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People making it happen

By Sharon Hirschowitz, Global Head of Media & Communications for The International Luxury Hotel Association
29 January 2021
4 min read
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Chef Pu aka Fruit or Juice lady, The Tongsai Bay
Khun Pu, aka ‘the juice lady’ has been working at The Tongsai Bay for 32 years; her current position is Chef de partie, & her main areas of responsibility are making the wonderful fresh juices for our guests at breakfast, as well as preparing delicious salads & fruit platters for our lunch & dinner menus. The only real change with the current situation is that instead of preparing & making her fresh juices in-front of the guests at breakfast she has now moved to the cold kitchen.

Michael Ferreira, Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa (St Barthélemy, Carribean)

Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa’s personalised service is exemplified through Guest Experience Manager Michael Ferreira. Michael’s proactive attitude has been demonstrated through thoughtful actions such as preparing a unique welcome amenity of detox juices, sunscreen and hat for a cancer patient checking in, and accompanying a Portuguese guest to the hospital to help translate and make sure that the guest was well-taken care of. Michael showed true dedication when two guests fell in love at Le Barthélemy and spontaneously decided to get married - he organised the entire wedding event, from master of ceremony to musicians and floral arch, within 24 hours.

Lina Zazeckyte, Deputy Housekeeper, The Mayfair, Townhouse, London

This autumn, London will debut its newest luxury lifestyle hotel, The Mayfair Townhouse, in the heart of the vibrant Mayfair neighborhood. Deputy Housekeeper Lina Zazeckyte has become a crucial member of the team to ensure a smooth opening. Her role has given her the opportunity to create standards and services for the Housekeeping department, which during this time, is vital to ensure the property delivers above and beyond hygienic and safety standards when it opens. The pre-opening phase which has coincided with the height of the pandemic, has seen Lina work with very limited resources given the current environment, yet achieve the highest results possible, a quality which has made her stand out for the management team. Although challenging, this is what has made her creative and encouraged her to think out of the box in the Housekeeping department.

Nora Mitchell, Culinary Gardener, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa | San Diego

Nora Mitchell is the director of the Culinary Garden program at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, set on 49 lush acres. Inspired by the gardens at famed Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry, Rancho Valencia’s Master Gardener Nora Mitchell has designed the resort’s Culinary Garden program to feature large raised bed vegetable plots and potted specimens, a greenhouse, and a few surprise edible plantings around the resort. The property’s mature citrus and olive groves are being rehabilitated. Most seedlings are grown in the on-site greenhouse. Rancho Valencia donates excess produce to food pantries through a local gleaning program. The resort will also be presenting sustainable farm, garden, and permaculture education programs to its guests and local members and families.

Kimberly Fowlkes, Conrad Services, Conrad New York Downtown

Kim has an innate passion to not only provide a luxury experience for the guest via telephone – she makes it her responsibility to prepare for and create the “wow factor” for the hotel’s guests. One example is when the hotel had a guest who called to confirm their reservation at the property. She was able to find out that it was also their anniversary. She took it upon herself to upgrade guests to the hotel’s Riverview Suite and with the assistance of Guest Relations – was able to refer particular restaurants that would be fitting for the celebration. Another instance was for a last-minute booking request. She received a note that the guests were celebrating the wife’s birthday. Guest Relations had already left for the day and Kim took it upon herself to place amenities in the room prior to their arrival. Additionally, she ensured that an in-house follow-up call was made to greet the birthday guest.

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