Le Montreux Fairmont Palace

The International Conference on Syria (GVA II): An international conference from the inside

3 Mar 2014 | by Les Roches


Louis Doumier (Class of 2012) had the privilege of welcoming the GVA II International Conference to the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. 

Thankfully, the ability to be flexible is one of the leadership qualities he would have developed through his training at Les Roches…

My name is Louis Doumier, I graduated from Les Roches post graduate program in May 2012 and have a university degree in business administration from Belgium. I am currently working in Switzerland, participating in Fairmont’s Leadership Development Program in Accounting and Finance at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace.

In mid-January, we welcomed the Geneva II Conference on Syria to the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. It was a really amazing experience for all the Leadership Development Program participants. The UNO raised the security level to its maximum in the entire area around the hotel. The cars couldn’t park in the streets anymore; all hotel employees had to carry accreditation from the UNO in order to enter in the building, as did our suppliers.

In addition, any items we purchased had to be scanned one by one through a metal detector just like your hand luggage at the airport. There were also trained dogs patrolling at all hours, day and night, inside the hotel and in the hotel grounds.

Naturally, we also had to meet a large number of last-minute requests from all countries’ delegations in house, on top of managing the communication with media and press.

To conclude, I can honestly say that I hope anyone working in the hospitality industry can have such an amazing experience at some point in their career; it taught me a lot in a very short time frame.

#1: Be flexible.  Be prepared to deal with all kinds of requests.  All at the same time. 
#2: Be committed. Be prepared to go the extra mile to make guests feel welcome.
#3: Be discreet. Maintain guest confidentiality at all times.
#4: Polish your communication skills. You never know when you’ll end up briefing the media.

Geneva II Conference on Syria
Security installations prepared in front of the “Fairmont Le Montreux Palace” (AP Photo/Keystone,Aline Staub)

Geneva II Conference on Syria
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon opens the so-called Geneva II peace talks next to UN-Arab League envoy at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace (AFP Photo)


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