Ashok Bhugoo is our Resident Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius. Recently promoted, he gives an insight into developing your career in the luxury hotel industry.
Tell us how you got into the hotel industry?
I joined the hotel industry by mere coincidence. I’d just finished school, when one of my cousins told me about a hotel in Mauritius that was starting a training course.
At the time I had no idea how hotels worked. During the training, some of us were asked to help the restaurant during breakfast service. My job was to give the guests their plates as they came into the breakfast buffet. It was my first encounter with guests at a hotel, and I really enjoyed talking to them.
I was so impressed by this first experience of guest contact – I felt like I’d found my world, and this was where I wanted to grow.
How has your career progressed through the years?
After working as a trainee restaurant and room service waiter for 18 months, I tried different roles including Waiter, Head Barman, and Food and Beverage Manager.
In 2002, I joined Le Prince Maurice as Food and Beverage Manager before being promoted to Executive Assistant Manager in 2007. Since September 2011, I’ve been working in my new role as Resident Manager.
Tell us about your latest job as Resident Manager at Le Prince Maurice
My role is to assist the General Manager in the day-to-day operations of the hotel. I assist all the heads of departments and give them full support.
I help to ensure our guests needs are met, and that our quality service is maintained at all times. Personal service is very important at Constance hotels, and each guest is treated as an individual.
What qualities does someone need to make it to management level in this industry?
I’d say the main qualities are self-motivation, passion for new challenges, dedication, good customer service and leadership skills, an eye for detail, being an excellent team player, and taking a neutral stance when resolving conflict.
How are guests’ expectations changing the way services are delivered?
Constance Le Prince Maurice has a high rate of repeat guests. Each guest expects to be treated as a unique person, and we ensure that their expectations are met and exceeded.
We focus on the small touches – the detail – at the right time. We really look after each guest from the time they walk into our hotel until they leave. This princely touch is one the main reasons guests choose to come back here.
You must have travelled a lot with your job – where would you most like to go in the future?
My favourite place is Monaco but I’d like to visit Singapore, Thailand, Greece and New York. I also feel great spending time at home in Quatre Bornes with my family – they are my driving force.