It is with great pleasure to introduce you to another shining personality at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, Maldives – the recently appointed Resident Manager, Patrice Aira.
Patrice, a French national, born in the beautiful la ville rose, Toulouse, joined our team in March 2017. We sat down with him to discuss his first impressions of the resort and asked him to share some of his best moments so far.
Patrice, what brings you to the Maldives?
I came to work here predominantly because we all know it’s a destination whose beauty is difficult to surpass. The Maldives is the epitome of paradise. In addition to the natural allure, I wanted to experience the Maldives’ hospitality industry first hand. Plus, the proximity of Sri Lanka and India brings about a nice mix of cultures that I was curious to discover.
Did you work in hospitality before coming to the Maldives? Tell our readers a bit about your career path.
I started as a busboy in the dining room of Four Seasons Hotel, Seattle. I knew I was capable of doing much more than clearing tables and I gradually moved up the ladder in the food and beverage division of several hotels, up until I was appointed Resort Manager at the Four Seasons Resort in Mauritius.
Patrice, what are your first impressions of Lily Beach?
When I arrived at the resort, I was amazed by the shades of blue that were surrounding the island. Also, the friendly faces that you see right upon the arrival… it’s a truly welcoming feeling.
If you had to chose only one, which activity would you you consider to be the hobby of your life?
Diving, definitely diving! I devote the majority of my spare time on the island to diving the astounding coral reefs of South Ari Atoll; you can find me at the tennis court as well.
What’s your favourite quote, one that you try to live by?
Live life to the fullest. I’m doing my best – and so far, so amazing!
In addition to diving and snorkelling, what else, in your opinion, is it that makes Lily Beach such a unique and fascinating island?
What struck me most in my first days here is the incredible friendliness of the team towards guests and each other. They really care about them, in a genuine and unpretentious way. Everyone is loyal and focused on providing personalised service from the bottom of their heart. I’ve never seen anything like that before. What also reveals that Lily Beach stands head over shoulders above several other holiday destinations is the fact that so many of our guests feel like at home here and keep returning to the resort year after year. It’s especially inspiring to hear that even those guests who pride themselves in never spending their holiday at the same place twice make an exception with Lily!
To wrap up this pleasant chat, Patrice, what is your most memorable, or funniest, guest-related experience so far?
I’ll never forget how tears were streaming down a child’s face upon departure from the resort. Our team was bidding farewell to the family on the jetty and he really, really didn’t want to leave. Seeing what a lasting impression Lily has made on her son, the mother started crying, and I… I felt like being on an emotional roller coaster, Lily Beach style!