November 25, 2012
Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa is happy to announce a new Executive team at the helm of the Dubai property. With outstanding experience and qualifications, the new leadership Team is set to strengthen the reputation, services and facilities of the Al Habtoor Group’s flagship property.
Peter O Connor - General Manager
Peter has extensive experience in the hospitality sector with 30 years of hospitality management experience in 9 countries in Europe, North America, Hawaii, Asia Pacific and Middle East, most of which has been spent in the top tiers of senior leadership with international brands in the 5-star luxury category. He has spent the past 18 years as General Manager, Senior Vice President or CEO of hotel responsibilities.
With a wealth of expertise in the operation of 5 star luxury hotels and resort properties across the globe, Peter has played a vital role in securing prestigious awards for his hotels. Key highlights include winning ‘Best Business Hotel in Beijing’ for InterContinental Financial Street and winning the ‘AAA Five Diamond Award’ three years running for Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui, Hawaii.
Other significant achievements include overseeing and managing all operations during the opening of Moevenpick Hotel, Jumeriah Beach and successfully rebranding international luxury hotels. Personal successes include qualifications from the State University of New York majoring in Hotel Administration, and being awarded ‘Outstanding Professional Achievement’ from the Alumni Honor Roll.
Nicolas Villemin - Director of Business Development
Nicolas brings vitality to the team of Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa with an abundance of enthusiasm and an extensive knowledge of the Dubai market, specifically in business development.
Nicolas has worked in the hospitality sector, with a particular focus on Sales and Marketing, for over 13 years. He has worked for a number of reputed hotel groups such as Accor Hilton, The One & Only, Hyatt and Movenpick across the globe including Switzerland, Brazil, France, Kazakhstan and UAE. Appointed as Director of Sales and Marketing for the pre-opening of Movenpick Jumeirah Beach, Nicolas leaped at the opportunity to move once again with the brand and to head up the Sales and Marketing team in his favourite city, Dubai.
A French national with a degree in Hospitality Management from HIM Hospitality Business School in Switzerland and speaking five languages, Nicolas has exceptional communication and business skills that make him a valuable member of the executive team at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa.
Massimo Bernardi - Food and Beverage Manager
Massimo is a man with high expectations and achievements. His career features extensive international travel and hospitality expertise, gained from a wealth of experience in the hospitality trade. With characteristic unstinting passion and inspiring leadership, Massimo has set the standard across Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa to achieve food and beverage excellency.
Born in Italy, Massimo studied at Addetto ai servizi Alberghieri e della Ristorazione, an esteemed Hotel and Catering School, and received a diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Adding to a suite of work experience in hospitality, Massimo was recently appointed Food and Beverage Manager of Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, where he manages 14 outlets and 250 employees. Alongside his recent appointment, key highlights of Massimo’s career includes winning awards for his managed outlets and successfully opening the Movenpick Jumeriah Beach Hotel. Other achievements include the successful management in a number of hotels, which are part of the Leading Hotels of the World hospitality consortium owned by A.G. that represents over 430 hotels and resorts worldwide. Of note, Massimo was also awarded a distinction pass for WSET Level II.
Ivica Ancic - Recreation Manager
With extensive tennis experience and a passion for all sporting activities, Ivica is ideally suited to his role heading up the recreational activities at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa.
Ivica has a wealth of experience in tennis coaching and has collaborated with professional coaches including Bob Brett, Brad Gilbert, Sven Groenefeld, Freddy Rosengren and Rohan Goetzke; who have coached tennis stars such as Greg Rusedski, Bjorkman Jones, Andre Agazzi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray. Alongside working with some of the most reputed tennis coaches and players, Ivica’s key achievements include coaching Thiemo de Bakker and Bernard Tomic, and being selected as the Assistant Coach for the Croatian Davis Cup Team. Additionally, Ivica is proud to be the National Coach and Captain of the Croatian Tennis Association, Junior Team.
Having worked with the world’s best coaches and a professional tennis player in his younger years, Ivica understands the game of tennis like the back of his hand. With expertise in the latest in coaching techniques for all levels of experience, Ivica has been a driving force behind the promotions and events that make sporting athletes tick.
Paul Hage – Executive Chef
A Lebanon national with a family of Chefs and food lovers, Paul grew a passion for cooking at an early age. Starting at the age of 16 as an apprentice Chef and undergoing training courses throughout his career, Paul has extensive experience and qualifications in hospitality making him the ideal candidate for Executive Chef at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa.
Having worked in many of the reputed hotels in Lebanon in esteemed positions, from Executive Sous Chef at the Metropolitan Palace Hotel to Head Chef at Habtoor Land, Paul has impeccable leadership and cooking knowledge. After relocating to Dubai as Executive Sous Chef of Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Paul’s managerial and Chef skills, alongside his determination and hard work, were duly noted and Paul was promoted Executive Chef of the hotel.
Paul is now in charge of 14 outlets and is striving to make each and every restaurant and bar a success. This year, Al Basha, the hotel’s signature Lebanese restaurant, was awarded the What’s On Award for Best Lebanese Restaurant in Dubai.