Introducing… Nelson from Front of House
As soon as you step foot in our Beach House, one of the first smiling faces that you encounter is the famous Nelson, one of our beloved Doormen. You can ask our guests, Nelson brings so much warmth and passion to what he does. He is a common feature on the hotel’s TripAdvisor page – many reviews single him out to praise his friendly personality and genuine kindness towards our guests. It is a true testament to his talent for hospitality; a characteristic that is inherent and authentic.
Nelson moved to Cayman in 2010 from the Philippines. His journey with Marriott started a few months after he arrived on the island. He tried his hand in different departments across the hotel – working in various roles in Housekeeping and as a Lobby Attendant. It wasn’t until 2012 that he found his true calling. A Manager saw his potential for great customer service and asked him if he wanted to be a Doorman. The rest is, well, history.
Speaking to Nelson, it becomes apparent that providing excellent customer service is something that has to come from a genuine place. It is not something that you can consistently pretend you are very good at – it is a natural gift. For the last five years he has embraced his position with love and enthusiasm.
When asked what he adores about his job, Nelson can’t help but wax lyrical about how it has helped him develop his full potential when it to comes to customer service. He said: “Not being a native English language speaker, it makes me excited to be able to provide the best customer service and seeing how guests react positively makes me so happy. Since I am a Doorman, I am the first person that guests meet as they enter the Beach House. It all starts with me – I am the first impression. Plus, I love meeting different people of all nationalities from around the world. Since I am in the frontline, I can read guests’ body language, especially the first-timers in Cayman. We know Cayman – we are a very hospitality-oriented and friendly country. I mix up the Filipino approach to customer service plus the Beach House attitude and that is my magic formula.”
Customer service has always been part of Nelson’s working life. His first job back in the Philippines was when he was 16 years old and he worked at a fast food chain. He elaborated: “I realised then that I had a convincing personality. If we didn’t have one product available, I would suggest an alternative and customers seemed receptive to that. I recognised that I needed to grow and move on to a bigger company, a more challenging role. That is why I moved. As a Doorman, the scope is really big. I am so overwhelming grateful for this opportunity. I love the Beach House, the people and the culture. We work as a United Nations. Until now I am still here and I am not planning to go anywhere soon.”
It is not only guests that rave about Nelson and his infectious smile and personality, it is also the rest of his team. They love working with him as much as he does. And for Nelson, it all boils down to gratitude. He said: “Sometimes I really can’t believe it – how this has happened to me. This is my first experience working outside of the Philippines and I can’t believe how lucky I am to get the chance to do something I love. Some of our repeat guests contact me personally beforehand to tell me that they are coming again. I feel like I know these guests on a personal level. Living in paradise, it is hard not to be grateful when you wake up to such beauty everyday.”
When asked what attracted him to Cayman, he points to how similar the climate is to Philippines. He added: “I love the weather here. But the big difference is how accessible everything is. The grocery store, the shopping centers – we are talking about a 15–20-minute drive. It is really convenient. The traffic is very tolerable, compared to how bad it can be in Manila in the Philippines. But as a British colony, Cayman is so different and I feel like I can learn a lot of things here. I love this country. I have made a lot of friends here. My colleagues are like my family. I can compare the resort to an ant colony, and Front of House is just one section. Wherever you are it doesn’t matter what position you are working – we work together as a team.”
When asked what he is excited about with regards to the future of the Beach House, Nelson said: “We are all still growing and improving, together with the Beach House concept. What we are focusing on in our department is making sure that guests have memories that stick to their hearts. We want them to feel that the best hotel on the island is our Beach House and a big part of that is our impeccable service. We continue to strive for this everyday – and it comes naturally. It begins with me as a Doorman and it flows all the way to the beach.”
So, what is the secret to Nelson’s success? It is simple. He concluded: “I remember what a previous colleague said to me, ‘It doesn’t matter how beautiful your property is, if you don’t take care of your guests than you are nothing.’ It is so true. The trick? Put yourself in their shoes; I am a traveler too. I always ask guests who are checking out, ‘Do you have your passport?’ And some say, ‘I left it in the room safe, thank you Nelson for reminding me!’ These little details are what make the real difference.”
The Unforgettable Faces Of Our Beach House
Introducing… Nelson from Front of House