Sophia Fakhry describes The Smallville Hotel in Beirut as the “Utopia of a Civilized City”.
Along with her superhero staff, Sophia promises each guest a unique, unforgettable emotional experience, thanks to the hotel mascot.
1. Sophia, please introduce yourself to our readers:
My name is Sophia Fakhry. Majoring in Communication Arts & Education, I worked as a Business Management Consultant for a school concept in Dubai. 20 years in the Hotel business along with Food & Beverage, Business Management and Marketing Solutions.
Currently, I am the General Manager and Stakeholder at The Smallville Hotel, partner at Beirut Homes Hotel Apartments, founder of The Superville Hospitality Management Solutions, founder & CEO of #SUPER: an e-commerce and lifestyle brand, along with many more restaurants, wellness and design concepts. And last but not least, I am the author of the 7 volumes of Marvelous: The Great Magician Series.
2. How did your journey begin at the hotel industry and what is it that inspired you?
I grew up with nothing but loads of dreams. Throughout my travels, I developed an infatuation for exploring design hotels and that’s where my inspiration began, so I decided to have my own. I decided to name it “The Smallville Hotel”, only after my beloved small town, Beirut.
3. Tell us more of your dream hotel, what is it that makes it remarkable?
The Smallville Hotel, to me, is a reflection of the ideal city. The hotel is unique with its own identity. It is the home for the exhibitions of different artists’ works, a stage for creativeness and my personal own, the home of Super Sophie.
Who is Super Sophie, you may ask?
Super Sophie is the mascot of the hotel. She believes in superheroes’ power and infuses her thoughts and ideas in every corner. A hotel resident, wedding crasher and the one that always inspires the employees to be superheroes not only during their jobs, but even in their own world.
Ask to #MeetSuperSophie.
4. What atmosphere does The Smallville Hotel have?
The hotel is designed for everyone in love with fashion, innovation and creativity. It is not only youthful, it fits for both corporate and leisure. I believe that corporates should have the chance to stay in a hotel with a pleasant atmosphere, melody, good vibes and mouth-watering food.
5. What leisure facilities does the hotel offer?
The hotel offers a wide variety of services to both locals and travelers: Banquets, hair salon, SPA, a Just Ask Alternative Concierge Service, marketing tools for promotion and publicity, a design store and many more activities.
Examples for so are tanning while enjoying a cocktail at our pool house, overlooking the hippodrome of Beirut, a simple workout at our Superhero Gym, or a bike ride offered at our lobby.
As for our art lovers, you can find our Super Design Store, a distinctive concept store reflecting art works and handmade goods, by the Reception.
The Smallville Hotel offers special rates for day use, short or extended stays.
6. What do the guests rave about after their visit to their friends and family?
Well, what makes us different is the distinctive design made with a twist as we aim to provide every single guest with a memorable emotional experience. The unrepeatable vibe, the dynamic interactive spirit of the hotel and the experience is what makes us who we are. We like to keep our guests on their toes when they enter the hotel.
For instance, we are the only hotel with the “Red Street” existing at the hotel’s pavement, making it our guests’ most popular outlet restaurant and pub. As for your cars, we make sure you are well taken care of by our valets!
Sophia’s Live Kitchen: Named after Sophia Loren’s 1971 Italian Cookbook.
A carousel of flavors and delights await the guests who like to indulge their senses in authentic Italian dishes. Both Sophie and Sophia have a passion for traveling and are focused on one thing: a constant lookout for what’s the new peculiar in Italy. They both managed to bring the freshest ingredients back to their hotels with the help of their chefs.
As for The Secret Garden: what happens in the garden, stays in the garden!
A two story plan venue, specially perfect for private events, weddings, corporate conferences and birthdays.
The elevators are a different story, they are the time machine that take you from one world to another, with a gentle smile, watching the videos displayed inside.
Taking you to the 16th floor, The Poolhouse/SPY, a fascinating 360-degree view “Stargaze”, enjoying the sunset and relaxing in a comfortable seat that takes you all the way from the city view, to a ride to the hippodrome, reaching the mountains.
Remaining refreshingly chill during the warm seasons and alluringly cozy during the chilly seasons, Our Poolhouse is open all year long!
As for our newest addition, savor the ‘pink” panoramic view of Beirut with your loved one! This brand new outlet “Pink Sky” placed on top of the hotel building is the to-go to spot for your quiet sunsets, meals and drinks all with the live animation projections.
Everyone, from the minute they enter, feels something exquisite and pleasant. Staying at the hotel, one cannot fail to notice the art in the heart of the lobby surrounded by several designers’ creations.
The Smallville Hotel, simply allows you to feel the heartbeat of Beirut. Offering a panoramic view, located within walking distance from the trendy street of Badaro, allowing a local shopping experience, only a 15 minute walk from Downtown District.
7. How does your hotel embrace the digital world?
It is a high-tech hotel; ecofriendly, in love with digital gadgets. The minute you step onto the hotel’s pavement, you will be able to tell that The Smallville Hotel is a utopia of a civilized city that delivers all its messages through its digital visual marketing means.
8. How do you stay inspired and motivated?
When my superheroes deliver professional service and ensure each guest’s stay is embraced with a memorable emotional experience by anticipating their needs and exceeding expectations, is what pushes me to go further. My employees are the main reason behind my motivation as long as they are happy and satisfied.
9. What authentic local experience will guests have access to?
We usually offer a farmer market brunch at The Secret Garden. As for travelers, we offer a Lebanese Breakfast Buffet.
Our staff is well trained and get along with all our guests in a professional manner, personalized but never casual. My superheroes will make sure to deliver a high standard of personalized service, anticipating needs and fulfilling requirements, leaving each guest with an eccentric spiritual adventure.
The Smallville Hotel offers every guest with a “Just Ask Alternative Concierge Service”, recommending the city’s outings, theaters, bookings and all Lebanese arts and culture along with extras you don’t usually find in a non-designed hotel.
10. What is your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement so far is succeeding in building a successful team at the hotel, resulting it in becoming one of the top 3 hotels in town for high occupancy, and one of the top 5 hotels on the Online Market.
Although we are not a chain, yet we managed to create our own identity which is rarely found in the Arab region.
11. What about your passion and hobbies?
Swimming is my major hobby, it is my way of relaxing at the end of every stressful day. I find my passion in creation and innovation.
12. What are your keys for success?
Never giving up, persistence, power, patience and having a sense of detail and vision are my main keys for success.
13. Your favorite quote?
What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.
14. Your ideal holiday destination?
Personally, submerging myself in salty water in the sunlight makes me feel one with the universe, only turning every stressful situation insignificant.
15. Your preferred cuisine?
That would be Italian and Japanese.
16. What are your future plans?
To expand this business further and have as much people engaged as much as possible. I am also writing a children’s book for the UN about sustainable development goals that have been signed in The Paris Agreement.
17. How about your message for the citizens of Beirut?
I would like to deliver a message of hope, beauty and innovation to the people of Beirut, and I hope that I am able to provide nothing but comfort to its people with all the services I have to provide when it comes to personalized and leisure traveling.