Marokko Dodra

We gain hotel and hurricane experience

Hotel Puerto Escondido

We gain hotel and hurricane experience

As mentioned in the previous report, here are our experiences as hoteliers. One thing should be said in advance. There are guests and guests. 🙂
But one after the other and off to Puerto Escondido.

Forward back to Mexico – to Puerto Escondido

So we leave Guatemala for Puerto Escondido, Mexico. There the owners of the Hotelito Swiss Oasis – Manuela and RenĂ© – are waiting for us. Also former world travelers, the two decided to buy a hotel 13 years ago. So we drive into Puerto – that’s what we always call this little town – and chug towards Hotelito. It is a little hidden behind a big hotel. And the first view of the small plant enraptures us. It is – as the name suggests – a small oasis. Lovingly, colorful and with many small details, the Hotelito presents itself as a true oasis in the village.
Puerto Escondido Mexiko

Arrival in Puerto Escondido and at the hotel

Manuela and RenĂ© greet us warmly and we have the feeling that we have known them for a long time, although this is the first time we have met in person. What a thing to say. So now we arrive first and are led to our room, which we occupy for about 2 weeks. After that we are allowed to go to the apartment of the two because they can finally travel by themselves again. They were stuck for over two years – because of an allegedly dangerous pandemic.
The hoteliers grant us one more day of rest before we leave. We have a good two weeks of full operation left at the hotel before we close and make repairs. These two weeks are our learning weeks. Means – we have to learn the booking system, accounting, employee tasks, mechanics, service people, pool maintenance, cat care, veterinarian, hotel shopping, restaurants, stores, tourist attractions. So it’s quite a lot that we need to know. Hei, so after more than 3 years of just traveling, we are suddenly quite mentally challenged. The hardest task is getting to know the restaurants in the place. 🙂 This is incredibly hard work.
Hotelito Swiss Oasis bei Nacht

The week of repairs

So, it’s the week of repairs. Operations have ceased and all guests have departed. Now it’s time – at around 33 degrees a day – to repair, restore and work. This involves restoring both sanitary facilities and electrical installations to working order. The water in the pool is also drained as the pool is repainted and the entire filtration system is overhauled. Manuela and Claudia take care of the laundry and rooms and RenĂ© and I work on the pool, sanitary facilities, walls. The week is packed with organizing, distributing work and checking whether the work is done properly. The clichĂ© of the mañana mentality does not show this week. Still, we learn that as an owner, when giving a job to Mexican contractors, you always have to check everything. Mexicans work hard but they don’t take it too seriously. Swiss precision mentality is not easily shaken off.

And Friday is approaching. The Friday when Manuela and RenĂ© finally go on their more than well-deserved vacation. We are happy for them and wave cheerfully after them as they drive off the property. You turn the corner at the end of the street and suddenly we realize – Oops, now we’re on our own and have to run the show. A slight feeling of malaise occurs. After all, we have never managed a hotel before and certainly not in a foreign country. I wonder what’s in store for us?

The guests are coming – Now it’s getting serious

The first guests arrive. But the pool is filled with only 10,000 liters of water. There are still 30,000 liters missing. The supplier who was supposed to deliver the water simply does not come up to the promised primeval time. we are on the phone with Manuela – crap, already the first difficulties. Manuela knows this and informs us that the water supplier will come in an hour. Okay, we’ll wait. One hour, two hours… the supplier doesn’t come anymore. We talk on the phone and both Manuela and we look for other water suppliers. I talk to the first guest who basically arrived too early, since the hotel doesn’t officially open until tomorrow. The guest is totally relaxed because of the knee-deep pool and looks forward to the sea, which is just a minute’s walk from the hotel. So actually two minutes. In one minute you have sand under your feet, in two minutes you are down at the sea. Ja, grosser Strand.

We then find a supplier who not only promises to bring water, but actually keeps that promise. Finally we have a full pool on the second day of opening. The guests happily splash around in the cool water and we are relieved. And so here we go with the hotelier life.

Joyful guests – difficult guests

We have a full house for over two months. No wonder. The Easter holidays and the week before Easter bring a large number of guests to the coastal town of Puerto Escondido. We recommend the restaurants to our guests on the basis of the specialties in each place. We can honestly recommend these gourmet places, we have tried them all ourselves. Authenticity and honesty honor the vacation seekers and also leave corresponding reviews in booking.com. We are happy about these entries they also benefit the owners for later times.
But there are also the complicated guests. Nagging after the first two minutes after arrival in continuous loop. This is not good, that does not fit. The pool is plastic (although it is completely made of concrete), color coordination of the facility is kitsch, defective tiles in the shower, the water is cold, the shower does not work, too loud, etc.. So there exist people who were apparently born only to carry a negative view out into the world. They do not even realize that it is only their point of view and does not correspond at all with reality, facts and facts. And since 2020, the world knows that a large part of the population probably puts their own view above the rest, regardless of truth, fact and evidence.

First hurricane of the season heads for Puerto Escondido

We in Switzerland do not know that – hurricanes. We only ever hear on the news on TV what havoc a hurricane can wreak. Mostly in the Caribbean. So we are surprised when we notice that the first hurricane of the 2022 season appears off the coast of Puerto Escondido. So what to do? First of all, get informed about hurricanes in general. How do they build up? What is the forecast? What direction does it take? Where does it make landfall? What preparations have to be made? We consult with Manuela and RenĂ© via phone and start with the preparations two days before the hurricane hits land. Everything that is not nailed down is stowed and locked away. As we are preparing, the guests ask what we are doing. “A hurricane is building up off the coast of Puerto Escondido. It’s still far out and forecasters say it’s weakening slowly,” I say to the guests. OK first uncertainties are noticeable. Two female German guests slightly hysterically excited ask what they should do now. Other guests also ask slightly worried. I try to calm them down, although we ourselves also have no experience with hurricanes. “The hotel is well protected by the hotel in front of us. We have a thick, strong wall all around. We expect to get heavy winds and definitely a lot of rain.” I try to comment honestly and openly, calmly and objectively. The guests whip out their smartphones and inform themselves about the current forecasts. In the meantime, we continue to stow everything that can fly around. I buy wooden boards to close the windows. The day before the hurricane should hit land, the guests get more and more panic and they want to leave the hotel. I help each one to get to safety and give them advice. “Go north towards Acapulco or inland towards Oaxaca City. In no case to the south,” I tell them. We bring the two German women together with three Americans. They drive with a rented car to Oaxaca City. They are safe there. We advise other German tourists not to go to Zipolite – Mazunte. However, they have already booked a hotel down there, 70 kilometers south of us. Only away here seems to be the motto. All guests have left. The hotel is safely barricaded. Suddenly, two new guests appear. They come from Mazunte. We ask them why they are coming to us? Both have already experienced hurricanes and tell us that from experience they always go where the forecasts say that a hurricane will pass through. So to us to Puerto Escondido. According to their experience, the hurricane turns away and takes a different course.
Hurricane Agatha kommt

The Hurricane approaches

In the meantime, the hurricane has been set to level 3. So around 180 to 210 kilometers per hour strong. And suddenly – a few hours before landfall, Hurricane Agatha veers off to the south. The two American guests are right. But the two German guests who went down to Mazunte are now in danger. We do not reach them. No reception. Neither their smartphone nor at the hotel where the two have booked. And Agatha hits land exactly at Zipolite/Mazunte – at 180 to 210 kilometers per hour. Here in Puerto Escondido we notice “only” heavy winds and heavy rain. Nothing more. The storm passes by. And the German guests who went to Zipolite/Mazunte arrive back at our place together with 6 other guests. Her first sentence was just, “We survived!” They tell us what they have experienced. The storm, or rather the strong wind, broke all the windows. All eight people persevered together for about 10 hours in the room behind a wall of the bathroom. Only thanks to this masonry, protruding into the space of the room, the eight people did not suffer any physical harm. Without much fuss we put the exhausted people into rooms and tried to feed them as best we could. An experience that we all do not want to live again.
Hurricane Agatha mit 195 km/h

Conclusion

We have learned an enormous amount in these 3 months. We have learned that even after more than 3 years without working, we are able to get back to work quickly. So, contrary to all the prophecies of doom in the Swiss personnel offices, a person is still capable of working if he is willing. Another theory that falls in practice. We have learned to deal calmly and thoughtfully with difficult, complicated people and to set the record straight. We have learned to remain calm during storms and to analyze a situation and make decisions based on that. We really learned a lot on many levels in many situations. There is always a way – you just have to look for it and not panic.
And we have learned not to disappoint the trust placed in us. Manuela and RenĂ© have entrusted us with their life’s work and the lives of their beloved cats. We had to doctor and take care of Pedro, the fighting cat, drive him to the vet and observe him. And at this point we would like to thank the two Swiss hoteliers for the trust they have placed in us. Manuela, RenĂ© – thank you very much for these great experiences. We hope we never disappointed you and did not leave any doubts.
To all readers who would like to go on vacation to Mexico – do not go to Yucatan and Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Visit the Hotelito Swiss Oasis in Puerto Escnondido on the Pacific coast. You will enjoy this vacation far more and return home more refreshed.

Wir sind Claudia und Thomas und möchten mit unserem Blog und unseren Tipps Anregungen geben und die Fantasie ankurbeln.

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