Complex Made Simple

New General Managers on board at The Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Dubai, Doha, Bahrain and Sharm El Sheikh

Five new general managers are taking charge at The Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts in the region.

With a combined total of more than a century in the hospitality industry spanning four continents, the following leaders bring a wealth of experience and their own inimitable management style to their respective properties.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Center

Fresh from his five-year turn as general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa, Pascal Duchauffour is now in charge of the upcoming hotel at Dubai International Financial Center. This new responsibility is on top of his current role as regional vice president of the region, in which he oversees the operations of hotels in Bahrain, Doha, Dubai and Sharm El Sheikh, working closely with all property general managers.

A major focus for Mr. Duchauffour is the regional growth and development of The Ritz-Carlton brand in the region, having been closely involved in the recent signings of new hotels in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Cairo.

Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa in January 2003, Mr. Duchauffour held the position of resident manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore for two years. Before that posting, Mr. Duchauffour was acting hotel manager for The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai and was a key member in the hotel’s opening team in 1997. Mr. Duchauffour also held several operational positions at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco for six years starting from 1991, where he participated in the first of the two successful Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award applications.

In addition, Mr. Duchauffour has lent his expertise in the openings of several Ritz-Carlton hotels in Asia, which include The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing Central Place, The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur and The Ritz-Carlton, Double Bay in Australia. Born in Paris, France and an avid athlete, Mr. Duchauffour enjoys active sports such as soccer and marathon running during his leisure time.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa

Fresh from a stint in Japan, Bernard N. Viola is now responsible for all aspects of the award-winning hotel’s operations, employee engagement, guest engagement and brand recognition.

Mr. Viola looks forward to continuing the success of The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain in a city that is experiencing immense growth. He says he is “eager to reinforce and strengthen our position as a market leader and work with the ladies and gentlemen whose dedication and loyalty make it all possible.”

Mr. Viola has been in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, working for a variety of hotels in the United States, Saudi Arabia and France. Prior to his new appointment, Mr. Viola has been hotel manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo since its opening last year; he had transferred from the same position at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow. A background in the food and beverage division gave him all the experience he needed to become executive assistant manager, food & beverage at The Ritz-Carlton, Rose Hall Golf & Spa Resort in Jamaica. Mr. Viola has also assisted in the openings of the two Ritz-Carlton hotels in Beijing, China over the past two years.

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha

German national and hotel veteran Willy Ribbe now oversees both The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and Sharq Village & Spa as area general manager, as well as being responsible for all further developments of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in the country.

Willy Ribbe looks forward to continuing the success of The Ritz-Carlton in a city that is experiencing such phenomenal growth. “Both properties provide a wealth of choice to business and leisure guests and allow for a level of luxury and service previously unseen. I am eager to reinforce and strengthen our position as a market leader and work with the ladies and gentlemen whose dedication and loyalty make it all possible.”

Mr. Ribbe has been in the hospitality industry for over thirty years, working for a variety of properties, ranging from boutique hotels to larger operations with capacities of up to 1900 rooms. A background in the Food and Beverage and Culinary departments gave him all the experience he needed to become General Manager at the Budapest Marriott Hotel and Millennium Court Executive Apartments. His success in that role resulted in his promotion to Cluster General Manager of the Marriott properties in Prague in April 2003, where he served four years before joining The Ritz-Carlton Company in Qatar.

Sharq Village & Spa

Hossein Vetry currently heads all aspects of the year-old resort’s operations, including financial performance, guest engagement, employee development and brand recognition.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Vetry held the position of hotel manager at the 599-room Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai. There he led a team of more than 700 ladies and gentlemen and implemented total quality management, which improved market share for the property and elevated guest satisfaction ratings. The hotel is frequently recognized, both regionally and internationally, for outstanding customer service and overall quality.

Mr. Vetry began his Ritz-Carlton career at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco in 1992 as the director of outlets. His drive for service excellence along with his commitment to guest engagement, innovation and leadership was imperative to the hotel’s Dining Room being awarded the prestigious Mobil Five Star award.

Due to be expertise in food and beverage, Mr. Vetry was continuously selected to assist key properties to develop their F&B operations, including The Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey, the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin.

The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh

Spencer H. Wadama began his professional career in the housekeeping department at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco after which he was rapidly promoted to assistant director of guest services. He then transferred to The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii as the director of guest services and later back to the mainland at Dearborn, Michigan when he was promoted to manage the front office operations. An executive assistant manager, rooms division role at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland soon followed on February 2000, and Mr. Wadama progressed to The Ritz-Carlton hotels in Atlanta, Half Moon Bay and Osaka within the next few years.

Mr. Wadama also assisted in opening 11 Ritz-Carlton properties around the world. He has been involved in achieving the Mobil Five Star Award in San Francisco and AAA 5-Diamond Award in San Francisco, Kapalua, Atlanta and Half Moon Bay, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards in 1992 and 1999, and the Hawaii State Quality Award.