Luis Riu: 鈥淩am贸n Arroyo is a legendary employee with his own story to tell鈥

date_range 26 April, 2019 label , question_answer 2 Comments
Ram贸n Arroyo, an essential support for Luis Riu in solving the technical requirements of the hotels in the group

Ram贸n Arroyo, an essential support for Luis Riu in solving the technical requirements of the hotels in the group.

To think about Ram贸n Arroyo is to think about laughter, songs, whistled tunes and the scent of his cologne. I don鈥檛 wish to wax lyrical, but everyone who knows him, and there are many of them both within and outside RIU, will recognise him in everything I say. But perhaps not all of them realise that Ram贸n Arroyo, apart from being one of RIU鈥檚 most long-standing employees, is the only one to have reported directly to three generations of the Riu family during his 45-year career with the company. The position of Director of Technical Services is usually kept well away from the spotlight, but today I would like him to shine in his own right which is why he takes centre stage in this post.

The Riu family and Ram贸n Arroyo: a professional relationship that has lasted for decades

Luis Riu and Ram贸n Arroyo go over the planning for work at the Hotel Riu La Mola, in Formentera, in 2010

Luis Riu and Ram贸n Arroyo go over the planning for work at the Hotel Riu La Mola, in Formentera, in 2010.

Ram贸n Arroyo and I have known each other since I was a child. When I first joined RIU I used to work with Do帽a Luisa in the staff shop at the Riu Caballero. But our professional relationship really began in the Canary Islands in 1984 when we worked together on preparing the opening of the Riu Palmeras, our first hotel outside the Balearics. At that point, Ram贸n had already been with the company for 20 years, most of them spent working side by side with Juan Riu. 鈥淒on Juan was very tough. I guess he saw some promise in the young lad that I was back then when I started with RIU, and he wanted me to learn and to grow with the company. And even though he lost his temper, it was all forgotten a few minutes later. He was all heart鈥, explains Ram贸n when recalling my grandfather.

鈥淟uis Riu鈥檚 grandfather was very tough, he wanted me to learn and to grow. But he was all heart鈥, says Ram贸n Arroyo of Juan Riu.

Luis Riu and Ram贸n Arroyo in a photo taken nine years ago at the Hotel Riu La Mola, in Formentera

Luis Riu and Ram贸n Arroyo in a photo taken nine years ago at the Hotel Riu La Mola, in Formentera.

From his position as a technician, Ram贸n has witnessed the entire history of RIU, and has a genuine 鈥済ut feeling鈥 for the hotels. It can be traced right back to when we were a small family business in Playa de Palma right up to the major challenges presented by our international expansion. And on this last point, there is one thing we totally agree on: The biggest challenge we ever faced was the development in Punta Cana. There were no roads or running water, no power, no telephone lines, no nothing! It was there that we learned how to overcome all those obstacles and shortcomings and for every subsequent project, each one with its own complications, we have tackled the difficulties step by step. Nothing has been nor ever will be like that first experience in Punta Cana.

Ram贸n Arroyo: 鈥淲hat I most value about Luis Riu is his closeness and trust鈥

Luis Riu and Ram贸n Arroyo understand each other perfectly after decades of working together

Luis Riu and Ram贸n Arroyo understand each other perfectly after decades of working together.

And so, project by project, Ram贸n and I have grown together professionally. With now more than a glance, we understand each other perfectly and I trust him completely. His position could be very appealing to unethical people, those who might allow themselves to be tempted by a commission in exchange for one kind of investment or another. But I know full well that if Arroyo proposes any kind of improvement, it is because it is needed and good for the hotel. But neither he nor his network of suppliers have ever been suspected of such conduct. And that level of trust is priceless. 鈥淲e know each other very well. I know at a glance if it is the right time to raise any particular issue. And what I most appreciate about Luis, which he has in common with all the previous generations, is the clarity and speed of his decision-making, as well as his closeness, approachability and trust. That is something that, despite RIU鈥檚 growth, has not changed鈥.

鈥淟uis Riu and I know each other very well, and I know at a glance if it is the right time to raise an issue or not鈥, says Ram贸n Arroyo

Luis Riu: 鈥淩am贸n Arroyo鈥檚 work is essential to RIU鈥檚 business鈥

Today, Ram贸n Arroyo heads up a team of technicians and engineers responsible for hotel audits, as well as assisting with renovation work and openings. His work is essential to the business. Among his responsibilities, apart from an infinite number of minor matters, he has to ensure the hotel has running water which is hot for showers and cold for air-conditioning, that there is electrical power and that the sanitation system works. If just one of these elements fails then the hotel cannot operate. That鈥檚 how crucial his work is.

Ram贸n Arroyo and Luis Riu, together at the recently opened Hotel Riu Playa Park, in Mallorca

Ram贸n Arroyo and Luis Riu, together at the recently opened Hotel Riu Playa Park, in Mallorca.

And after all these years, having now reached 65, it is inevitable that the subject of his retirement has arisen. He says that he likes his job. How could it be otherwise with so much effort and so much travelling involved which, by the way, is a testament to the character of his wife. 鈥淚鈥檝e been able to do the job I enjoy thanks to my wife. Who else could put up with this level of absences and trips away if not someone with the character required to hold the family together?鈥. And for that reason, he explains, he would like keep going for just a few more years, as he loves what he does. So long as his family doesn鈥檛 need him. If that happens, he will leave it all behind to take his turn at putting his shoulder to the family wheel.

Fortunately, the time has not yet come for farewells, but in order to prepare the ground, he has already built up a fine team of technicians very much aligned to RIU鈥檚 working philosophy. What I am clear about, though, is that when the time comes, we will very much miss his smile, his songs and his 鈥榡oie de vivre鈥.

Fdo. Luis Riu

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