Meet Gawtham Gokool - Executive Assistant Housekeeper at Ambre
August 08 2019
August 08 2019
Ambre, the sensational four-star, all-inclusive, adults-only hotel has been beautifully created to be a magical oasis for guests where they can just “get away from it all”. With everything catered for, a holiday at Ambre is sure to be stress-free and allows guests the opportunity to embrace the holiday of a lifetime.
Guests who visit this magnificent resort are taken back by the beautiful beach, the endemic tropical garden, world-class facilities and offerings and phenomenal dining experiences, but their stay is made all the more wonderful by the highly-attentive and friendly Ambre staff, who are known to go above and beyond for their guests.
Each member of the Ambre team plays an important role, from the security guards and kitchen staff to the housekeepers and managers - all of them are vital in ensuring the guests at Ambre have an incredible holiday.
To gain some insight into what makes Ambre’s staff tick, we chatted to Gawtham Gokool, the hotel’s Assistant Executive Housekeeper who has been working for Sun Resorts for 34 years. Here’s what he had to say:
Why did you choose this job?
I chose this job because many years ago, when I was looking for work, things were quite hard and jobs were few and far between. The only industry that was really thriving in Mauritius at that time was the tourism industry. And seeing as I had always wanted to work with tourists, I thought I would look around in this field. There was a course in housekeeping that had an opening so I decided to give it a try. I was fascinated by the industry because I knew that you can learn a lot in it and it’s actually been evolving ever since. I started my career in 1984 while doing my internship with the hotel school in Mauritius.
After the course, I started working at St Geran and through the hotel, I was able to do SATEC which is a prestigious training. Once I had completed this training, I was awarded the best employee of the year and I got a ticket to go to Sun City in South Africa. That was amazing!
What motivates you in your work environment?
I am motivated by the fact that every day we meet new people and we face new challenges. I also love the ambience of the hotel and our solid teamwork - along with my lovely co-workers, we work together like a family.
What about Ambre makes you excited about working there?
The hotel has actually been recognised as a great place to work and we have a fantastic team which really makes me enjoy coming to work each day. We also have a huge array of excellent facilities. All of these factors make me excited about working at Ambre.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
I start work at 7:30 am every day. When I arrive, I take a look at my schedule and plan my day. I then inspect the public areas and make sure everything is clean and in good condition. I also check in with reception and guest relations to see what is needed from me from their side. I then take attendance of my staff, relay any messages, brief them and delegate the day’s work.
During my workday, I also offer some on-the-job training, which means I give mini-training sessions to improve the service process and to go over the key points of good service delivery again with my staff members. Then I check the list of arrivals and VIP arrivals and requests and liaise with reception for any room changes due to maintenance work. I constantly liaise with other departments throughout the day to see if hygienic, health and safety procedures are respected. I usually end my day at 6:30 pm. Before going home, I make sure that everything is in order.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
In 5 years I might be retired as I am now 57. But if I am not retired, I would like to be an Executive Housekeeper.
What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I do some gardening. I love growing vegetables.
How do you manage your personal life based on your work schedule?
My family has gotten used to my professional life, they understand that I work in the tourism industry and that I spend most of my time in the hotel. When I am at home, I just make sure to spend some quality time with my family.
What does it take to be a housekeeper? (Apart from being well-groomed, friendly, have good communications skills, etc.)
I think it’s vital to be very honest and have a high tolerance level. You also need to have full control of your emotions and be able to resist any temptations. You also need to be very careful with your tone of voice and your choice of words and it’s important to have a good personality.
How do you handle an angry or dissatisfied customer?
I have a lot of practice at this! First of all, I gather as much information about the customer as I can and try to understand what is making them upset. I then apologise to them in person, listen to them carefully, thank them for bringing the issue to our attention and assure them that we will take care of the issue and that we will take extra measures to take care of them. I then constantly check in with them to see if the issue has been resolved and to check that they are happy.
How does the hotel motivate you to work here longer?
Management is very supportive and they are always there to help, support and educate us. They also really listen to us. They treat us very well.
What is your favourite thing about the hotel?
I love the setting of the hotel, it offers a fabulous view. As you enter Ambre, you will see the pool, beach and sea all at the same time.
Where do you see the tourism industry in 10 years from now?
I’m not entirely sure. I think it all depends on the mentality of the new generation and how they will manage the industry. I think it’s important that they remember that tourism is largely about human connection and it’s crucial it doesn’t become too mechanical or technological.
How would you encourage someone to join the industry?
There are different types of people who would fit in different departments so it’s important to see what type of person you are speaking to. Sometimes, people who join the industry are those that have not excelled academically for whatever reason, but it’s important for them to know that the industry is full of potential and that people can grow very fast in it and reach great heights. I would let them know that if someone joins the industry today with a good attitude, a great work ethic and patience, they can go very far very fast. I actually am an example of that myself and it’s good to show people what is possible.
Looking for an incredible holiday in paradise where everything is catered for and where people like Gawtham Gokhool are there to ensure your holiday is nothing but sublime? Then book your special holiday in Mauritius with Ambre.