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Thu 7 Feb 2008 06:23 PM

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Luxury is a moving target

Hotels must constantly evolve to meet the changing luxury-demands of their guests, according to Ritz-Carlton senior vice president Bob Kharazmi.

Hotel companies are forced to follow a "moving target" if they want to keep up with the demands of their high-end guests.

That's the message from Ritz-Carlton senior vice president Bob Kharazmi, who said his company was constantly competing with itself, rather than other companies, to deliver a luxurious product to guests.

"You need to evolve with the market - if you look at our new hotels in terms of the designs and service, and if you look at our core values systems, you will see that we are evolving towards our guests needs, trying to be very relevant in the market," he explained.

"Luxury is a moving target, and we have to constantly change ourselves and challenge ourselves to create luxury experiences for our guests by providing what they are looking for."

While part of the evolution is created through altered service standards, properties were also being updated to ensure they met consumer demands, Kharazmi said.

"We now have some traditional hotels, and much more contemporary luxury hotels, which is the most accepted in the luxury segment by customers," he added.

"We have spent $70 million in 2006 and 2007 to refurbish our older hotels to bring them up to the standards our guests are looking for. But our luxury is relevant luxury. For example, in Moscow, what our guest is looking for is different to what they are looking for in Tokyo. In Moscow we have a more traditional look based on our relevancy to the market, and the desire of our customer in that market."

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