GM’s View: Christophe Adam, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa
Christophe Adam is the General Manager at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa. With twenty-seven years of experience in the industry, Christophe is skilled and experienced in a variety of roles, from Consulting to Director of Sales & Marketing.
Hotelier Maldives interviews Christophe to learn more about his career in the hospitality industry, his work at Hideaway and his advice to aspiring hoteliers.
Hotelier Maldives: Tell me a bit about yourself and your career.
Christophe Adam: I am a French native with two degrees in International Hotel Management and Business Management. Since the hospitality industry is not in my family's career history, while studying hospitality, I was unsure of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. However, from the moment I set foot in hotels to work, various leaders immediately made an impact on me, and I knew how I wanted to spend the rest of my career: to lead amazing teams and to take care of and meet wonderful guests. Since then, I have not looked back, and I trust that finding a job you're so passionate about is rare nowadays.
I have had the opportunity to experience a wide range of roles in this industry during my 27 years of experience, including Consulting, Hotel Management as well as Director of Sales & Marketing. As a passionate hotelier, I have earned a reputation as someone who is driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and dedicated to furthering excellence.
HM: You were recently promoted from resident manager to general manager. Tell me about this promotion and how you feel about it.
CA: This industry still holds a special place in my heart. I never get tired of seeing people's smiles when they have had an enjoyable stay. Be it a family's annual vacation, a honeymoon, or a special anniversary, being able to create unforgettable experiences in people's lives is what keeps me motivated. My love for my job has only grown through the years and am looking forwards to do more with my new position.
HM: I believe this is your first project in the Maldives. How different has it been leading a team here?
CA: With a contemporary design that blends in with the surrounding seascape, the Island has a natural charm. To work in a place like this is a privilege. In the last 15 years, I have lived in the Indian Ocean and have visited many islands. However, when I arrived on this island, I was completely blown away and felt connected with its surroundings, so I can proudly say that my second home is the Maldives. When you connect with the natural beauty of this island and have the opportunity to live and work in paradise, you just want to share this experience with everyone.
HM: Tell us more about the resort and how it is unique from other luxury properties here.
CA: Hideaway has been acknowledged as one of the most beautiful natural island resort in the Maldives.
Our objective now is to stay at the top of that list and, at the same time, to be recognized as one of the very best. Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa deserves to take its place among the best because it is indeed a unique resort; because it offers world-class refinements in an enchanting setting, an exceptional cuisine, a cutting-edge spa, the bespoke welcoming service; and finally, a large selection of activities and because of the human touch that sets us apart.
HM: What’s the biggest challenge you face in your work? And what do you like most about it?
CA: It’s been quite a challenging year with the pandemic and having to adjust, retain and support our team members through this difficult time. Safety is now a core component of brand reputation across the travel industry, and it’s become a permanent agenda item for every board meeting.
HM: Tell us about managing the resort through the pandemic. What were some major problems you faced and how did you solve them?
CA: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world’s economy, especially the industries where the service is a dominant segment. It’s hard to believe that just over 2 years ago, over-tourism and sustainability of travel were focal points of the travel industry. Now, vaccine rollouts and the return of the travel economy are top priorities.
Prior to COVID, people were looking at Hideaway and securing their villa 3 to 8 months in advance. Since Covid, everyone is booking last minute; this made it very difficult for the team to adapt, but now we are used to this new pattern of reservations flow.
The main focus of the resort remains to provide exceptional service and meet the needs of our guests. It sounds very simple, however with the pandemic in order to comprehend it, it is necessary to constantly review and improve all work processes, continuous work with team members, application of innovations, and work on creating a perfect environment for the guests, especially in terms of hygiene and safety.
HM: Describe a day in your life as GM at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa
CA: No day is exactly the same, that’s the beauty of Hospitality life. I start my day with a tour of the Island followed by internal meetings with my Leadership team. Interacting with Guests is really a significant part of my job, ensuring that their stay is running smoothly, plus it is the most organic way to obtain feedback in regards to the service.
Our valued guests always expect to receive great service, therefore the resort has to run at its optimum every single day to make sure each guest has a unique and memorable experience.
I always encourage our entire management team to receive any feedback and comments from team members, after all, they are the ones on the front line.
I see it as my job to make sure the conditions are correct so the team can deliver on these expectations and spend a lot of my time making sure that the resort is well maintained, in addition to ensuring each department is delivering the correct training to deliver our standards.
HM: What do you like to do when you're not working?
CA: Snorkelling and Scuba diving are some of my favourites, however, windsurfing is on top of the list!
These activities help me to destress and reconnect with nature. Being on an island and especially in Maldives, there is so much marine life to explore.
HM: Is there anything exciting coming up at the resort?
CA: We just launched The Signature Collection by Hideaway, inviting guests to experience the unique concept- ‘Resort within a resort’ with additional nine new extravagant villas.
The ultra-luxurious villas are situated on the northern point of the resort, near the best beach on the island but secluded from the rest to offer elevated privacy. Divinely designed with modern Middle-Eastern influences and touches, the villas have been curated to the taste of the most sophisticated travellers. Just a few steps from the villas, we opened the Oasis, the restaurant, bar, and lounge aimed to cater to the Signature Guests.
We always keep things interesting at Hideaway, so we are currently finalizing 2022 plans with celebrity chefs and winemakers, themed holidays style experiences aimed at specific psychographics, the addition of some exciting novel recreational activities at the resort and more.
HM: What advice would you give to hoteliers aspiring to get to your position?
CA: Adaptability. You’ve got to adapt yourself to changes, to others, to expectations, to judgments, but you always need to keep your objective alive and never, ever give up. Anyone looking to become wealthy might want to consider another field, however for those who are passionate about hospitality, guest experiences, connections with people from all walks of life, the hospitality industry is one that offers more than many other careers.