These are the four managers at Playa de Palma!date_range 8 March, 2022 question_answer Leave your thoughts
The Playa de Palma hotels are headed up by four strong, professional and committed women who keep every corner of their hotels up to date. Who are they? Today we tell you the story of our dear Xisca, Tina, Gina and Patricia. They are the spirit of RIU in Mallorca, the destination where it all began and which is so dear to our hearts. And having the Riu family so close by gives them extra responsibility when it comes to representing the brand. This post tells the story of their work and the effort that the four managers make every day.
Manager at Riu Bravo
Xisca is the longest-serving of them all, with a total of 39 years working for the chain. We could say that she has grown up in the hotels, because at just 16 years of age, a young Xisca started as a dishwasher at the Riu Bravo hotel that she now proudly manages. She is the perfect example of how with effort, perseverance and dedication you can grow and achieve all your goals.
“The day-to-day life of a manager is more complicated than it may seem”
She first became a hotel manager at the tender age of 27. “I think you could say that being a hotel manager has been one of my greatest achievements.” Because for Xisca, the best part of her job is “dealing with guests and employees. You have to be there when they need you and, knowing that they do actually come to me when that happens, is comforting. It is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones for achieving our goals.” And the reality is that many things happen in a hotel, for better or worse, and there are always extreme situations. “When everything happens, you realise the essential value of our human teams, I think that is what differentiates this company from others.”
Xisca explains that this job is a constant surprise, that she arrives at the hotel with her bag and coat and often, three hours later, she realises that she still has her bag on her shoulder because, between clients and incidents, she hasn’t even been able to get to the office. “Who would have thought that I would experience a hurricane in Mexico, floods in Palma, the famous air traffic controllers’ strike, the closure of airspace due to the volcano in Iceland? Crises that directly affect your clients, your hotel, your employees and that, when you are a manager, you have to face with courage.”
For Xisca, working at RIU is her life and she says that “I have no doubt that it’s thanks to RIU that I am who I am. With the ups and downs, as in everything, but it will always be my life’s work.”
Manager of Riu Festival
Since her arrival 27 years ago, in 1995, she has discovered that having a plan does not mean that it will be achieved. Patricia did her management training in Mallorca, after which she was assigned to the Canary Islands. Then, after working in various hotels in the Caribbean, she was asked to return to Playa de Palma in 1998, and is still there today! Patricia is now the manager of the Riu Festival hotel, her home. “What makes me feel good about my job is that I still feel like part of a family, we are the ones who understand the concept of the RIU family and for me that is the greatest thing. I am proud to work at RIU.” Like Xisca, she agrees that the human factor is key. Patricia stresses that the best thing is to “bring out the customer’s kindness and get to know them. They are wonderful. Often, without you doing anything extraordinary, they offer you words of praise. The same goes for the employees, who are the ones who frequently tell me something that touches my heart. For me, that’s the great thing: experiences with people. In the end, that’s what fills your soul and makes you happy.”
“In a hotel, new things always crop up. There are many people, customers and employees who think and act differently.”
In addition “My colleagues and I always say that running a hotel is not a profession, it’s a life, in other words, you don’t have a profession, you live the profession. We are devoted to the job and we love it.” Despite the long hours and the uncertainty of the daily routine, Patricia says she is able to combine everything and “always put my best face on, because attitude adds up.”
Manager at Riu Playa Park
Now it is the turn of Gina, who started her career at RIU in 1994. She was part of the first class of assistant managers in training. She fondly recalls how during her welcome “a critical eye” thought she would not last at RIU, and it is clear that they were wrong because more than 27 years later she is still providing us with her undoubted talent. After training, she spent time in various places such as Punta Cana, Fuerteventura, the Algarve, and finally the Balearic Islands. Now she is the manager of the Riu Playa Park hotel which “I had the wonderful opportunity to open after its complete refurbishment in 2019, a beautiful challenge”, and which she has made completely her own.
“I look at every challenge calmly and face it with a firm step”
In her day-to-day work she tries to be “creative and to ensure that the hotel is not monotonous. I’m satisfied to see that the guests go home happy.” She also says that, “Many days I walk into the hotel and I think, oh how beautiful you are!” But without a doubt, what she is most passionate about is seeing her employees grow professionally. “I am very proud of that.” Gina is one of those people who leaves her mark, because as she herself says, “I keep in touch with the clients, even though I am no longer in the destination where I met them, they often come to visit me. I also stay in contact with many of the people who have crossed paths with me at team level.” Gina agrees with Patricia that for her, working at RIU “is a source of pride, I am very proud to work for this company.”
Manager at Riu San Francisco
Finally, we would like to introduce you to Tina, who has been working at RIU for 33 years. She started in the training programme and her first hotel was the Riu San Francisco, where she began as a reception assistant. Today she manages this hotel, which is so special for the chain because it is the first hotel that opened in 1953 and with which RIU took its first steps.
“Being a manager means having a lot of passion and vocation for what you do. Your hotel is your home and your employees are your family.”
Together with her colleagues, she agrees that the best thing about her job is “meeting people, the contact with clients from different nationalities and with different customs. This is very enriching.” It is clear to her that as a hotel manager, her employees are a fundamental part of making everything work and that is why she knows that, “Their needs are very important. In the end you know them all very well and you care about them, they are your family.” For Tina, “Working at RIU is like being part of a big, stable family and always facing new challenges. This is the best thing, it is never boring because you always have something new to face and that motivates me”, and this is reflected in her day-to-day management of the Riu San Francisco hotel. “Managing this hotel is an enormous responsibility. It was the first hotel in the chain and is an essential part of its history.”
When you are a hotel manager you have to be strong, even if it is hard. In the eyes of the clients, but above all in the eyes of the team that comes to you looking for answers. “During COVID, we experienced this very clearly. Logically, everyone was very worried and needed to be sure that RIU was not going to let them down, and it was very important to transmit that confidence to them.”
Anyone who has been lucky enough to see these four impressive managers at work knows that they are unique. Watching them manage is like watching a play: they are the director in charge of the day-to-day running of a hotel that they have turned into an art form. The way they coordinate their teams is exquisite, but so is their involvement in the work. A problem may suddenly arise, but in a matter of seconds they are able to give guidelines to the right people who show enormous respect for them and vice versa.
They have the ability to be there for everything. At breakfast time, for example, they notice whether the last salt shaker on the back table is out of place, whether towels are missing from the pool or if the bar is empty and there is a guest waiting. Their hotels are their second homes, they all bear the RIU stamp, but also the personal imprint of their manager. Each one of them knows her own hotel in detail, but as they cover each other’s days off and holidays, they also know how each hotel works, as well as each member of the RIU team at the destination. A great orchestra in which no element is out of tune.
Gina, Xisca, Tina and Patricia are not only brilliant separately, when they come together they create a magical atmosphere. There is a wonderful harmony between them, you can tell that more than colleagues, they are a great team! It’s wonderful to see how they confidently confide in one another. Watching them share anecdotes and laugh together is a luxury. All four are consummate professionals who are passionate about their work.
Although being managers has brought them many good things, as they themselves say, not everything can be summed up in an anecdote, there are many difficult moments and running a hotel requires a lot of effort and dedication. This is reflected in the impeccable product that customers enjoy in Mallorca. For example, they remember when they had to reopen the hotel doors after the stoppage caused by COVID-19. In a matter of days they had to get ready to receive guests again, a huge challenge without a doubt, but they did an outstanding job, thrilling all of us who saw them in action. In addition, their work has allowed them to live in different parts of the world. Through this they have accumulated all kinds of experiences, from the adventure of starting from scratch in an unknown city to earthquakes and hurricanes. They are adventurous, in life and in work.
Together and separately, they represent the purest meaning of the word vocation. We hope that they like this post very much, that their colleagues and clients recognise them in these words and that it offers them a small tribute to give them back a little bit of everything they contribute to this chain. And we hope that we have reflected all the passion and affection they put into their work as hotel managers. Thank you team!