Darinka is one of the first faces you are likely to see when you arrive at Garza Blanca in Puerto Vallarta. You will easily recognize her by her blonde hair, big smile, and friendly personality.
Darinka started working at Garza Blanca 2 years ago. She is originally from Puerto Vallarta, where she earned a degree in tourism from the PV campus of Universidad de Guadalajara Costa Norte CUC. After graduating, she worked the front desk at several resorts and boutique hotels in Puerto Vallarta before joining Garza Blanca, so she has a lot of experience in her position. She started her career at Garza Blanca in Premium Services was promoted to Front Desk Supervisor, where she has been for the last year and four months.
“I love to work here at Garza Blanca,” Darinka said, “because of the people, the view, and my office!” Her office is the front desk area of the lobby, which consists of four large, comfortable, executive-style desks. This area of the lobby has a view of the pool, the mountains, and the ocean. It’s easy to see why she loves her office!
I asked Darinka about her background, her job as Front Desk Supervisor, and what she would like to communicate to Club members.
Tell me about your family.
I have a small family. It’s just my mom, one brother, and me. I have one daughter who is 13 years old and one son who is 6 years old.
Tell me about your job as Front Desk Supervisor.
I supervise the front desk team, along with Wendy. We have a small team of seven people. Wendy and I make sure our team is providing good quality service up to Garza Blanca’s standard. Since there are only seven of us, we get to know the members very well.
The front desk staff is in charge of assigning rooms to members and guests during the pre-arrival time, before they arrive on the property for their stay.
We work closely with the concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams to provide the best service to members and guests. The front desk staff is the link between the members and the housekeeping and maintenance staff. We make sure all of the members’ needs are taken care of.
We also handle special requests and complaints. If a member has any issue, we work to solve the problem.
We alternate our working shifts, because someone needs to be at the front desk all the time. I work the morning shift one week and the afternoon shift the next week, alternating.
What can members request from the Front Desk?
Members can request pickup arrangements by a taxi or transportation company, they can call us to make reservations for the restaurants on the property or in town, or for activities on the property or in town if the concierge is busy, they can request wake up calls, they can call us for recommendations of things to do here in Puerto Vallarta. Several people on the front desk team have been living in Puerto Vallarta for many years, and we know about special activities downtown during different times of the year. For example in December we have the peregrinaciónes, which are traditional ritual processions to the main church downtown. That is something that locals know about and can recommend to members if they want to go out in town.
What would you like to say to the Club members?
I want to tell the members we are so happy to have them. It brings us so much joy when they come back year after year. They become like family for us, and we are always happy to see them again when they come back. It’s not only work, it’s like a real family. We see their kids grow up over time.
We know that members really trust us, because they have invested with us, placing the responsibility of future experiences for their families into our hands. It’s a big responsibility for us, and we take our jobs very seriously. We know we need to provide the best quality to our members.
We are also happy that the members come back year after year, because they see the property over time and get to know the staff. They can see how their money is being spent to upgrade the property and their experience, and we also get to know them personally.
The front desk staff sees the members daily, because every morning the members go to the restaurant to get breakfast, and we always ask them if everything is fine and if they need something.
How does your team create the “wow factor” for members?
My team’s job is all about providing extra special personal service to our members. For example, when members arrive to check in, we don’t say “welcome to Garza Blanca,” we say “welcome home,” because this is their home.
We are here to service any requests our members have. For example, if they request a room in a specific building, a room on a main floor, or a room on the highest floor available, we will try to arrange it for them.
The concierge pre-arrival team can also inform the front desk team when they have pre-arrival information for a member, and we can try to request anything the member would like and have it ready for them when they arrive. Last week we had a member who arrived on his birthday, so we made a cake and presented it to him when he arrived! If members let us know when they have something special going on, we can do something special for them.
We can see our members’ history in our reservations system, so for example, we can see that they really loved the room they had last year, and we can give them the same room this year.
Or, we can see that they love champagne or a particular cocktail, and we can prepare a welcome cocktail with the special drink that they like. We remember their preferences, and this is how we provide personalized service.
I want to tell the members that I am here for them. If they need something, I’m always happy to help.