In Conversation with… Lina Abdullah, Oakwood’s First Female Regional GM

Lina Abdullah_RGM Cambodia Myanmar Thailand_2 (1)

In March 2015, Lina Abdullah, a seasoned hotelier with experience managing various properties under the Marriott Group joined Oakwood to manage the former Oakwood Residence Garden Towers Bangna. She went on to successfully open Oakwood Hotel & Residence Sri Racha in 2017. Since its opening, numerous accolades were won each year while Lina was named Thailand’s Best General Manager in the Hospitality Category by CMO Asia in 2018.

Earlier this year, Lina was promoted to Regional General Manager, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand at Oakwood. She shares some interesting facts about herself with us. Read on.

 

  • The best part of my job is…

“Meeting different guests from diverse backgrounds and culture. Oakwood offers five distinct products designed for different guest preferences so I enjoy crafting different welcome experiences when they arrive at our properties for the first time. It is very rewarding to make them feel comfortable in a new environment and at ease in their new temporary abode.”

 

  • The most challenging part of my job is…

“Ensuring that all associates stay inspired and motivated to deliver exceptional hospitality services at all times.”

 

  • My biggest achievement in business is…

“The successfully opening of the 458-key Oakwood Hotel & Residence Sri Racha, which is the biggest Oakwood property in our portfolio. Within three months of opening, we achieved positive Gross Operating Profit. This is a rare feat for newly opened properties.”

 

  • My biggest mistake in business was…

“To assume that associates understand what I’m saying, especially with language barriers. I’ve learned the hard way to always double check and ensure that my messages are fully understood. This gives me the chance to find another way of explanation if they did not understand me. Never assume!”

 

  • If I wasn’t working in our industry, I would like to have been …

“An accountant.”

 

  • The best piece of advice anyone ever gave me was…

“Never give up and keep going even in impossible situations. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

  • If I could tell my 18-year old self one thing it would be…

“To remain persistent and patient. Never underestimate your ability to learn and adapt to new environment/challenges.”

 

  • The person I admire most in hospitality is…

“Mr. Bill Marriott. I started my hospitality career at Marriott hotels so my professional foundation is shaped by his philosophy and spirit of service.”

 

  • The person I admire most in history is…

“Alexander the Great because of his ability to conquer to world at such a young age.”

 

  • I am surprisingly good at…

“Numbers.”

 

  • I am surprisingly bad at…

“Socialising.”

 

  • My perfect day off would be…

“Spent with my young son, Iskander.”

 

Q&A adapted from an interview given to George Sell for Serviced Apartment News

 

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