Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Dreamliner Hotel, so named after the new modern Boeing 787 aircrafts that Ethiopian Airlines ordered to acquire in February 2005. The naming is not without a reason, though.
Its owners, Mulat Lemlemayehu, a 35-year veteran pilot with the national carrier, while his wife, Tibelch Teklu, was a lead cabin crew with 20 years of experience.
Captain Mulat has had an aspiration to fly the Dreamliner, after operating on the Boeing 777 aircraft. Not surprisingly, the owners have taken inspiration in building the hotel from the quiet elegance and superb functionality Boeing promises Dreamliner will become.
Nonetheless, another dream Mulat had was to open a hotel, using what he has observed and experienced when staying at different international standard hotels while flying Ethiopian planes. Their attachment to the National carrier was also a great motivation to come up with a name that was connected to Ethiopian Airlines.
It was his second dream that has seen takeoff in 2008, the same year the Dreamliner planes were supposed to be delivered. Although the aircrafts are yet to come, in June according to Boeing officials, Dreamliner Hotel in Addis Ababa has been up and running for four years now, working to please its guests in and gaining ground in the capital’s hospitality industry, for its quality of services.
The culmination of this hard work has been the recent recognition of the dedicated service the Hotel gives. Dreamliner Hotel was the proud receiver of the commitment to quality and business excellence in Ethiopia, bestowed on it at the 14th Century International Quality Award Convention, held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012.
The gold trophy was presented to Captain Mulat by Jose E. Prieto, president of Business Initiative Directions (BID), a company known to be hosting such awards after assessing quality in business in over 173 countries.
After a team from the company came to Ethiopia incognito, and inspected the quality of hotels and other businesses around the country, it saw fit to nominate Dreamliner Hotel for the Award and following the QC100 Total Quality management system.
A management style that budded in the 1950s, total quality management requires the involvement of every staff member in leadership, strategic planning, benchmarking and attention to quality. This is not only to the result of production but also includes the process that is employed to the production, a process that requires constant attention.
it has brought about great results because it involves the entire staff from top to bottom ”Getachew Gobeze, general manager of the hotel since its opening, stated.
These qualities indeed seem to be hallmarks of Dreamliner Hotel. Starting from the interior design, with exquisite oriental style ornaments and comfortable furnishings coloured in earth tones, the hotel provides an ambience that combines comfort with quality.
Equipment and fittings for the hotel’s ample accommodations featuring 96 bedrooms with amenities, three
bars, and two main restaurants, were mostly handpicked by Captain Mulat or his wife, Tibelch, during their travels. The interior design was entirely handled by Tibelch, as well. The attention to detail goes beyond picking out furniture, however. Rigorous consideration is given to skill development among staff, starting from selecting the right person for each post.
One such selection is the Chef for Zakia, the Hotel’s Restaurant. A native of India, the Chef offers sumptuous Indian cuisine. Capitan Mulat recalls first meeting him in New Delhi, where he had tested his dishes and was convinced he ought to come to work for Dreamliner Hotel. This choice has proven to be profitable, for the Restaurant is now a favourite among locals, expatriates and members of the diplomatic community residing in the capital.
The 175-180 staff that work for the hotel have to undergo a series of trainings two times a month all focusing on hospitality and dedication of service to customers. This process is overseen by General Manager Getachew, while other times the training comes from international coaches, giving advice on leadership.
“Dedicated involvement from all of the staff e is encouraged,” Haregewoine Kitaw, finance manager at the Hotel, explained.
With such training and dedication, the staff acknowledges that the trophy for the hotel is well deserved, even if the award has come as a surprise to all. “We’re all involved in decisions that advance the quality of this Hotel, which has led to its success. The investments we have put in, developing the skills of our staff give us an edge” Captain Mulat states.
Both management and staff acknowledge that the award is an encouragement to keep on providing excellent services and come up with solutions that the Ethiopian hospitality industry currently requires.
One example of this is the current expansion the Hotel has undergone, finishing three state-of the-art conference hallsr – Fasil, Axum and Lalibela. They have the capacity to accommodate 50, 55 and 60 persons respectively, in addition to the already functional Jantekel Hall, named after a landmark in Gondar town where Captain Mulat comes from, and accommodates 400 people. This move will help promote the ever growing conference-tourism sector in the country.
Dreamliner is also keen to extend the excellence of its famous ethnic restaurant. Recently Captain Mulat has concluded talks with Chef Francis from Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, to come and manage a West African themed restaurant at the Hotel.
Slated to open by the end of April, this will be the first eatery specialising in West-African food, coming as good news to the considerable number of expatriates from the region working in Addis Ababa.
More rewarding than the current award, however, are the glowing testimonials that patrons of the hotel give when asked for their opinions, according to management.
“I used to stay at the different hotels and guesthouses in the capital before I found out about Dreamliner,” says an Ethiopian born Kebede Tadesse, a first time customer, who lives in Maryland and manages Global Shipping Services, a company that distributes Ethiopian imports, like spice and beer in all regions of the United States.
Kebede, who was looking for quality services that are reasonably priced for his business brings him to Ethiopia at least twice a year learnt about Dreamliner online, while in North America. The Hotel’s online presence in travel website portals was one of its assets that helped it win the international award.
“When I came, I just walked into the hotel, without any plans to check-in,” said Kebede. However, Kebede says he changed his mind upon being surprised by the set-up of Dreamliner, which was comparable in quality to hotels he comes across while in the United States.
“I made the decision to stay here immediately,” says Kebede who plans to stay at Dreamliner whenever he comes in the future as well. “I am glad I did that. It’s a commendable thing to be able to provide such quality services in Addis Ababa, at such a reasonable price.”
As a domestic Hotel with no international affiliations in franchise or outsourced management, it is a tough feat to be at the fore-front of high-quality hotel service providers in the growing and competitive hospitality industry of Ethiopia. Managing to achieve this, and looking forward to reaching new heights, the hotel invites all customers for a visit, to “line their dreams with pleasant memories” in line with its motto.
- 96 bed rooms with all amenities.
- ?. Three bars.
- ?. Two main restaurants
- ?. One special Indian restaurant (zaika).
- ?. Four conference halls with the capacity,
- ?. Jantekel hall: 400 persons
- ?. Fasil hall: up to 50 persons
- ?. Axum hall: up to 55 persons
- ?. Lalibela hall: up to 60 persons
- ?. Inhouse Gym, Sauna, Steam and massage.
- ?. High Speed broad band wireless Internet access
- ?. Two basement parking lot.
TEL: +251-11-467 40 00
Fax: +251-11-467 40 01.
Email: [email protected]
Source: Addis Fortune