Marrion is the friendly face you’ll meet when you arrive at one of our houses.
With great love for hospitality, Marrion always dreamed to become an airline hostess so she could travel the world. In 1999 she came to Portugal, which she calls home, since then. I invited her for a coffee, on a sunny terrace (and day) — and we had a wonderful conversation about the art of making someone feel at home, away from home.
Hi Marrion! Thank you so much for coming. Tell me, why Hospitality?
My pleasure! Well, I can say it always led the way in my life. I had this dream of becoming an airline hostess. Then, studied Tourism Academy, and at 27 years old I was working at a restaurant. When I moved to Portugal, back in 1999, I continued doing it — on a personal project — but after a while, I started managing villas too.
At the end of the day, both activities are very similar in their core values. I just loved the idea of creating enjoyable experiences for my guests and making them feel at home, even during their holidays. Guests need to feel safe and putting a friendly face on it helps quite a lot.
When did you start working with us?
2007 was the year I joined the team. Nowadays you can find me between office work, house administration, shopping services, managing check-ins, and check-outs, or solving problems in general. If something goes wrong, you must solve it well and fast, 24h per day when needed. You know, many families come every year to the Algarve and stay with us. I believe our standards play a huge role in their decision, and I absolutely love that feeling.
Life is made of moments. Any story you would like to share with us?
Let me see. Every year has its special moments, I guess.
Because we get to build solid relationships with some of our guests (and also house owners), nice things always happen naturally, out of kindness or joy of seeing each other again. The most challenging moment for me took place on August 6th, 2018. Several fires were happening in the Algarve, and for safety reasons, we had to be 100% ready to take action. I can’t say our villas were in risky areas, but the information was being spread so fast, and you could feel it in the air.
I can imagine, such a challenging context, during the highest season. But tell me, how would you describe the rest of the year?
Lower seasons are crucial in what we do. Procedures need to be analyzed, houses need management, and what isn’t working as it should needs to be fixed, so everything is perfect for the next season. It’s also a moment to gather with the staff, hire new staff when needed, meet the house owners of the new properties, and so on. Even though we also provide long-term rentals during that period, we always make sure there is time for proper maintenance. Remember, memorable experiences.
Summer is vibrant and hot, and the rest of the year is fresh and nurturing.
Golden tips, we are all ears.
Well, I believe everyone builds their share of wisdom through their own experiences, rights, and wrongs. But there are three things I would highlight the most. First one: Everybody is a nice person, and sometimes you get to meet them at a hard time. So be patient and kind. Second one: Schedule is vital. Do yourself a favor, and don’t make it too tight. And the last one, specifically for those starting now: Don’t panic when the phone rings. You will handle it like a pro.