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30 June 2016

MY JORDANIAN JOURNEY CONTINUES: FOOD & BEVERAGE MEETS EVENTS

by Sandra Alves (Portugal), Les Roches Jin Jiang Student, Management Trainee at Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea, Jordan

The weeks following my last blog post consisted of various learning activities at our outlets. In this case, my last three stops were the Akkad Pool Bar & Grill, Sumerian bar and In-Room Dining, before my recent transfer to the Events Department.

The Akkad Pool Bar & Grill is the outlet located at the most famous swimming pool at the hotel, the infinity pool. At Akkad we offer entertainment such a belly dancing or live-music, attracting crowds, which made it one of the most challenging outlets to work in due to the intense heat subjected to staff and the amount of guests to be served by the pool bar and sun beds. 
During my time there I had the opportunity to learn basic food and beverage operational skills similar to the other outlets but with a different style of service, as food was being served outdoors or by the pool. After some time in the heat, it was time to go back indoors, and I transferred to one of the guest’s favorite evening locations in the property: the Sumerian Bar.

The Sumerian bar is also known as our sunset bar, found on the terrace of our Ishtar building, and known for the most spectacular views of the sunset with the backdrop of the Dead Sea.

High profile guests and VIP’s are usually welcomed at the location
due to its elegance and atmosphere.

In the evenings Sumerian certainly is a place that intrigues as it offers evening entertainment including belly dancers and singers at different days of the week. At Sumerian I had the opportunity to learn the art of mixing drinks, which was quite a challenge during busy weekend nights and learnt how to properly open and close bar operations as well as managing its inventory. I have to say, it was a very interesting experience and quite different from all the other outlets. The next outlet awaiting me was In-Room Dining (Room Service).

I had the opportunity to train in both In-Room Dining departments: Operations as well as Amenities. Ishtar offers guests a wide range of choices in our In-Room Dining Menu, as well as our Door Knob Menu. The In-Room Dining is responsible for taking room food orders as well as preparing take-away boxes for guests checking out early as well as being responsible for the in-room welcoming amenities.

During my training I significantly improved my communication skills as
it is a vital part for succeeding in this outlet.

I also internalized the importance of time management: Delivering food to rooms on time, making sure amenities are in the correct room at the correct time before a guest checks in may be quite a challenge during busy operations.
Before transferring to the Events department, I also had the chance to work in the F&B office along with its coordinator. The responsibilities included taking restaurant bookings and making sure all food and beverage outlet operations run smoothly. This gave me a much better understanding of managing all the outlets - surely a great experience to end my training in the F&B.

Since last week I have been training in the Events department, which is the last department I will work in before finalizing my internship and continuing my studies at Les Roches. I am now in a different work environment, an office setting, learning how to create contracts, communicating with clients, and managing events through the Opera System

My internship here in Jordan was a collection of highs and lows; it was not easy but surely worth it.

All experiences I had here, no matter bad or good, were lessons which made me grow and learn about the hospitality industry and different cultures - it showed me that the world is really a diverse beautiful place.


The knowledge I have acquired here will help me develop myself in the industry, not only in terms of hotel operations but also with how I deal and interact with people. I encourage everyone to take on an adventure away from their comfort zone because they will surely learn a lot, and it is a huge benefit to have this international experience as a future hotelier to be able to relate and work with people from all over the world. I can say that my favorite part about my internship was getting to learn so much about the local Jordanian culture: the food, seeing local wedding ceremonies at the hotel, clothing styles, learning the language and getting to celebrate Ramadan for the first time will be lasting memories.

My adventure in Jordan has come to an end, but another awaits in Marbella, where I will be continuing my studies.
Thank you for following me through my adventures on the lowest point on earth!