Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Advani

Nikheel Advani

Chief Operating Officer & Principal, Grace Bay Resorts

Internationally recognized as one of the industry’s most distinguished hoteliers, Nikheel Advani, Chief Operating Officer and Principal of Grace Bay Resorts, has established his reputation for hands-on management with more than 24 years of experience. In his role as Chief Operating Officer for Grace Bay Resorts, Mr. Advani oversees the operation of Grace Bay Club, the company’s flagship resort, West Bay Club, The Residences at Grace Bay and The Dunes. He is also actively involved in the acquisition of new Grace Bay Resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America. Over the past decade, Mr. Advani has played an integral role in the resort’s overall growth. He served as the top operational executive in the expansion and renovation of Grace Bay Club as it evolved from a $14 million, 21-room boutique hotel to a full-service luxury resort boasting 82 suites and residences now valued at over $250 million. He is also responsible for the acquisition and repositioning of West Bay Club, an idyllic resort located three miles from Grace Bay Club. Training and mentoring staff at Grace Bay Resorts is a priority for Mr. Advani who founded Grace Bay Club Hotel School. The school, a first of its kind in Turks & Caicos, is designed to train local hospitality staff in productivity and service. The school employs an experiential learning model with courses in table service, wine and customer communication. Prior to joining Grace Bay Club, Mr. Advani served as Hotel Manager at the renowned Raffles Hotel Singapore and led the Food & Beverage program for the entire Asia Pacific region. Additionally, Mr. Advani spent seven years with Ritz‐Carlton Hotels internationally where he specialized in hotel openings and operations, moving within the organization from Food & Beverage Manager to Executive Assistant Manager in Ritz‐Carlton properties spanning from Singapore to New York City. Highly respected with the hospitality industry, Mr. Advani has received numerous awards over the course of his career including two most recently from Island Destinations; ‘Ultimate Hotelier of the Year’ in 2012 and ‘Ultimate Culinary Innovation’ in 2014. Grace Bay Club is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, where Mr. Advani is currently a member of the Global Marketing Advisory Committee. Mr. Advani has also sat on the board of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association for three years, and currently serves on the board of The Bodhi Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization charged with mobilizing support from travelers and the tourism industry to protect places and people around the globe. He also teaches at the renowned Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and the Les Roches International School of Hotel Management. Mr. Advani graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with an honors degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration in addition to successfully completing the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School. A Singapore national, Mr. Advani is fluent in English and Mandarin and proficient in French and Hindi. Mr. Advani resides on the beautiful island of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos with his wife and daughter.

Mr. Advani can be contacted at 649-946-5050 or nikheel@gracebayresorts.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.