Hailing from the International Guild of Professional Butlers, Mr. Robert Wennekes, Guild Chairman and Staff Placement Consultant arrived in Jeddah to execute a five week training programme designed to orient a staff of 17 butlers about the extraordinary palace hotel where they will be employed to serve each and every guests’ individual needs and requests.
“Our guests will be among the most discerning. Their needs will run the gamut of high tech solutions for global communications and conferencing, to dietary needs, to strictest privacy and security considerations, and an entire of array of individual considerations and preferences. This hotel is a Palace, and it will be run as one; the service is not comparable to a hotel stay. The personal butler is an integral part of any guest experience at Qasr Al Sharq,” explained Marc de Beer, General Manager for Qasr Al Sharq.
The Guild, established in 1995, is held in the highest regard and provides private staff to prominent clients from around the world, including Royalty, statesmen, film and music celebrities, and foreign embassies. The Guild prides itself on providing and training the very best personal staff, and it remains dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests and reputation of its members and the private service profession.
“Great service begins with great attitudes among all staff that come into contact with guests. Hotel properties must commit to ongoing programmes of excellence both in promise and delivery. Experienced, trained and professional service personnel are a key component of a first class service delivery system that will keep guests returning, and will generate levels of interest through word of mouth positive testimonials,” said Wennekes, himself a one time professional butler.
Wennekes grew up within the catering industry, and entered professional butler service first in the USA and later in Europe. He was then headhunted by a German Executive Search firm to establish a recruitment division for private staff. After great success with this division, Wennekes became Chairman of the Guild and opened the International Butler Academy Foundation, the world’s finest household management school. Mr. Wennekes has, in the past, placed and trained high quality personal staff for clients in Saudi Arabia, and Qasr Al Sharq represents his first hotel assignment in the Kingdom.
“The Guild recognizes that hotel butlers combine the skills of top level staff with attention to personalized service that is the hallmark of a professional butler in the private sector. The butlers of Qasr Al Sharq will be a testimonial for the caliber of guests who will visit the Palace,” he added.
In addition to its specialized butler service, Qasr Al Sharq will envelop its guests in complete luxury. Guest suite fittings, upholstery, artwork, and amenities are among the finest in the world, and unique to the Palace. Qasr al Sharq is home to internationally renowned Bice, an authentic Italian restaurant, and Mataam Al Sharq, a fine dining restaurant serving Oriental specialties.
Qasr Al Sharq, the 46-all suite luxury property, managed by Hilton International and located adjacent to the Jeddah Hilton, is preparing for an early spring opening.
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