When thinking about working in the hospitality industry, you usually think long hours, low wages and not many benefits, unless you’re at management level. For my partner Giovanni, and I, we have been fortunate to have experienced a different side, despite just starting out in the industry.
Last October, Giovanni and I had the privilege of meeting the Hotel Manager of the Rosewood Abu Dhabi who was at Les Roches for campus recruitment. Since I was working in Abu Dhabi, I got in touch with her and was invited to do a site inspection – I fell in love with the property as it had state-of-the art facilities. One of the hotel’s feature which they are most proud of is in-room iPads to control the curtains, lighting, television etc. Talk about the future of hotels! This is one living example!
Giovanni, on the other hand, had other plans in mind – he got in touch with the hotel manager to ask for assistance in planning his proposal to me! Together, they created this beautiful plan of surprising me by flying into Abu Dhabi for a day, organising a desert safari and a private dinner out in the desert where he would pop the question.
Question now was, how would he get me to be at the same place as he was without raising my suspicions? The good news was that the hotel manager was delighted to assist! As we were acquaintances, she invited me as a pretence to be a mystery shopper at her hotel. Having never been one before and being in love with her hotel, I quickly agreed. On the day of arrival, I was certainly surprised to find that I was not only greeted by the sight of a beautiful room, but also a delightful surprise visitor.
On the morning of the 21st of February, it was a gloomy day, quite rare for Abu Dhabi as it is usually sunny and hot. This day, it was considered “lucky” as there was a sandstorm the day before and the wind had yet to settle. That certainly scuppered the whole idea that Giovanni had about the outdoor dinner. Thankfully, the hotel manager quickly came to the rescue even on her day off! She suggested an alternative arrangement with her F&B team at the hotel to ensure that we had the best care.
In the evening, we were welcomed to the private dining area of their award-winning Lebanese restaurant, Sambusek, with a tailored 4-course meal (it was actually more like 20 courses) by the chef. We had a taster of Lebanese cuisine, and our waiter was extremely attentive and ensured that we were comfortable during the whole dinner. I still had no idea what was to come – I thought that we were there to celebrate our first year anniversary.
When desserts was served, suddenly, the background music turned to Whitney Houston’s ‘I will always love you’ and the group of staff came in with a cake. Now, as I am working in hotels, I thought it was pretty standard affair to have staff deliver the cake to couples celebrating anniversaries, however, this was different as Giovanni invited me to stand up and then he knelt down on one knee to ask me to marry him.The man flew across one continent and had all of this organised – of course I had to say yes!
It was a joyous occasion for us and it was made perfect thanks to the hotel manager and her team and their generosity and quick thinking! They demonstrated the true spirit of hospitality by paying attention to all the small details and making this day so special for us. Special thanks to the hotel manager who actually took time on her day off to attend to the last minute change due to unforeseen circumstances!
We are just blessed that the same generosity and kindness was also extended to us who are working in the hospitality industry. It is an inspiration to keep our faith in the passion of why we do what we do, and to continue passing on this spirit to the many other guests, regardless of where they are from.
The beauty about the hospitality industry is that it’s always making a positive impact on guests’ lives.