Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
- 1 Four Seasons Boulevard, P.O. Box 203, Sharm El Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt
Director of Rooms
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2021
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- Waldorf Astoria Cairo; Fairmont Towers, Heliopolis, Cairo; Fairmont Bab Al Bahr; Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort; Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino
- Bachelors Degree, Accounting & Finance, Ain Shams University, Cairo
- Cairo, Egypt
- Arabic, English, some Russian
With his eye for numbers and a talent for management, Tamer Hussein was the right choice at the right time to be Director of Rooms at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh. “I arrived here with the Resort running 90 percent occupancy and on the brink of receiving 115 new guest rooms and suites as part of the property-wide expansion for a total inventory of 315 units,” he says, adding that his role also includes oversight of the Front Office, Concierge, Guest Services, Housekeeping and more. “What I do is about so much more than planning and strategizing for our rooms. It’s really about shaping the guest experience from the moment they arrive to departure.”
Four Seasons has Tamer on the Planning Committee, and unlike other hotel chains, he is able to get feedback from and provide the same to every department. “It’s great exposure to all aspects of operations as I climb the management ladder,” he says, noting that rather than compete, everyone on the Committee works together for the common good of the Resort.
“Say the Food & Beverage Director wants to promote someone or a new offering. Any thoughts I provide will be helpful, as will any thoughts he can give me.” Everything is positive, he says. “It’s all about working together and employing the assets of our individual departments to benefit each other.”
Tamer oversees a team of more than 200 in the Rooms Division. He endeavours to make time to connect with each member individually, inviting them into his office for coffee and a chat, as time allows. “Sometimes the most junior colleagues have the greatest ideas, but if I don’t hear about them, I’ll never know.” Meantime, his management style is to lead by example, which keeps him on his toes as well as his feet. “If I ask my managers to be on the floor when the Front Desk is checking in guests, I can’t very well be in my office.”
Indeed, “crunch time,” when guests start arriving, is the most important and one of his favourite parts of the day. It starts with a morning meeting, then come the arrivals. “I’m always out there, seeing that everything is in order and even leading guests to their rooms. Being part of it helps me identify what’s working and what might need improvement. I can tell a lot just from the body language of guests and colleagues.”
Born, raised, and educated in accounting and finance in Cairo, Tamer got his start far from hotel floors as a sales engineer of exhaust fans and ducts for factories. The magic wore off in about six months. “It wasn’t related to anything I studied, and I didn’t feel comfortable doing it.” So, he asked for help from his father, a professor of political science and economy, who was friends with the human resources director of a major hotel.
Assuming that, he’d be placed in finance, Tamer was surprised to be offered a spot as a concierge agent. “I didn’t even know what the role required at the time.” Six months later, he moved to the front desk and began his climb toward director of rooms, which he reached in 2015 at another five-star property in Cairo.
Six years and a posting heading rooms at another hotel later, Tamer received an unexpected email from a Human Resources representative at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, who previously worked with him at another hotel. “I said Alhamdulillah! Really, I did – out loud,” he recalls with a good laugh. “We’d been out of touch, but we used to have monthly calls so she remembered me.” His international experience and financial background carried the day.
Tamer sees being a part of the Resort’s expansion as a “golden opportunity” to shine, as well as to deepen his experience in an environment far from the capital. When he’s not minding rooms and everything else that falls under his watch, he likes to spend as much time as possible with his family, including his two young children.
“They have an effect on me, that’s for sure,” he says with another laugh. “These days, when my friends and I get together, we often end up playing video games.”