Exclusive Interview: Carrie Zawadzkas - Director of Housekeeping for Mondrian South Beach

Exclusive Interview: Carrie Zawadzkas - Director of Housekeeping for Mondrian South Beach

Published on Dec 11th 2019

What's an easy but memorable way to make a guest feel welcome?

A little goes a long way when creating a warm and friendly environment. A friendly smile, name recognition and eye contact are the obvious simplicities that every traveler takes home and remembers. Listening to, understanding and following through on a guest’s needs is vital to providing a welcome experience.

What do you think are some of the most important things guests look for when visiting a resort nowadays?

The internet provides travelers a wealth of resources to research their stay well in advance. What sets properties apart is the ability to connect with their guests in a meaningful way. Never underestimate the value of a fresh cup of coffee and smile from your barista in the morning. Furthermore, guests expect to return to a clean room with refreshed linens. It’s the plush pair of slippers, luxurious bathrobes and local amenities that sets properties apart.

What makes your property unique? What sets you apart?

When our guests first arrive on property, they are welcomed by floor to ceiling windows overlooking Biscayne Bay framed by the signature Mondrian floating staircase. The eclectic design, by famed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, provides us with the wow factor that is vital in our industry.

However, The Mondrian has many features that sets us apart from other hotels in South Beach. We are the only hotel that has an unobstructed view of the sunset and our guests enjoy it either in or around the pool every day of the week.

Secondly, Menin Hospitality offers “Menin Perks” which provides discounts at our other properties and restaurants around Miami.

Finally, the Mondrian is the only hotel that offers a respite from the nonstop action of South Beach. Despite being only a few minutes’ walk away, the Mondrian is situated in a tranquil residential area. West street has many restaurants, bars and shops that our guests enjoy.

What are your favorite Boca Terry products?

In my 30+ year career I’ve had a Boca Terry product in almost every property I’ve worked at. My favorites have been the waffle knit robes and slippers. Both provide a level of comfort and luxury unrivaled in my profession.

Since moving to Miami 10 years ago, I’ve been able to outfit my properties with

chaise lounge covers that the guests absolutely love.

What are some of your biggest challenges during the holiday season?

The holiday season is always a challenge across the entire hospitality industry. We recognize that guests have chosen us for this time to reconnect with friends and family. Operationally, we strive to anticipate unique requests that accompany every holiday season. We secure additional roll-away beds and cribs. In addition, we stock up on toys and bath amenities specifically for children. Basically, we try to think of anything the guest may have forgotten.

What are the most popular amenities at your property for guests?

No question, the pool and our spa. Guests enjoy relaxing at the pool any time of the day. Some prefer craft cocktails on floats while others prefer the serenity of our cabanas. Spa treatments are available everywhere throughout the pool area.

We feature installations with local breweries and distilleries throughout the year and, on Sundays, guests enjoy complimentary Tropical Vinyasa in anticipation of our Sundance Pool Party. Wave runners, kayaks and boats are available for rent or guests can charter private yachts through our concierge.

Guy and Girl, our award-winning spa offers a unique array of treatments and massages. Guest really love our Rain shower Ritual which delights and detoxes the body while using a Vichy Rain shower bar to cleanse and target muscle tension. A full body massage with aromatic botanical oils completes the treatment.

What do you enjoy most about working at your property?

The people.

Hospitality offers a unique opportunity to meet, service, and interact with people from all walks of life. I developed my passion for hospitality in New York City, working at several properties over 20 or so years. Miami has an energy that rivals anything I experienced up north. At the Mondrian, I have an amazing, multi-national staff that truly loves what they do.

Would you recommend Boca Terry products to others? Why?

Without a doubt! Every time I’ve started a new position it’s one of my first calls. The professionalism of their staff, level of service provided and most importantly, the quality of their products is unrivaled. My customer service agents have always been terrific and I’m now in the hands of Rosemary Larkin, who truly has the Mondrian’s best interest at heart. Boca Terry has always provided wonderful attention to my department’s needs.

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