Meet 27-year-old Isabel Mendoza, your Front Office Manager at Villa del Palmar Cancun who has been living in the area for 7 years, (5 years in Riviera Maya and 2 years so far in Cancun). Originally from Morelia in the Mexican state of Michoacán, she studied Business Administration, specializing in marketing. Read all about how her career began and her views about working with members at Villa del Palmar Cancun.
When did your passion for the service industry begin?
During my work experience while at university, I worked with a tour operator and got the opportunity to travel a lot. I made a lot of friends in the industry and using my speciality in marketing, I began to organize group vacations, first with my friends and then selling to the public, mainly in the Yucatan Peninsula area and Chiapas.
During this time, I made loads of contacts and was attracted to hotel management, which inspired me to start my career in hospitality with my first job in customer service answering calls from guests.
From there, my desire to learn more led me to join different areas in the hotel such as housekeeping and rooms division, where I met colleagues with a lot of experience who have helped me get where I am today.
What does it feel like to be the Front Desk Manager in a big hotel like Villa del Palmar Cancun?
So far, it has been a great challenge that has filled me with joy! No success comes easy and here I have encountered all kinds of people, situations, ways of working and so on that have helped me develop and learn a lot. Facing challenges is not something that scares me; on the contrary, challenges bring much scope for positive growth and experiences.
Everyday is different, presenting a different challenge that “feeds” me and leaves me full of energy, motivating me to go that extra mile and give my best so that our members and guests are happy and comfortable. I just love being able to create experiences and attend to the needs of our members and guests.
What recommendations do you have for members when they visit Cancun?
If it is their first time in Cancun, that’s easy! I can still remember when I first came, I wanted to explore all the white sandy beaches and enjoy the colourful nightlife. However, besides all the beautiful beaches and party atmosphere, I highly recommend that they explore the natural and historical riches that this region has to offer such as the archaeological sites and the cenote waterholes.
How do you transform ordinary experiences into extraordinary ones?
I believe that we all like to be fully recognized, so I always remind my team that we should seek to give that extra special touch to create a vacation “experience.” It not just about paying for your vacations, our members and guests have planned this time specifically to enjoy unforgettable moments with their families, friends or partner. They have come to have a wonderful time. The secret is to make them know and feel like we have been waiting for them and find ways to exceed their expectations during their stay. We seek to establish relationships.
What does a wow moment mean to you?
A wow moment is when we connect with our members and go beyond their expectations with special details and touches that are not usually part of their vacation experiences. At the front desk, we have access to information about the reservation before a member or guest arrives, so we may know if they are arriving to celebrate something special like a birthday or anniversary. My aim is to make sure I share this information with the right teams at the hotel who can create those special touches. I make sure that this information gets to the right people.
What inspired you to join Villa del Palmar Cancun?
A friend told me there was an opportunity to join the team and when I arrived to the resort, I just fell in love with the architecture and location of the resort, the staff and the friendly atmosphere. I was also very attracted to the ambitious vision of the company and its projections for the future, knowing that I wanted to be part of it, and remain so!
What do you do in your free time to pamper yourself?
I love sports too and like to relieve stress by skating or going to the gym. One of my biggest pleasures is to try all kinds of food. I also love reading, both fiction like Isabel Allende and scientific reading like Carl Sagan.