreciation and positive feedback about our team and their services. Our hotels are global crossroads where guests from around the world come together and mingle. The contentment we get when we see those guests happy cannot be matched with experience from any other industry, I feel. Many of these guests become great friends too.

What three things would you recommend for visitors to Qatar to see, do or experience?
Qatar is a cultural hotspot and there is a lot to discover in the destination. Whatever the purpose of travel, a bit of exploration will create memories to cherish forever. Three of my favourite locations are Souq Waqif, Katara Cultural village and Sheikh Faisal Museum which gives a new perspective on the destination and its cultural heritage. ✤