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Interview with Doris Greif, The Langham MD

23rd November 2021
Islay Robinson GROUP CEO

Islay Robinson

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Interview with Doris Greif, The Langham MD
Islay Robinson
GROUP CEO

Islay Robinson

A native German, Doris’ career has centred in the Middle East having worked for over 19 years of experience in leadership roles for Jumeirah, her last role for the group as Senior Vice President Operations – MEASA, based in Dubai. Her CV includes impressive roles managing some of the most prestigious hotels in the world including the Burj Al Arab and repositioning Jumeirah Emirates Towers as the number one corporate hotel in the UAE and Middle East.

She moved to London in August last year to lead the team at the iconic hotel Langham, London as it continues to be one of the very best hotels in the city and combines that task with her role as Vice President of Operations for Europe & Middle East supporting the group to grow the brand with new acquisitions and developments in those regions.

When not at work, Doris is a passionate football fan and supports her home team Bayern Munich.

1. Where does your passion for the hospitality industry stem from?  

It was actually my parents who guided me into hospitality. Growing up, I was somewhat of a tomboy and my passion has always been cars. The faster, the better! My uncle owned a car workshop and most days after school I would spend hours watching him at work so I actually wanted to be a mechanic.

My parents decided to send me to a Hotel School in Germany as they felt it was a sound and solid industry to break in to. Thankfully my curiosity grew, cars were put on the back burner and my love for hospitality began. I often reflect now I am so pleased I listened to my parent’s advice!

I love the varierty of the role, no two days are ever the same and you have the opportunity to travel the world if you want to.

2. What has your career journey in the industry been like and what led you to joining The Langham?

I graduated from Hotel School Kermess in Munich in 1982 and my first roles were in Front Office in Munich before moving to Dubai in the position of Director of Front Office & Sales Operations at the Dubai Hilton & Beach Club.

Working for over in such a varierty of leadership roles for Jumeirah gave me me so many opportunities. There have been so many milestones; the rebranding of Jumeirah Beach Club Resort & Spa, the repositioning Jumeirah Emirates Towers as the number one corporate hotel in the UAE and Middle East, opening Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, which was a multi-billion dollar project and winning the World Travel Awards ‘World’s Leading New Hotel’ award but I would say the milestone that meant the most was becoming the first female General Manager in the Middle East region in 2000, that felt like I had achieved something very special.

Having moved back home to Germany from Dubai to spend time with my family and in particular help looking after my parents, the decision to move to London was certainly not one that I took lightly. Ultimately though, it was too good an opportunity to let pass me by, I have always wanted to manage a ‘Grand Dame’ hotel and so even at my age, with my father’s blessing, I accept the position.

3. What makes The Langham Nymphenburg Residence, Munich so unique?

Where do I start! The location is extraordinary, with a direct view of the majestic 490-acre imperial estate of Nymphenburg Palace, steeped in royal Bavarian history and set in the grounds of the world-renowned Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg.

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Every tiny detail has been meticulously thought out from graceful flowers illuminating the staircase and crystal chandeliers that drape from the bedroom ceilings to bed linens from Frette matched with cashmere throws from Allude, all carefully selected to match the colour palette of each room.

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For over two years, the 18th Century manor was so lovingly restored and revived as Langham’s first private residence for guests. Featuring seven bathrooms, four bedrooms, three living rooms, a spacious dining room, full-eqipped kitchen, fitness suite, chairman’s suite, home cinema and wine cellar there is all you need for the ultimate escape. The private sun-dappled terrace also allows guests to relax in the middle of landscaped gardens. 

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Currently, Langham Hospitality Group has an impressive global footprint in prime locations. In September 2020 we launched our first residence in the portfolio, a completely unique private residence in the grounds of Nymphenburg Palace just outside Munich. The Langham Nymphenburg Residence, Munich features seven bathrooms, four bedrooms, three living rooms, dining room, fully-equipped kitchen, fitness centre, conference suite, home cinema and wine cellar. A private sun-dappled terrace also allows guests to relax in the middle of a beautifully landscaped garden.

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4. What’s next for The Langham?

Currently, Langham Hospitality Group has an impressive global footprint in prime locations.

In the longer term we hope to expand the collection of hotels further into Europe & the Middle East, The Langham Murano, Venice will be the next hotel to support than opening in 2023 and also to add a resort proposition to our offering.

For more information, visit www.langhamhotels.com

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