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 Just Entertain Me, Champagne Me!

by Tejal Rao

Andres Maillard of El Dorado Seaside Suites on StarChefs.comAndres Maillard is the creative spirit behind the hottest parties at Mexico’s luxurious El Dorado Seaside Suites. “The White Magic Champagne Lounge” was a Maillard original: an intimate candlelit beach dotted with plush, open-air beds, cheese platters, and bubbly made for an all-night party set to the beats of a DJ. As Entertainment Manager, Maillard has to stay in tune with his guests’ unique taste in music, entertainment, and food for special events like birthdays and anniversaries. Some people like a fuss and some people like it understated; Maillard’s job is to make everyone happy. Good thing he loves pleasing the guests, who begin to miss him after only two days of leaving the resort, often writing postcards to express their nostalgia. What can we say? Andres Maillard knows how to throw a party.

Tejal Rao: What exactly does an entertainment manager do?

Andres Maillard: I provide all levels of entertainment for the guests! Basically, I manage a staff of 10 guys. I make the activities program. It’s important to balance the activities for all age groups.

TR: What’s a typical day like at the resort?

AM: First, I go to the gym. After my workout, I go have a briefing with the general manager at 9 in the morning. Then, I walk to the resort and check my areas: tennis, ping pong, pool etc. I make sure everything is ready and perfect. Then, I go to my office and check email. During the day, I hang out with the guests and get feedback from them. Then my staff executes the schedule of activities. We have two every hour. Usually, one is physically active and one more passive and relaxed.

TR: What’s your background? How did you get into the hospitality industry?

AM: Actually I trained as a commercial pilot. But I’ve always loved the hospitality industry. A friend of mine told me about the job, and recommended me for the position, and it worked out!

TR: Do you still fly?

AM: Flying is still a hobby for me. I fly out of a small airport in Playa del Carmen, for fun.

TR: What inspires you? Where do you get your best ideas for events?

AM: Sometimes, I get ideas from watching movies or even the internet. But I don’t like to copy my ideas, I always change them and put my own personal stamp on them. And I always seem to have the best ideas in bed, just before I fall asleep!

TR: What is the most rewarding part of planning events?

AM: When a guest leaves the hotel and is really happy that you’ve made their vacation unique, it’s very rewarding. Sometimes, in a really short amount of time, you make a solid friendship with a guest, and just two days after they leave they write to say they miss hanging out with me. Then I know I’ve done something right!

TR: What’s the best part about working at a resort hotel?

AM: Well, I don’t really have a favorite part. It’s all pretty incredible in Mexico. I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time by the pool, so there are a lot of bikinis…Just joking! But my office does have a beautiful view of the beach.

TR: What is the biggest challenge you face?

AM: It’s hard to create a good environment for all the different guests we have because in the same week we have people from so many different countries. And from these different countries there are different ages and personalities and I have to try to understand and entertain them all with the right music and shows.

TR: Do you have any advice for aspiring entertainment managers?

Never get too comfortable with your routine, always keep creating ideas and never stop dreaming. You need to use your imagination and smile. It’s a fun job, but it’s also a hard job, and you have to enjoy it. When you stop having fun, it’s time to move on and do something else.

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