Michelle Purnell Discusses Studio One’s Emphasis on Community and Sustainability

Imagine a hotel that’s like a movie set, full of energy and friendliness, and offers delicious food with local flavors from Dubai. That’s Studio One Hotel! In this interview, Michelle Purnell, who works in marketing and communication at Studio One, talks about what makes this hotel special and how it’s making the Dubai hotel experience different.

Learn about how Studio One mixes Hollywood style with local culture, creates a fun atmosphere, and cares about the environment – all while giving great service to guests.

From where this idea came and how it makes your hotel different from others in the area?

Studio One Hotel started in 2019 because we saw a need for something different. We wanted a place where people could come together, hang out, and have fun with their friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere. We wanted to focus on entertainment and having great food and drinks with talented chefs.

We wanted our hotel to feel cozy and relaxed, like a small boutique. We also wanted to have really good food and drinks to make families feel welcome. Our idea was to connect with the local community.

We noticed there were a lot of movie production companies in Studio City, so we decided to make a hotel with a movie theme. We chose Stormtrooper as our main character, and that’s how the idea started.

When you bring local Dubai brands into your dining choices, how do you decide which ones to pick, and how does it make guests feel?

For example, Joey, the amazing person behind The MAINE Street Eatery, created a great concept that started in Dubai. Now, he has restaurants in Ibiza, London, and soon Abu Dhabi. These brands are growing fast. We have Mr. Miyagi’s here, another local brand, originally at the Media One Hotel. El Chapo’s Tacos is a fun, small Mexican restaurant focused on great food and a lively atmosphere.

We also have an Italian restaurant that offers authentic Italian dishes made by a talented chef, creating a real community feel. The Irish Village, a well-known UAE brand, has a smaller version here that’s very popular. We also have a new place called Rags to Riches, started by someone who used to work in Arabian Ranches. It is a place where folks can unwind, play pool, and savor a delicious steak. These regional concepts and brands draw in and retain consumers. People will always find something fresh to appreciate at Studio One thanks to its fantastic environment and assortment of good restaurants.

How do you keep Studio One Hotel lively and engaging as a social, dining, and entertainment hub? What challenges do you face in maintaining this vibrant community atmosphere?

To keep the community vibe strong, we actively engage with local businesses. For instance, Boxica gym joins our events, offering free classes during our birthday weekend. We also host baby swimming classes led by Gemma, which bring local parents together for coffee and chats. Using our venue, Team Angel Wolf hosts inclusive movie nights where kids with a lot of heart and other kids enjoy films, popcorn, and pizza. Original Mix DJs take part in our birthday parties and teach adults and children DJing skills. Building and maintaining these local relationships is key to our community focus.

What inspired your focus on being eco-friendly, and what are your future sustainability goals?

We designed the hotel with sustainability in mind from the start. We decided to open without plastic, utilizing glass water bottles instead of plastic ones and energy-saving LED lights with sensors. We recently purchased a Waste Lab to compost food scraps for our garden.

Our approach to sustainability focuses on reusing, upcycling, and recycling to ensure our business keeps improving and growing. We don’t want things to stay the same; we want to keep getting better.

How have guests responded to these facilities, and can you share any memorable events that happened there?

There are twenty-five seats in the theatre. After they won a competition, we used to have forty young rugby players here. They appreciated the room, had beers and pizza, and watched their game. We also use it for karaoke, kids’ parties, and ladies’ nights. Sometimes, the noise distracts nearby offices, but it’s always fun. We’ve used tiny conference rooms for a variety of purposes and thrown big feasts for cricket clubs. Community organizations like Original Mix DJs and Team Angel Wolf are welcome to use these areas for free. The area is adaptable and ideal for business and community gatherings.

How do you mix traditional and digital marketing, and what trends do you see in hotel marketing?

The greatest marketing is word-of-mouth, even though social media, digital platforms, and our website are crucial for sales and exposure.

Organic promotion is the result of community initiatives and satisfying visitor experiences. Guests talk about their great experiences at Studio One, spreading the word. After learning about our work with Team Angel Wolf, people frequently come to us asking to cooperate with us on constructive projects. Our ambassadors and these community discussions are fantastic marketing tools that help us advertise our company.

Why did you choose to offer such a variety of accommodations?

When we were planning Studio One, we wanted everyone to feel welcome. We made sure that people with different needs could stay here comfortably and enjoy all the same things as everyone else. We’re big on community involvement, so we partnered with Team Angel Wolf, who use our space for their activities. That’s why we offer inclusive rooms and accommodations.

Our long-stay apartments are fantastic! They have one bedroom and a kitchen, perfect for people who move around a lot or work remotely. Dubai has many visitors who stay for short periods, but some also stay for a month or two. We wanted to make sure everyone could easily find a place to stay. These apartments are like a hotel but designed for longer visits, with everything you need for a comfortable stay.

How did guest feedback about recycling influence a new policy or amenity at Studio One?

We listen to feedback from guests on websites like TripAdvisor and Booking.com, but now we’re also using TrustYou to gather feedback from other places like Google and social media. We pay attention to what our customers are saying and make changes based on their needs. Some feedback helps us improve our policies, especially when it comes to our restaurants. We value feedback on things like food quality, service, and timing because we want to make sure guests have a great experience.

We have a mystery shopper visit us once a month, and we’re happy to say we’ve consistently received perfect scores for the last few visits. But when we get less positive feedback, we take it seriously and work to fix any issues.

For instance, we recently renovated our courtyard. We replaced all the tiles and made the space look much bigger. We also got new covers for the pool, which have our logo on them. We’re always listening to feedback and making improvements based on it.

Also read: Kristian Imhof – An Insightful Journey with General Manager

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