Cayuga Week 2013: Hotel and Eco Lodge Staff meet in San Jose, Costa Rica

At Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, we believe that training, motivation and teamwork are key factors to great hotel operations.   It does not matter if you run a city hotel, a beach resort or an ecolodge or eco resort.   Training and investing in people is key.

This is why we bring our managers, coordinators and team leaders to San Jose once a year.   We get together to learn new things, share experiences and have fun.   Between May and September, we brought almost 80 staff members up to San Jose.   From as far as Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Nicaragua to Lapa Rios Eco Lodge on the Osa Peninsula.   It was the first time that employees from Kura Design Villas in Uvita participated.

For many of our staff members from the rural areas of Costa Rica, this was one of the few times that they had come to the capital city of San Jose.   A great experience for them was to be able to stay at our Cayuga Collection Sister Hotel Grano de Oro. They were pampered by the great hotel staff there and enjoyed the great food in the restaurant.   We were not able to accommodate all the staff at the Grano de Oro so our friends from the Intercontinental in Escazu helped us out as well.

Some of the staff from the hotels located in Guanacaste (the Harmony Hotel in Guiones and Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa) stayed at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn and really enjoyed the coffee tour and learning about all the sustainable practices at this hotel that forms part of the Collection.

The trainings were focused on management styles and practices as well as visits to companies that we consider benchmarks in different industries and from whom we could learn.   We learned about total quality at the local Toyota Dealership, visited our top travel agent, wellness treatment centers and chain restaurants where we could learn about systemization.   We also received a back of the house tour of big city hotels which was an interesting experience for our housekeeping and maintenance crews.

During the events we found that strong bonds were made between managers and coordinators and that many solutions were found right on the spot. We also found later that communications between the hotels and eco lodges have increased significantly.   The comments we received from the participants after they got back to their hotels were heartwarming and very encouraging for us.

Restaurant Coordinator Diamanda from Jicaro, NicaraguaOne comment stood out in particular. The one from Diamada who is the restaurant coordinator at Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Nicaragua.   ” This was an incredible and unique experience for me.   Not only because I learned so much and met all the great colleagues from the other Cayuga Hotels and Lodges; but it was the first time in my life that I had the chance to leave my country (Nicaragua)”.

We are already planning Cayuga week 2014.   Stay tuned.

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