Crocodile Bay Employee of the Month – Rabin Ortiz – General Manager
Tell us about yourself:
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I love adventure, people, and discovering new places so, somehow, I always knew I wanted to work in hospitality. It was my great honor to earn my hotel management degree at the prestigious Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration, which has a branch in Isla Verde not far from my hometown. Once I graduated, I started my career as a front desk manager. Over the years, I worked my way up through various roles to general manager at resorts throughout the Caribbean. I feel really lucky that my life has been so exciting, filled with many new experiences and opportunities to learn from the interesting people I meet. When I was offered the opportunity to become the general manager of Crocodile Bay Resort, I jumped at the chance, despite having never visited. Within a month, I was on a plane, ready to start my next adventure – this time, in the jungle.
What is the most interesting request you’ve ever had from a guest?
Once, during Costa Rica’s rainy season, I received a request to stop the rain and improve the weather! I’ll never forget it. Unfortunately, while I wasn’t able to satisfy my guest’s request, I was able to offer them a bird-watching experience, which is incredible at that time of year. If you look closely, it’s possible to spot more than 30 different types of indigenous birds within a one-mile radius of the resort.
What is the most challenging experience you’ve ever handled at your resort?
During a severe rainstorm, one of our fishing boats got loose from the dock. It was a bit challenging to save the boat and suffice it to say, there was a lot of teamwork, some splashing and swimming, but, after much huffing and puffing, luckily there was no damage to the boat or dock.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
I’m proud of having successfully opened four hotels, especially “Monsieur” Cuisinart Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, British Virgin Islands. I’m also pleased to have a wonderful record of happy guests and provide mentorship to the talented professionals in our industry.
Best career advice you received:
Hendrick Santos, my former general manager at Hyatt Hotels in Puerto Rico (who is also my friend and mentor), taught me the importance of looking at the big picture, continuing to think out of the box, keeping my property in the best condition possible, and caring for my staff as much as I care for the guests.
What do you love most about your job?
I love inspiring positive change by creating memorable experiences for each guest who stays with us. The highlight of my day is hearing them say, “I don’t want to leave!” because that tells me our team provided them with a great experience. I also have fun working in an industry that is constantly evolving, allowing me to continually expand my passion for service.
Article on Rabin Ortiz derived from “The Friday Report – News for the Interval Holdings Family of Companies” June 14, 2019.