One of Cayman’s best-known tourism
professionals is back after nearly two years away.
After eight and a half years as an
intrinsic part of the hospitality landscape, concierge Leroy Jordan was rolled
over in 2008 to much consternation from visitors and colleagues. However, after
21 months away Mr. Jordan is once more working in the Ritz-Carlton, Grand
“There’s a dent in my ceiling when
I hit the roof on getting the phone call to come back here; it was the first
time I’d truly been happy, inside and out, for 21 months.”
“The whole lifestyle, the people –
there’s nothing like it. It’s like my heart and soul was still in the Cayman
Islands and always has been. Since the first day I set foot on Grand Cayman
back in 2000 I knew this was my place and I had a connection with the Island.
The people I’ve worked with, the people I’ve met I can’t even imagine being
anywhere else and wouldn’t change it for the world,” he said.
After leaving Cayman, Mr. Jordan
worked in Edmonton at the Marriott and Fairmont hotels where he said he had
learned new skills and technology. However, the climate was something of a
shock to his system after being warm for the best part of a decade.
“Edmonton had been minus 45 and the
coldest place in the world this winter, after Siberia. I got to Edmonton at the
beginning of November, it was dry and cold and I knew I couldn’t stay there. I
doubled my parents’ heating bill – everything had to be Cayman heat,” he said.
Although he stayed in touch with
co-workers and many guests from the hotel during his enforced sabbatical, it
was never the same for the hospitality professional, who has won numerous
awards over the years for excellence in his sector.
“The Christmases were really tough;
guests that I knew from when I worked at the Hyatt who then would come to
Ritz-Carlton would call and email saying, ‘We really missed you this year’ – it
was really tugging at the heartstrings. I can’t wait for this Christmas to see
people I’ve missed for the last two years.”
Early in 2010, the opportunity
arose to return to Grand Cayman in order to work with old friends at Rum Point,
an experience he said he valued tremendously as he’d started in the food and
“Being out there in a nice relaxed
atmosphere out on the beach was good fun; we had our rushes with cruise ships
coming in but it was a whole new experience and a good thing to be able to do.
Everything I’ve learnt over the years I can apply to my current job.”
Slotting back into his old job was
easy and there have been visitors who have performed a double-take on seeing
him back in action. Mr. Jordan said it was hard to describe, but that he felt
that he was back home, so easy was it to mesh back into the Ritz-Carlton team
that he rates so highly.
“Some things have changed on
Cayman, inevitably, but some things stay the same. People are still really
friendly, amazing people: the island is still warm and I am so glad about that.
“It’s a dynamic island and change
is not always bad. When you leave for a year and come back there may be new
buildings and new faces but the spirit is the same. That’s really important and
maybe people don’t realise that. I went to Germany and the States and Canada
and Cayman has that je ne sais quoi. It’s a refined island but it has that
old-world charm, which is amazing and that’s why people keep coming back.
“It’s good to be home, and I call
it home because it truly is.”