Resort Manager of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Chris Sariego has been promoted within the Ritz-Carlton and is leaving Cayman this week, returning to his native Chile for his new post.
Mr. Sariego was in the senior executive role for many months following the former general manager’s departure. Jean Cohen, the only general manager The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has had so far, left the island in April 2008, to take up a new position as the chief operating officer of the Atlantis resort and hotel in the Bahamas
Mr. Sariego is going to be the general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Santiago in Santiago de Chile, having spent the past four years in the Cayman Islands in hotel management positions.
His last day of work in Grand Cayman is today.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s Interim General Manager John Dravinski arrived here just before Christmas. He was formerly the GM for The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California.
Public Relations Director with the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Melissa Ladley confirmed that there is definitely a plan to get a permanent GM reinstated but said she could not share any information on a timeline.
Speaking to the Caymanian Compass on Thursday Mr. Sariego noted that he is saddened to leave Grand Cayman and what he calls his extended family here.
‘But I leave satisfied and happy that we managed to achieve so much,’ he said.
Mr. Sariego first came to Grand Cayman in December 2004 with his wife to scout it out before taking up the job of Managing Director of the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. Once he saw the damage Hurricane Ivan had caused and the need to rebuild a strong tourism community he decided to take up the challenge.
In January 2005 he took up his post at the Marriott Beach Resort with the goal of turning a good hotel into a great hotel.
Mr. Sariego moved to the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in January 2006 where he took up the position of resort manager.
Speaking about his four years here, Mr. Sariego said, ‘My work at the two resorts has enabled me to work with two teams and between the two of them close to 1,300 ladies and gentlemen,’ he said.
‘I feel very proud of each of them and of what they were able to accomplish. I leave very happy and satisfied that together with them and our partners in the community such as the Governor, the Minister, Immigration Department, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and the Department of Tourism, we have accomplished lots.’
Some of the highlights have included bringing new air travel routes into the destination and raising the level of service to a standard where a higher level visitor is coming. ‘We’ve all done it together,’ he said.
He is not selling his home here and plans to return on vacation as a tourist to meet up with all the people he has come to love.
‘Of course I leave great people behind, but really it’s not behind, because everyone will have a place to visit in Chile,’ he said, adding that he would have a nice glass of Chilean wine awaiting their arrival.