Chiva, professionally known as Miguel Angel Velasco Palacios, is the Rooms Division Manager at Garza Blanca who is responsible for making sure that everything about your accommodation is in tiptop shape when you arrive to your home away from home in Puerto Vallarta. Originally from the city of Guadalajara, five or so hours from Banderas Bay, the 39-year-old manager had a lot to say in his interview for our members.
Tell us about your nickname Chiva.
Although “chiva” means goat, I was actually given this name at school because my favourite soccer team was Las Chivas from Guadalajara.
How did you end up as Rooms Division Manager at Garza Blanca?
I started working at the Sheraton in Puerto Vallarta in 1997 as a butler and then I was given a promotion to concierge and later head of reception. After that I took some time to open up a laundry business for local residents before being hired by Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta as Front Desk Manager, which was when my career with Tafer Hotels & Resort – The Villa Group began. I spent almost 9 years as Rooms Division Manager in Puerto Vallarta, later being transferred to Villa del Palmar and Villa la Estancia Flamingos in Riviera Nayarit. From there I receive yet another move up the ladder to join the prestigious Garza Blanca Resort.
In what ways does your job affect club members?
I work behind the scenes taking care of assigning the perfect room for our members and making sure that each room is in tiptop condition before, during and after their arrival. I help members to take full advantage of their versatile membership, making sure that they get the right accommodation for their needs; and if there are upgrades available, it is my greatest pleasure to grant them.
Where are members likely to find you?
My office is located between the pool and the main lobby, and I am very easy to recognize as I am one of the only bald managers usually running around the resort. Ha ha!
What attracted you to working at Garza Blanca?
I was attracted to the opportunity of working for a luxury hotel whose standards constantly reach towards 5 Diamond status. Tater Hotels & Resorts is a fast growing luxury hospitality company with endless possibilities and I wanted to be part of that. It is a company with a youthful vision where I feel that I can make a difference and be part of its history. All of the staff under my watch are trained by me, and I try to offer a humble honest service. I love seeing young adults work with passion, raising our standards every day.
Describe one occasion where you have delivered extraordinary service for that “wow” factor.
Oh! I have had so many “wow” experiences that I could write a book. Every day something extraordinary happens at our resort for that utter “wow” factor. To think of one in particular, that is tough! But one that springs to mind is when I brought one of my horses accompanied by Mariachi to sing the Mexican birthday song, Las Mañanitas, to one of our members. We are still friends.
What recommendations would you give to members for things to do in Puerto Vallarta?
To come at the beginning of December to watch the Guadalupe church processions, which happen during the first twelve days of December. The other thing to do, which can be done anytime of year is to eat everything you can on the street! There are many delicious finds – just look for the places that are full. At Garza Blanca, my advice would be to go on one of our hiking tours where you will see so many different bird species that you rarely get to see in other places.
Anything else you would like to add for our members?
That I look forward to meeting our new members and seeing those I have previously met next time they arrive to Garza Blanca! My office is your home here at Garza Blanca. Stop in to say hello!