Dedicated Seychellois housekeepers share their 15-year journey at Hilton Seychelles |29 September 2023
Hilton Seychelles recently joined the rest of the world to celebrate housekeepers on the occasion of their annual day and highlight the key position they occupy in the tourism establishment.
A lot of people are passionate about this profession, and have been doing it for over a decade.
Seychelles NATION had the chance to interview two hard-working and determined Seychellois staff members of Hilton Seychelles who shared their 15-year journey with the establishment.
Firstly we spoke to the Operations manager of Labriz, Marcus Barra, who joined Hilton in 2008 as a Guest Service Agent and moved on to become a wedding coordinator and guest service supervisor.
Marcus had a short spell in Abu Dhabi but returned to Hilton, where he was promoted to Guest Service manager. During that period, he demonstrated his management skills, which led to an overseas course at an academy in Istanbul.
Upon his return, Marcus was promoted to the post of Assistant Front Office manager and eventually to Front Office manager.
Last year, Marcus’ hard work and dedication were once again recognised and rewarded as he was promoted to Front Desk manager in charge of housekeeping. He presently holds the post of Operations manager.
The young Seychellois, who did his studies at the Seychelle Institute of Arts and Design, is regularly questioned about his choice of career.
“I did not know much about the job but I was ready to learn,” he said proudly.
He stated that with time, he was able to adapt and managed to get a feel of the job and how to tackle it on a daily basis. “I decided to stick around with the job and I found myself growing automatically and you do not lose hope.”
Sadly for Marcus, leaving his home to go work on another island was quite difficult. But he conveyed it was a choice he had to make in 2008 as the world went through an economic recession meaning the only way he could save money and buy his own personal items.
“Automatically, after the second pay slip that you get, you see that you can start doing some savings and it encourages you to move even further.”
Marcus, who has always been interested in literature, mathematics, English and French knew his ability, which also prompted him to push his limits. “Once you are in a higher position, you have to do things like profit and loss, sit down and think about budgets so I have some depth in these things which opens my mind a little bit. You feel empowered to make decisions.”
Marcus added that he is a friendly person but is serious and disciplined when he has to put his manager’s hat on and put his foot down and work.
“When it is time to party, we will party but when it comes to work we need to be serious.”
His long-term goal for the next 2-3 years is to become a resort manager, not necessarily on the same property but in any of Hilton’s new establishments.
Liza Bekele, who has had a 15-year career with Hilton Seychelles, is the Housekeeping supervisor at Hilton Northolme. Liza started her journey at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and did her induction at Hilton during her studies.
“It was a great opportunity for me to learn more and develop there,” she stated.
Liza, who started as a room attendant and eventually became Housekeeping supervisor, is currently focusing on the next level for her future.
“Hilton is a great place to work, you can learn anything you want, it has a great training programme also, that is why I am still there. It is like a family for us.”
Liza is passionate about the tourism field and enjoys attending to tourists to ensure they have a memorable and pleasant stay while on holiday.
She explained that during the hard days, she would confer with her family, who is very supportive. “My family is supportive because they know I can do more and they always push me to move to the next level.”
Liza aspires to be an assistant executive housekeeper which she is confident will happen next year.
Her advice to other STA students is not to rush and understand that everything starts at a lower level and it takes years to climb. She urges them to follow their dream, to stay on course and support one another.
“When you work as a team, you can make every one of your dreams come true.”
Text & photos by Sunny Esparon