This month, we had a fantastic talk with Tugce Goksel, Director of Public Relations (PR) and Communications at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, about her career and hotel gems.

OHLALA – How did hospitality enter your life? And what do you like most about working in this sector?
Tugce Goksel –
My passion for hospitality was ignited from an early age with my parents, who were also in the industry. My mother worked as a cabin chief (purser) and my father was a hotelier who started in the rooms division and worked as a General Manager in multiple destinations. As a child, I had the opportunity to travel and visit several countries with my family. I always felt excited about being in airports, hotels or aircraft, so it’s no surprise that I ended up working in hospitality. My job inspires me daily as I get to know new people, places and cultures all the time. Especially being an expat in Bahrain, my work atmosphere consists of team members from all around the world, which is a truly enriching experience.

OHLALA – You work in one of the most prestigious brands in the hospitality industry. What do you think makes Four Seasons stand out?
Tugce –
Four Seasons stands out with its leading philosophy, the Golden Rule, which is treating others as you want to be treated. This is the philosophy of Mr. Isadore Sharp, the founder of Four Seasons, and our company’s work ethic and culture are based on this. This value defines everything: the roadmap of our organisation, how we work and treat each other and how we serve our guests. All the staff and stakeholders adopt this core value. At Four Seasons, the company culture is so strong that it motivates everyone to be the best version of themselves, starting with kindness, sincerity and generosity. This fosters belongingness and growing together. People, Service, Brand and Culture are the strategic pillars upon which Four Seasons is built. Distinguishing service features, a brand synonymous with quality, excellent properties in key locations and putting the people at the heart of everything brings success as a natural outcome.

OHLALA – Can you tell us a bit about your position? What does it involve? What do you like most about it?
Tugce –
I look after Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay’s marketing communications and PR activities. Establishing and executing our hotel’s communications and PR strategies, creating campaigns and verbal and visual storytelling fall under my responsibilities. Supporting and establishing a genuine bond between our hotel and guests and sharing the wonderful stories of our team members, their craftsmanship and unique characters are part of my job. In hospitality, the people and personal touches make you want to return to a hotel or restaurant. The memories and the feelings that our team create are what our guests take with them. Also, as marketers in hospitality, we work with operations teams to curate experiences for our guests that will turn into long-lasting, beautiful memories. The collective effort to exceed the expectations of our guests and the energy and positivity of my colleagues inspire me on a daily basis. On a personal level, pushing my creativity, keeping up with consumer trends, looking for new storytelling approaches and exploring innovative and aesthetic ways to tell the stories of our brand excite me. It is fun, dynamic and inspiring!

OHLALA – Can you tell us the latest exciting news about Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay?
Tugce –
Recently, we launched our beachfront restaurant Byblos, offering the best of Lebanese Cuisine. With his take on traditional Lebanese Cuisine, Chef Tony created a menu that is a feast for the palate and the eye. re/Asian Cuisine always surprises and delights our guests with beverage-pairing events, guest chef collaborations and more. Our guests can expect more surprises at re/Asian Cuisine in the spring. Wellness enthusiasts will also be pleased with some new experiences we will launch at The Spa. We are working on curating exciting happenings for our guests, after Ramadan, you can expect more news!

OHLALA – The hotel has many features and special bits but for you, what is your favourite thing at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay?
Tugce –
I have more than one. Indulging myself in the delicious sushi of Chef Kiyoshi at re/Asian Cuisine with the best evening views of Bahrain is one of them. I love taking a walk in our lush gardens. Even for a short break, I go out every day. It’s amazing how you can disconnect from everything in the centre of the city while you are in our gardens. The trees, tropical flowers and birds chirping are my favourite parts of the day. Finally, I need to mention our spa. A treatment there is the best thing you can gift yourself. A Moroccan Hammam experience followed by a Bali or Aromatherapy massage is the perfect leisure day plan!

OHLALA – Most of your professional experience was in Türkiye, your home country. How are you finding the market here? What are the biggest challenges?
Tugce –
Bahrain is a great destination with many unique offerings, such as its historical heritage, authenticity, vivid lifestyle, excellent dining scene, which is further expanding, and its biggest asset: warm and welcoming people. We work towards contributing to elevating Bahrain as a top luxury destination, focusing on regional tourism and also increasing market diversity by promoting this great destination overseas. The challenge is that hospitality is competitive, but I believe that good competition benefits everyone. It motivates you to take an extra step to develop yourself. Focusing on elevating your service and experiences to new heights, renewing yourself per industry trends and creating a difference with your attitude, people and product are keys to success.

OHLALA – After two years in Bahrain, what do you like most about living here?
Tugce –
The hospitable and friendly nature of the people absolutely comes first. You can be from anywhere in the world and still start feeling at home in Bahrain in quite a short time, thanks to how warm and welcoming the people are. Life is happy, peaceful, and convenient. All of these facilitated my adaptation significantly. For a foodie like me, having great restaurants of world cuisines is a big plus. Growing up in Istanbul, I was used to living in a place with the sea. Bahrain also offers excellent sea views, which is essential for me. I like going out with friends since there are so many great places, but I also enjoy a quiet weekend in my neighbourhood spent reading or jogging among the beautiful landscape. Last but not least, Bahrain has the best airport experience in the world!


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