Meet Dario Fernández, General Manager of Hotel Melia Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa.
1. How long have you been managing this property?
I have been managing the Paradisus Varadero since August 2013, almost three years now, although I first arrived in Cuba on October 2007 as GM of the Meliã Havana. I'm proud to say that next October I will have been able to spend nine years in this lovely country.
Before starting this position, I had already been with Melia for 16 years – since 1990! – adding up to a total of 25 years. As my years with Melia have passed, I can proudly say that this company has become my home and I'm always excited to share my property with both new and returning guests.
2. What are the top 3 characteristics of each guest profile in Hotel section / SSRR / FC at your property?
To understand the differences between the profiles of our guests, depending on which of the three units of Paradisus Varadero they have chosen, it´s important to explain first that Paradisus is the "Premium" brand of Meliã when it comes to "All Inclusive" resorts. We work consistently to be recognized as the most luxurious holiday resorts in the world, characterized by very high gastronomic standards and spectacular facilities in our properties including our exclusive YHI Spas.
As for specific client/prospect characteristics, potential Family Concierge guests have a wide range of additional facilities at all levels focused specifically on the family. These highlight the family-food, family-entertainment, family facilities and a personalized family butler service. When travelling with children of all ages, Family Concierge will ensure that every member of the family has a vacation to remember forever!
Our Royal Service section offers an even higher standard of accommodation and services than our standard section, as well as wider and higher quality food range with a personalized butler service as well as a greater detail and luxury service offer in general. From the first of November this year, once our Family Concierge is fully open, our Royal Service section will become Adults Only.
3. How would you recommend travel agents position your Family Concierge against your competitors?
The modern construction with very high standards of quality and design ensure that our Family Concierge, as a concept, is not comparable to any other hotels in the Cuban industry making it unique in its segment. For clients looking to experience all of the luxury that Cuba has to offer with the whole family, there is simply no other program that compares to this one.
4. What surprises guests the most about your property?
The Paradisus Varadero is located in a natural protected area. From the moment they arrive at the property, our guests are surrounded by palm trees, able to enjoy an unrestricted view of our pristine beach from everywhere in the lobby, reception and buffet restaurant. The resort's thoughtful and purposeful construction perfectly integrates with the surrounding nature, and together with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world never fails to amaze our guests and take their breath away. Add to this the hospitality provided by all of the staff in the Paradisus Varadero family, which is driven by a genuine desire to provide the best experience possible, the result is an amazing and unforgettable Caribbean vacation.
5. What's the most unique request you received from a client that you were able to help accommodate?
A few years ago we organized a ceremony for a couple who had been married for years and who wanted to renew their vows on the beach. We prepared a beautiful arch on a platform and decorated it with vibrant, local flowers facing the ocean in the middle of the beach. It was a picture-perfect setting. We had arranged Cuban music, and a buffet full of local Cuban foods. The only thing missing was the Justice of the Peace who, due to a major and unexpected reason was unable to attend the ceremony at the last minute. The couple was distraught. At that point, as General Manager of the Resort and like a ship captain, it was with great personal gratification I officiated the ceremony. Having the chance to be a part of something that meant so much to this couple, and that they'll never forget, is something that I will never forget either.