Cayman’s Marriott is ‘best in region’

The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort has been recognized as the best Marriott hotel in the Caribbean and Latin American region. 

The hotel on Seven Mile Beach was recognized as the top performer among 45 hotels carrying the Marriott name throughout the region. 

General Manager Enrique Tasende said the award, based on financial performance, customer feedback and staff satisfaction, was just-reward for the efforts of the staff over the past few years. 

“I think what helps us is that we have really talented individuals in all the key positions,” he said. “Everybody works extremely hard and when you are recognized like this and put in-front of your colleagues internationally as the role model hotel, I think that completes the circle. After all the hard work and all the training, people are saying ‘you are the best.’” 

He said the hotel, which underwent extensive room renovations last year, will see further renovations this year, with new restaurants and a new layout of the reception area and public spaces. 

But he insists the hotel will not become complacent. 

“Every day we are looking to improve. If we get 95 percent occupancy in March then we want to make sure we get 96 percent in April. 

“The aim is to become even better. We are planning phase two of our renovations, which will mean massive refurbishment of the public spaces,” he added. Mr. Tasende sees a bright future for the Cayman Islands tourism industry in general. He said, “Cayman is on an upswing. Things are looking very good for the island in general. Everybody is saying the numbers are coming back to pre-recession levels.” 

Even through the tough times, he said, the Marriott had achieved sustained growth. 

“Since 2011, we have been saying, ‘this is the best year in the history of the hotel.’ We have been able to say that for the past three years in a row.” Mr. Tasende picked up the award at the Marriott group’s general manager’s meeting in Cancun last month. 

The hotel also picked up the Mustang Award for innovation, partially for its social media campaign to market the “beach house” experience – a theme that was also central to the redesign of the rooms. 

Mr. Tasende added, “It was a great honor to be called out on the stage in front of my peers because I felt that I was not only representing my team, but also the Cayman Islands. I think we have set the bar high for other Marriott hotels and the pressure is now on to keep on getting better and better. 

“Our leadership team consists of true visionaries but none of these awards would have been possible without the constant support and faith in our ‘out of the box’ ideas. The success of the resort relies on the fact that all the associates, management team and owners work as one. At our hotel, we approach our jobs differently than other places.  

“We go into work each day thinking from our guests’ perspectives and we base our decisions on what we think will make their vacation experiences with us unique and memorable. I believe that this simple approach to business is what makes us successful.”