Female Boss

OHLALA looks into a day in the life of CLARA DE LAMA who is the Director of Marketing at the stylish W Doha Hotel and a busy mother of two. Words by POOJA ADAMS…

Istart my day / My morning consists of…
I wake up early in the morning at 6:30 am and get ready, wake my kids up, dress them, have breakfast together and get them ready to go to school. My daughter is four years old now and is really into deciding what to wear for herself! After dropping them o at school I make my way to work with my husband (who also works for W hotel).

My role is..

W Doha is an extremely exciting place to work and I’m very passionate about the hotel and so is my team. It’s a very busy hotel and that is a testament to how hard we work. We never ever stop and we always like to be the rst, ahead of the curve at all times. It takes a lot of time, brainstorming and planning. My role as Director of Marketing is to come up with the strategy of the hotel and I attend a lot of meetings with clients and stakeholders. We are constantly striving to be the best. At W hotel I have the exibility to try out new concepts and freedom of ideas as we like to constantly evolve.

A day in the life of Clara

I start work at 8am, all of the head of departments meet in the morning to discuss what will be the focus of the day. I would then meet with my team to plan the tasks to be completed and how are we going to carry out our objectives for the day. When all of the meetings are over I start checking my emails and social media channels for the day, we then start content creating.

We have a lot of visitors coming in daily and I would coordinate with them and by then its close to 1pm. I would call the W Cafe and ask them to feed me! I am extremely addicted to W Cafe I love the quinoa salad and the vietnamese roll and I eat my lunch in the office daily. I normally have my one-to-one meetings in the afternoon.

How I got into the hospitality industry…

Back home in Peru I was studying business management and I was inspired by my best friend to study hospitality in Switzerland for four years. I have experienced all of the departments within hospitality ranging from housekeeping, restaurants, banquets, reception, finance and HR under my belt. I ended up in marketing and PR by coincidence because the job I applied for (which I didn’t realise at first) was mostly focused on marketing and PR and that’s how I found my passion for it. I subsequently got promoted to PR manager after two years for two different locations. I was young and wanted to grow further so I felt as though I reached my limit with working in Spain and wanted to explore something new which led me to Doha.

I have lived in Doha since…

I have lived in Doha for 7 years now. I moved from the Canary Islands where I lived and worked in hospitality – It was laid back and relaxed in the Canaries and I really didn’t know what to expect when I came to Doha. On my first day at work it took me five minutes to arrive at the driveway to the lobby because there was so much traffic to enter the hotel on a thursday. When I entered it was noisy, loud and bustling with people. It was so vibrant and impressive and it instantly changed everything that I thought about Doha.

I experienced challenges with…

Personally one of the major challenges I have faced with living in Doha is the weather. It became worse to cope with the summer since having kids. For my work I found that sometimes resources could be di cult to get hold of in Doha. If we want to introduce worldwide trends or something unusual, it may not be available in the country at that time.

My most memorable work moment was…

It was back in 2011 when we had the Doha International Film Festival (DIFF). We had to conduct interviews for SPG TV which is part of our loyalty program. We brought in a crew and we had a red carpet moment with celebrities including Antonio Banderas who we conducted an interview with. We actually had him talking about W Doha, his experience and visit to the country and it was being broadcasted in 1500 hotels around the world. at was one of the most exciting times for us. Even now, everytime we host a new personality or celebrity we are very proud, for example we had Jeremy Irons, Kate Moss, Kevin Spacey and Amitabh Bachan staying with us. More recently we had the Chainsmokers staying here and Luis Fonsi for the world cup experience, which was very exciting once again. In addition to this,every time we win an award,it’s a very memorable and proud experience for us, we really celebrate in that moment. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this year… Workwise I am looking forward to the renovation of the ‘living room’ area, the opening will be great and I’m looking forward to closing an amazing year for the W! Finger crossed for that!

Personally one thing that is so big for us as a family is that my son is going to start school this year. We bought him a backpack and we are taking it very seriously, getting him excited and helping him prepare for such a big change.

The end of my day…

On a normal day I would finish work at 7pm but I cannot say what time I would finish work daily due to the pace of my job. I then go home to my kids. If they have classes they would go to sleep at night but if they dont have classes they would be up until quite late and that is the quality time I get to spend with them. When it’s high season I stay at work until 11pm at times so by the time I go home they are fast asleep. My husband and I try to have a balance as much as we can for the children’s sake.


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