Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2000
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Four Seasons Corporate Rooms Division, Las Vegas
- Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand; Regent Singapore (A Four Seasons Hotel); Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia; Four Seasons Hotel Houston; Four Seasons Corporate Rooms Division, Las Vegas
- Collinsville, Illinois, USA
- Bachelors Degree in Hotel Administration, University of Nevada; Executive Masters in Business Administration, Temple University, Singapore
The capital of Qatar has seen a lot of changes since Jeff Rednour first visited in 2004 as part of the pre-opening team of Four Seasons Hotel Doha. “It’s much more vibrant than I remember,” he says now, admiringly. “Back then, it seemed like the whole city was under construction, and we were the only game in town.”
Now, as General Manager of the property along the Arabian Gulf, Rednour is impressed with Doha’s transformation and what Four Seasons brings to the mix. “It’s a modern, fully developed city with so much for travellers and the community.” While there is much more competition in the luxury sector, the Hotel has a “strong reputation in the local market that brings us the ‘who’s who’ of the Qatari community,” he says. “With our offerings, we are very well regarded here, and my role is to keep us that way.”
Rednour points in particular to the popularity of the Hotel’s accommodations dressed up with thoughtful touches, plush furnishings and impressive city views, as well as to the expansive food and beverage offerings, most notably Nobu Doha, which opened in 2015 as the world’s largest Nobu restaurant, and the more recent, Arabic-themed additions The Pier and Shisha Terrace. “There is a big appetite in Doha for name brands and celebrity chefs,” he says. “That’s something Four Seasons has been out in front on.”
Born in southwest Illinois and raised in Las Vegas, Rednour was drawn to the hotel industry from an early age. “Most of my friends were working in it, so it seemed like a natural choice for me to pursue.” The son of a professional poker player, he grew up playing baseball, basketball and American football, and went on to earn a degree in hotel administration.
Even before graduating, he’d already landed a spot at the Four Seasons Corporate Office in Las Vegas. His first assignment was assisting with the opening of Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence. It was the company’s first address in the Middle East and Rednour’s first trip out of North America. “It was eye opening in every way,” he remembers. “I felt like I’d landed on a different planet – so unusual, exotic and interesting. The idea of living in and being absorbed by another culture fascinated me.”
He had plenty more opportunity to be absorbed, with 22 short-term assignments at Four Seasons openings around the world over his 7 years with the Corporate Office, gaining valuable operational and cultural insights along the way. As much as he enjoyed the work, Rednour eventually realised that he needed more permanence in his personal life and new challenges in his career. So he made the move to management.
“The best decision I’ve ever made,” he says. “I wanted to work with people over the long term and have the opportunity to build personal relationships and see hotels come to fruition and grow.” He started the transition as Director of Rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Houston and worked his way up to Resort Manager and Hotel Manager before landing as General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui in 2014.
With his appetite for other cultures, Doha is a delicious spot for Rednour to continue to advance his career, with 58 different nationalities – give or take – through a 600-member team. “In a way, leading such a diverse team is easier, because they appreciate their differences and are a little be more open with each other,” he continues, noting that with his “in touch” management style, he learns as much from them as they do from him. “It’s a melting pot here – everyone comes together to create the experience.”
With the football's biggest tournament set to descend upon Qatar in 2022, there should be a lot of people enjoying that experience. Rednour’s aim is to promote Doha as a leisure destination in the build up to the event, publicising Hotel’s many resort-like qualities, from its seven pools and Kids For All Seasons program to its lavish three-story spa and stretch of private white-sand beach. “All eyes are going to be on Doha, and we’re going to shine.”