• Employees, members and guests feel they’re part of this family in the Mexican Caribbean
Playa del Carmen, Q. R.- Some say it’s the beach, others the service, and some prefer it because of its location. The truth is that for 20 years, Sunset Fishermen Beach Resort in the Mexican Caribbean has become a paradise that travelers love to return to again and again.
“Fishermen’s” lobby, white sand beach and the azure tones of the Caribbean Sea offer an irresistible invitation. The perfect beach in the upscale, gated, Playacar community, feels private, and is spacious and clean. On the other hand, the resort is located so close to Playa del Carmen’s famous Fifth Avenue, that it’s only a short walk away.
Even the area around Sunset Fishermen is fun and interesting. Across the street from the lobby there is a large park where there are some small Mayan ruins, which were built in the sixteenth century. The neighborhood is made up of beautiful houses of varied architectural styles that sit in the shade of tall palm trees.
“Hello, welcome! How have you been? What a pleasure to see you again!” These are the words that are constantly heard in the Sunset Fishermen lobby. Members greet employees with warm handshakes and smiles, and even hugs. For many years, Gamaliel Lázaro, the head of security, and Marcial Canul, a bellboy, greet guests with the Mexican warmth that visitors love.
“There are young people that are 18 or 19 years old who have been visiting since they were 5 or 6. They grow up and we are here, always wait to welcome them,” explains Gamaliel, who has followed the story of Sunset Fishermen since its construction and has worked here for 11 years.
“There were seagrape bushes where the hotel is now. There were about 200 construction workers. I was working for a company in Playacar. The then manager then saw potential in me, and they paid for a diploma and hotel standards courses. I am very grateful to Grupo Sunset World,” says Gamaliel, who remembers some members with affection who visited the resort for many years until they died. Their families continue to visit every year.
Sunset Fishermen is a place for families to vacation, families whose children now return with their own children to enjoy the Caribbean. For Marcial Canul, it is one of the most endearing aspects of his job of 15 years, “I’m glad to see that they keep coming, that they’re still together, that they feel comfortable when they arrive and we greet them. They show their joy. They always give a genuine hug. Sometimes they bring us a gift from where they come from, like shirts, hats… I am happy and I hope to continue here until the day I cannot go up and down the stairs.”
The resort consists of 20 condominiums and 61 rooms. The occupation is high throughout the year and everything must be in order to welcome the members and guests. Rosita Tamay, floor supervisor, has overseen this task for 15 years. Rosita is from Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, and is happy with her work. “The guests like the beach a lot, because it is close, all they have to do is step outside. The hotel is small but very beautiful. Fishermen means a lot to me. I feel very comfortable here,” says Rosita with a smile.
Eufemia Yama, who is of Mayan descent, is a housekeeper. She has seen many coworkers grow in the company. “There are many possibilities,” she says, and adds that there are training courses regularly, “It’s very good because we learn new things. For example, we take an English course, or one about the chemicals we use for cleaning.” With 11 years at Sunset Fishermen, she affirms, “I feel happy, that’s why I have worked here for so many years. Since it is a small hotel, it is as if it we are a family. We all know each other. ”
Anselmo, who hands out towels at the pool, shares Eufemia’s feelings. He has also worked at Sunset Fishermen for 11 years. With a Yucatecan accent, he talks about how members are known by their name, not by a number. “Guests feel like family. They talk to me about everything and sometimes I become their psychologist,” he jokes, adding,” I feel satisfied because have seen them grow up and now they even have their own children, and they keep visiting. They keep saying hello and smiling. The satisfaction of seeing a happy person is something that can’t be touched, it is felt.”
Many stories converge in this picturesque setting, with the charming pool and the Caribbean Sea as the background. Many historical events as well, such as the passage of Hurricane Wilma, which severely affected the resort. Teamwork brought it back and soon the laughter of the children playing in the sand and the animated voices of the Mexicans, Americans, Canadians and others returned.
María Teresa González, general manager of Sunset Fishermen, who has worked for Grupo Sunset World for a decade, is proud of her team. “It is very gratifying to see the growth of the staff when they do internships and acquire new knowledge and to see them grow within the same company and be proud of belonging to it. I want to acknowledge their dedication and thank them because when I joined the Sunset Fishermen family they made me feel welcome. They gave me the opportunity to work hand in hand with them and grow together.”
The dedication of Gamaliel, Marcial, Rosita, Eufemia and Anselmo and other employees gives stability to a team who, without pretension and with much enthusiasm, have the common goal of creating the ideal environment for a happy vacation. The members feel it, and that’s why they come back year after year. Sunset Fishermen celebrates 20 years of warm hospitality, and thanks its employees, members and guests. Here’s to many more years.