Serving the rich and famous at Marina Bay Sands

A hotel guest once called Ms Christine Kaelbel-Sheares at 2am, wanting to throw a party with bar service and a deejay for 40 friends within half an hour.

Another guest and his wife wanted to rent Elvis and Marilyn Monroe costumes for Halloween at the eleventh hour, when rental shops in Las Vegas were already largely out of stock.

Requests like these were the norm for Ms Kaelbel-Sheares when she was director of butler services at Las Vegas Sands’ The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts.

After a two-year stint there, she is now looking to serve the rich and famous with equal zest at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) as its director of Paiza and VIP (food and beverage). Paiza is MBS’ club for premium players.

“It’s very much the same thing I was doing in Las Vegas – providing the top level of service to a very exclusive clientele,” said Ms Kaelbel-Sheares, the granddaughter of Singapore’s second president, Dr Benjamin Sheares.

“Our guests often don’t plan ahead; they want something immediately. So a certain level of anticipation is needed, as well as being very resourceful.”

When the MBS opens next year, it will create a category of service industry roles catering to heads of state, royalty, high rollers and celebrities on an unprecedented scale. Hundreds of positions are available, including butlers and VIP services officers, said an MBS spokesperson.

Asked how the integrated resort would fill its ranks with suitable candidates – given the relative novelty of such roles here – the spokesperson said MBS would conduct extensive in-house training.

Ms Kaelbel-Sheares, who joined in June, also hopes to attract overseas Singaporeans with relevant food and beverage experience, like herself, to return.

The 30-something has been abroad for 16 years, including five years running a French restaurant in Ohio with her husband.

Her interest in hospitality stemmed from watching her parents host heads of state and visiting dignitaries as a child. Her parents told her it was a “tough career”, but even after obtaining a degree in law and politics, Ms Kaelbel-Sheares was “adamant” about pursuing her passion.

She got a postgraduate diploma in hospitality administration in Switzerland and went on to work at various hotels and resorts in England and the United States.

On Thursday and Friday, Ms Kaelbel-Sheares and her fellow department heads will be at the MBS’ Career Fair at Suntec Singapore’s Hall 602 to recruit people for their teams.

About 3,000 vacancies across 82 job types including commis chefs, room attendants, security officers and lifeguards are on offer.

On the gaming side, although the “majority” of dealer and dealer inspector positions have been filled, interested candidates may still send their resumes to, the spokesperson said.

Source : Today – 18 Nov 2009

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