The sands of the Near East have trumped the hold of a city in the Far East for Morton Johnston, who is returning to Oman this month as the new general manager of The Chedi Muscat.
A native of Ireland, Johnston originally joined The Chedi Muscat in 2004 as rooms division manager. He was part of the pioneer team and in 2006, after two years in his role, was promoted to executive assistant manager of the award-winning resort. In 2007, GHM tapped Johnston for his first general manager role, running a sister property in Korea.
Johnston most recently worked at The Regent Taipei as general manager from 2013 – 2015 and 2009 – 2011. In between these two stints in Taiwan, he honed his management skills with the upscale Indian hotel brand, The Leela, in Goa and Mumbai.
Rejoining GHM was a major factor in his decision to return, as was the appeal of a destination that proved especially durable.
“The Chedi Muscat is one of those iconic properties that you always hope to go back to someday,” said Johnston. “That’s as true for someone on staff as it is for a guest, and I feel fortunate for the opportunity to return.”
That someone with roots already established in Muscat is returning to run the hotel is a tremendous asset, according to York Brandes, GHM’s vice president of operations and the long-time general manager of The Chedi Muscat.
“With Morton, we have the best of both worlds,” said Brandes. “Someone who already has a relationship with partners, guests and staff, and someone who, at the same time, will breathe all kinds of new life into the resort with his arrival.”
The Chedi Muscat blends Omani architecture and Asian influences in its 158 guestrooms and suites. Spread over 21 acres, the oceanfront property boasts the largest spa in Muscat, at 800 square metres; six restaurants; and three expansive swimming pools, including the longest in Oman – the 103-metre Long Pool.
The contemporary hotel was most recently recognised as one of the top hotels in Condé Nast Traveller’s (UK) 2015 Readers’ Travel Awards, placing number seven in the ‘Best Hotel in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Ocean’ category.