A fresh face at the airpot hotel-A A +A
Sunday, September 29, 2013
FOR the past 16 years that Benhur Caballes has been in the hotel industry, he has perfected his skills as frontline hotel representative, having worked his way up in front office operations. Today he remains to be at the forefront and as “face” of the hotel—though now at a larger scope—as he assumed the post of hotel manager at the Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino.
Born and raised in Manila, Benhur’s career as hotelier began in the old Westin Philippine Plaza, after which he was with Makati Shangri-La, where he both served in its front office departments. Other hotels he had worked with are Alegre Beach Resort in the northern part of Cebu, GHotel Manila and Waterfront Manila Pavilion, where he was resident manager prior to joining the Waterfront Airport Hotel July 15 this year.
Benhur shared that it often surprises people to know that he studied an entirely different field in college, having taken up fine arts major in advertising at the University of Santo Tomas. He eventually underwent a managerial program at the prestigious Les Roches Ji Jiang International Hotel Management College in China, yet he attested that most of his expertise he “learned from the ranks.”
With the airport hotel now under his watch, Benhur said that he plans to manage it through “profiling.”
“With the building of new hotels here and there—customers don’t look for the basics anymore. They look for engagement, encounter, concern, care and sincerity. Everybody wants to be recognized and we’re going that direction,” he said.
He classifies this as modern hospitality. “We make sure that the kind of service we give is tailored fit to our guests’ needs—that’s how customers wants to be treated nowadays. It’s not so much the structure of the hotel or the guest amenities, since they’re all the same,” he added.
Not to say that they are disregarding the importance of the structural aspect, as the Waterfront Group is also in the process of renovating the 17-year-old airport hotel.
Benhur said that he is forecasting that all guest floors will be fully refurbished by 2014 and that they are moving at a same pace with the renovation of the airport.
Indeed, it will be an eventful new journey for the new hotel manager. Yet despite the busy nature and heavy responsibility that comes with the post, Benhur said that what keeps him going is how he is able to create wonderful experiences for guests.
He said, “We do not just provide a room. But by adding a personal touch, we provide memorable moments. And whenever I see these things working, it makes me do more every time.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2013.