Paramount Hotel General Manager Pascal Eggerstedt reveals the most unique features of the star-studded property.
How do you feel about your recent appointment and what do you aim to bring to Paramount Hotel Dubai?
I’m very excited, indeed, and honoured to be working with such a unique and globally recognised brand and to be a part of its transition into hospitality. As the first Paramount Hotel in the region, it’s the flagship property of the brand, which will hopefully be the first of many.
I look forward to contributing with my amazing team to provide our guests, or as we call them – ‘Our Leading Stars’, with a unique luxury lifestyle experience and a cinematic touch, and to firmly establishing the brand in the market.
I strongly believe we can merge the creative world of Paramount with the exciting world of hospitality, and we do so every day! Who doesn’t love movies which have inspired so many generations? Now, we have the opportunity to combine this in a 5-star hotel environment!
Tell us a bit more about your journey and key milestones.
From a very young age, I pretty much knew that I was destined to pursue my career in the international hospitality industry. I have been truly blessed to be able to work around the globe in this amazing industry over the years in senior corporate and luxury hotel operational roles.
After completing my Hotel Management degree, I worked for a number of years in the Asia-Pacific in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. From there, I moved to London and came to the region starting in the UAE, in Dubai.
I had the pleasure of working in some landmark luxury hotels in Lebanon and various Gulf countries over the past years. My most recent role in the UAE was as cluster general manager, overseeing two hotels in Abu Dhabi prior to joining the team at Paramount Hotel Dubai, where I will be responsible for establishing and further developing the vision and brand values, overseeing all aspects of operations and future growth efforts.
What makes this hotel unique, and how were the F&B concepts and rooms designed to reflect that?
The hotel features unique experiences, be it for the discerning leisure or business traveller. All aspects have been created with cinema in mind and a clear Hollywood connection. Our brand language contributes to the unique experience in a certain way, our guests are treated and addressed as ‘Our Leading Stars’; we do not speak about “employees”, but our team are “Cast Members”, and our uniforms are called “costumes”. Everything we do aims to include a theatrical element, which is expected from such a globally renowned entertainment brand.
Our variety of F&B concepts have a Californian touch as Paramount was founded in 1912 in Hollywood and has been the centre of the cinema world since. For example, our signature outlet, “Pacific Groove” is a Californian-style seafood and grill concept, inspired by the famous coastal road trips, featuring one of the largest wood-fired grill and smokers in the city.
Our multi-cuisine all-day dining restaurant is called “The Stage” and features a plethora of performances with live cooking stations and interactive kitchens. “The Malibu Deck” features street art and private cabanas named after Hollywood actors, and much more. You could simply step into the lifestyle of your favourite stars and be transported to the sunny shores of Malibu, LA in our pool deck.
Our “Flashback” Speakeasy cocktail bar gives an immersive experience of the roaring 20s with regular live entertainment.
A lot of Hollywood aspects have been captured and characterised in our rooms and suites. We’re very proud of our unique and elegant signature “themed” suites. Think of the Great Gatsby love story and imagine what Gatsby’s and Daisy’s apartment in Dubai would look like in the modern day – we have created the Charleston Suite to bring that to life.
For those who would like to experience some “suspense”, they will love our “Don Corleone” suite. We’re also the first hotel in Dubai to launch our stylish “Pause” SPA with the exclusive “Chateau Berger” brand from the Cote d’Azur in the south of France
What are some of the challenges you have faced during the pandemic?
I would like to reiterate, we’re all in this together and we have adapted to this new world. Taking into consideration that dining venues were not built with social distancing in mind, we have quickly addressed this with precautionary measures by introducing separation screens in certain spaces.
We provide the highest level of hygiene and safety for all our Stars and enforce use of masks and social distancing throughout the hotel. Let’s just hope and be positive that this pandemic will be soon behind us!
Do you think that the worst is behind us? How will the industry recover?
I definitely think the worst is behind us. We have learned and are recovering in a much faster pace here in Dubai than the rest of the world. I think we will come out of this much stronger, with a new appreciation for life and a brighter future.
How do you ensure that staff stay motivated?
As a leader, I find transparency, empathy and positive messaging to be critical elements, especially in the current challenging circumstances. We assure our Cast that this is a battle that we’re all fighting together and that they will be looked after.
Also, we let them feel that they are very important to us and have introduced various new recognition programmes within the hotel so no Cast member will go unnoticed. We strongly believe a happy Cast makes happy Guests, who want to come back for a sequel!
What are your future plans for the property?
The planning is endless! A big part of Paramount is entertainment and, once all restrictions are lifted, we will continue our journey to become a unique entertainment destination for the region.
We have new dining venue projects in the pipeline. We’re looking forward to events coming back, as we have unique facilities to host them in, such as our private Screening Room, Work & Play suites and our signature suites which are unparalleled in Dubai.
We look forward to expanding the Paramount brand, as we’re preparing for the opening of the second Paramount Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road later this year, which is a great example of the many exciting projects to come. Watch this space!