Over the past month, we have been celebrating the #VirginFamily. From planes, trains, hot air balloons to every other Virgin brand in between, Virgin employees around the world have been shouting about how great a company Virgin is to work for. Don’t believe us? Take a look across your social platform of choice and type ‘#VirginFamily’ in the search bar and you are guaranteed to be met with a huge variety of stories and photographs. While sadly the campaign has officially come to an end today (16th November), we wanted to share with you some stories from our properties that truly embrace the Virgin Limited Edition family into their community.
It might be cliché to say that all properties make guests feel like they are staying at their very own home-away-from-home, but at Kasbah Tamadot it couldn’t be more accurate. From the 140 individuals currently employed by Kasbah, 120 of them have at least one family member working alongside them. For example, our Deputy General Manager Houssain has three family members also working at the hotel. They are his nephew Mohamed Gouansa who works as Assistant Manager in charge of Rooms, his niece Fatima Gouansa who works as Health & Safety and People Manager (Mohamed and Fatima and siblings) and Houssain’s cousin Rachida, who works as the Breakfast cook.
The Lodge has a real family feeling about it. The 16 person team currently getting ready for the winter season are all extremely close and rely heavily upon each other to create that outstanding guest experience which guests have come to expect as part of their stay. General Manager, Ashley Crook, is also the longest serving employee at The Lodge (three years at Necker Island before working at The Lodge for the past seven), and for the first time this winter she will be joined by her sister, Ali, who will start in her new role as Guest Services Manager. Creating that strong family atmosphere is something that Ashley firmly believes in,
“We are such a small team that we have to operate much like a family. We support each other, challenge each other, and make sure we get each and every task completed with the most fun and energy that we can! We all look out for each other and get our hands dirty – there is no job that someone in the building can’t do!”
This year to celebrate a successful summer season the team enjoyed an excellent staff party where everyone dressed-up and headed up the mountain for a raclette lunch and some vino! While we are sworn to secrecy as what exactly happened during the party, we do know it all kicked off with a particularly hilarious egg and spoon race…
From the moment you step off the plane and are welcomed to Mahali Mzuri with a friendly ‘jambo’ and glass of champagne, you know you have arrived in a beautiful place. There are currently 63 employees working at Mahali, many of which have been here since the camp officially opened in May 2013. 16 members of staff come from five local family groups and work across various roles including housekeeping, security, cooks and pool attendants.
Everyone at the camp works very closely together to ensure the smooth running of the camp 365 days a year, but this family atmosphere has really been developed through the introduction of special staff events, such as movie nights, volleyball and football games in the evenings, birthday celebrations and staff BBQs. They even make the weekly team clean-up day (which happens every Saturday in the staff accommodation area) fun! This team are the epitome of what is means to be a member of the #VirginFamily and for many this ‘job’ is so much more than a simple 9 to 5. For example, Head Guide, Dickson, will shortly be organising a house-warming for the completion of the build of his new house and the whole team are invited – we want to join the party too!
Across the 680 acre Son Bunyola estate in Mallorca, our team are a friendly bunch. Fluctuating between 23 team members in the summer to 10 in the winter, the Son Bunyola team are seasoned hands in keeping this beautiful estate up to scratch. Many of the teams’ lives are deeply rooted in the running of the estate, two brothers, Joan and Nelson who work in the maintenance and gardening team, have worked here for 14 years. They once lived in the casita close to the finca in the centre of the estate before moving in with their respective partners. Jamie, who is the longest serving member of staff, has worked at Son Bunoyla for 23 years and was married to Head Housekeeper, Magdalena, before she sadly passed away. Interestingly, Magdalena and her sister Antonia, who works here as a housemaid, lived in the finca as children as their parents were caretakers of the property – so it’s fair to say that Son Bunyola is well and truly home to many of our team. General Manager, Lee Bowes, has worked at Son Bunyola for the past 14 years!
The team are a fountain of knowledge about re-telling details about the area’s history and the lives of people who have worked here over the years. The best time to have a chat with them is during one of the favourite coffee mornings.
Mont Rochelle is a busy hotel and vineyard, with 97 permanent members of staff (plus some additional pairs of hands that come to help in the summer), creating one big happy family.
There are many superstars that work here. Take Ben and Colen in the maintenance team, aside from doing a good job, they both have incredible senses of humour and will keep you laughing throughout the day…even when they’re ‘complaining’! Although they look alike and are both born on the 3rd March, they aren’t twins but cousins and born nine years apart! A number of people in the Mont Rochelle team have been with us for many years. Isak and Sevita Buys have been living on the farm since 1993, working in the vineyards, and more recently their son Issac joined the team. However, they don’t even come close to the longest serving member of the team who is Anne Scheepers – she has been an employee (and lived) on the property since 1980!
It becomes apparent from hearing these numerous stories from across the Virgin Limited Edition collection that everyone across every team helps play their part in making us one of the best luxury hotel businesses around. It is always wonderful to hear from our guests what a fantastic time they have had with us and more often than not it comes down to the sheer enthusiasm from our staff. Well done team Virgin Limited Edition! #VirginFamily