“Change the way you look at things…and the things you look at will change” – Wayne Dyer
This quote has always helped me put things into perspective. Our family recently spent an amazing week in Punta Cana. The resort was brand new, in fact it was so new that it had only been open for 9 days when we arrived. Our travel agent cautioned us on selecting a new resort because there are generally a number of challenges with new openings. We talked over the pros and the cons as family of going to new place and decided to roll the dice and go for it. New beds, fresh sheets, new towels, and everything would be clean. We were certain that the staff would be going beyond the call of duty to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
Because we arrived before the regular check in time, we were escorted to the dining room to have lunch before checking into our rooms. When we returned to pick up our keys, we were greeted by our butler, Jury, who quickly showed us around the property on the way to our rooms. He wanted us to have access to him at all times, so he provided us his contact info. He handled our restaurant reservations and followed up with us every day to see how things were going. Our rooms were nice, but not exactly what we requested as they each only had one bed. As I was bunking with my son and my wife with our daughter, we wanted to have this corrected, but weren’t too upset about it. I went down to the lobby to see Marcelino, and when I arrived he was dealing with an irate guest. I wasn’t trying to listen in on the conversation, but the guest was so loud I couldn’t help overhearing her. She was upset about her reservation, which had something to do with her agent booking the wrong room type. She was dumping all of her frustration on him but he handled it like a professional and had her calmed down quickly.
When it was my turn, I commented to him on how professionally he handled the previous guest and politely explained the issue with our rooms. He apologized and agreed to move us the next day if that was ok, and I assured him it was. Not only did we get rooms with the proper beds, we now had walk out rooms on the main level with Bali beds and a swim up pool. This was completely unexpected – talk about an upgrade! Through-out the trip I heard a number of guests complaining about the slightest things. One guest was upset about not being greeted with her cool towel when she arrived and the fact that her room wasn’t ready. Marcelino calmly and eloquently showed her were the restaurant was for lunch. Later that week, that same guest complained about the drink she received and how the maid woke her up too early because she forgot to put the “do not disturb” sign on her door. The next day she was upset that her Bali bed was wet (it had rained the night before). They agreed to change the mattress but she went off on her butler because a new one hadn’t arrived within 30 minutes. It was as if she felt she was the only guest at the resort. The strange thing was, I never saw her use the bed again that week.
I quickly came to the conclusion and quietly mentioned to the kids that she may just be a demanding individual and that was just her personality. It seemed to have nothing to do with resort or the service she was receiving, I think she just felt entitled and negative. It was unfortunate she did not receive her cool towel upon check-in and she had a few other minor issues, but it seems she let these little challenges form her attitude for the remainder of the trip. It’s unfortunate she didn’t change the way she looked at things, because if she did I’m sure the things she looked at would have changed, and she would have had a much better vacation.
The week was flying by and our family was having an incredible time. Our son Keith made some friends at the beach as he flew his new drone out over aqua blue waters. We also got a bit closer with a few key staff. All week long were treated like royalty by our pool concierge Juan and his assistant Marcor. They greeted us daily by name each day and always made sure we were comfortable and knew what was happening around the resort. Juan even took the time to teach our daughter Kara some Spanish. Was the resort perfect? Well, let’s say it was a lot further along than some of the comments we read online. After reading some of the comments made on Trip Advisor, I couldn’t believe they were talking about the same resort. The service we received was over the top, from both the names you read above and several others.
We knew when we booked that the resort was operating as a “soft opening,” and we knew to expect that there may be a few bumps along the road. It turned out those bumps were barely noticeable. Sure, some of the fountains were not up and running and there were workers still putting last minute touches on the resort, but we kept the right mindset and chose to focus on the incredible service, beautiful views, and incredibly clean grounds. It could be that our expectations were not as high as others, but I do believe there are some people that seem to just look for problems.
Too often in life we get upset about the simplest or smallest issue and let it ruin our day. We’ve always tried to teach our kids that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% on how we react to it. This trip was a perfect example of that life lesson, especially when they saw how that one guest continued to act throughout the week. After an incredible vacation with my family, I feel rested and rejuvenated, and grateful for the ability to shift my perspective. My advice to you today is to choose to focus on the top 3 positive things that are happening in your life, job, company, or family, and notice how it all changes when you do.
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