Sofitel Dubai The Palm has appointed Bianca Virkus as director of rooms. It is one of Virkus' most senior hospitality roles to date after spending 20 years climbing the industry's ladder.
She joins from the Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa where she was also director of rooms, working at the resort for close to a year. Her hotel career started in 2001 as a front office agent in Germany, though she made the move to the UAE two years later.
Once in the UAE, she quickly accelerated through the industry, holding managerial positions across Jebel Ali International Hotels, JA Resorts & Hotels and Rotana. She has previously been director of front office at Khalidiya Palace by Rayhaan in Abu Dhabi and EAM of Palm Tree Court in Dubai before that.
Accor is a world-leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,000 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing luxury and premium brands, midscale and economy offerings, unique lifestyle concepts, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more.
23 November 2021 — The hotel's signature F&B offering includes Envy, coffee shop EllaMia and more.
Vaamonde will lead culinary operations at these venues, leveraging her previous experience with the likes of Masterchef, the TV Experience and Catch LA and Dubai.
23 November 2021 — Payne began working in the hospitality sector aged just 16 in his native South Africa, first as a bar-back and then as a bartender, before making the move to Dubai.
He joined The First Group at The Blacksmith before transferring to Barbary after just three months.