Karla, thank you for taking the time to talk with me today for the members’ newsletter. Please tell our members a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been in the hospitality industry for 23 years. The majority of the time, I’ve been in housekeeping. I’ve also worked in other positions, such as turndown service, reservations, banquets, I also worked as a server in restaurants, and a runner and a busser in restaurants, but most of my time in hospitality has been spent specializing in housekeeping.
I was born in Mexico City. When I was 8 years old I moved to Morelos, Mexico. When I was 18 years old, I immigrated to the United States, and I lived in Sedona, Arizona. I love Sedona. I hope I can live the last days of my life in Sedona. I worked at L’Auberge de Sedona Resort & Spa for 15 years. L’Auberge de Sedona is a luxury resort in Sedona’s Red Rock country, in Oak Creek Canyon. It’s very well known and very beautiful. This was my second job in the hospitality industry, and the resort gave me the opportunity to become housekeeping manager after working in a few different positions.
Something interesting about me is that I was nominated for Manager of the Year by AAA in 2004.
Another interesting thing about me is that I have lived in Italy and Singapore. I was working at Capella Hotels, and that company gave me the chance to go to work overseas at resorts in those countries.
How did you like Singapore?
I liked it, but it was very hectic. You wake up early and take the train. Over there it’s too serious. Everybody’s on the phone, on the computer, focused on their own thing. Mexicans are very friendly, chatting with each other on the bus. In Singapore, everyone is focused on themselves. There is a lot of wealth there, but it’s also lonely. It’s a very clean and safe country. There are cameras at the bus stops, on the streets and in the buses. The laws are very strict. You can even go to jail for chewing gum. It’s a place I would love to live if I had relatives there, but I was living there by myself, so eventually I wanted to go back to Mexico.
How did you get back to Mexico, and to Hotel Mousai?
I decided to move back to Mexico about 10 years ago. I wanted to be successful in my career in my own country. I was able to come back with Capella Hotels. I asked if they had any open job positions in Mexico. They said yes, in Ixatapa Zihuatenejo, so I moved there and lived there for a while, and my son was born there.
Then later, I was able to find Garza Blanca and Hotel Mousai. A colleague who used to work with me in Ixtapa worked here at Hotel Mousai she invited me to interview for the job of Housekeeping Manager. I was hired, and I’ve been here at Hotel Mousai for 2 years.
Please tell us a little bit about your current job as Executive Housekeeper at Hotel Mousai.
I have eleven housekeepers on my team here at Hotel Mousai. We have briefings every day. We encourage all of the housekeepers to be knowledgeable about the members, which floors they are on. We assign housekeepers to the members to take care of their housekeeping needs while they are staying here.
Something that members might not know is that on the housekeeping team, we review the AAA Five Diamonds standards every single day. This is the way we keep our Five Diamonds certification at Hotel Mousai. The standards are very important to us, and following them makes up an integral part of Hotel Mousai’s entire mission and atmosphere. The AAA standards include things like using the name of the guest, recognizing them, looking them in the eyes, smiling, recognizing them when they are walking towards us, even from far away, anticipating their needs, for example, stopping the elevator for them, things like that.
Another thing we do for members is we always make sure that they have the housekeeping service at the time they request it. Service can be any time they want it, even in the middle of the night. For example, if they go for cocktails at The Rooftop, we can clean the room at night while they are gone.
We also look for members around the property to see if they are in the room or if they would like to have housekeeping service while they are out. We are able to see if they have an open check by the beach for example, so we can take that opportunity to service the room. We always ask first. We make an effort to find them and ask, because we don’t like to let a day pass without housekeeping service or, for example because they had the privacy sign up by accident. Housekeeping service is a major part of any hotel experience. It’s one of the reasons why people like to stay in hotels instead of AirBNB or other rental properties, so we try to make sure each guest has daily service, and especially our members. So this is part of my job, to make sure my team members are servicing all of the rooms daily.
Another part of my job is taking care of specific preferences that members have. Any preference that they may have, they can let us know and we will make sure that it’s taken care of. For example, members can specify the size of the bathrobe they would like to have in the room in advance, via the pre-arrival email. Or, they can specify any preference about the kind of pillows they like. We actually have a pillows menu with 4 types of pillows varying from hard to soft, memory foam, goose down or polyester fill. Members can also order extra blankets, extra shampoo and conditioner, aromatherapy, or let us know if they don’t like any chemicals to be used on their sheets. Any preference for the room they can let us know in the pre-arrival email and we will accommodate their requests. We also write welcome messages to members, or leaves flowers in the suites, especially for Gold and Elite members.
What else would you like to communicate to our members?
I would like to mention that Hotel Mousai recently received an award from AAA for our superior cleanliness. We are ranked in the top 25% of 27,000 hotels surveyed by AAA.
We are only able to receive this award because of the dedication and the love that everybody on my staff has for service and teamwork. There is no other way to do it. For example, sometimes we feel tired from our work day, but we must always ourselves, why are we coming back tomorrow? It’s because we love it.
We are all here to fulfill the mission of Tafer Resorts, which is to create extraordinary hotels unforgettable vacation experiences that will accompany our guests for life. The entire staff of Hotel Mousai is working towards this mission, from the executive management level all the way to housekeeping, and each piece is as important as the next.
Sometimes our housekeeping service extends beyond cleaning the rooms. For example, the other day a guest was sunburned, and she asked, “What can you do for me?” So we got some fresh aloe vera and gave it to her, and she was very happy and satisfied. Her satisfaction tells us we are doing the right thing in our work. It’s something that she will remember, and that’s a way that we are honoring Tafer’s purpose.