This resort makes visitors feel right at home
By Brandi-Ann Uyemura
Every day, Turtle Bay Resort employees get to work at a destination many only dream of visiting. But there’s something the resort staff loves more than the coastal views. It is easy to see that the 580 staff members who offer their services are the reasons why the resort is the optimal place to work.
Noel Denis, Turtle Bay’s director of human resources, explained, “We are family — I always hear that from people who work here — that’s our culture.”
In 2012, the resort began major renovations, which were completed in 2015. The external changes were redesigned to reflect the internal shift in the company’s overall culture.
“We went through a process in 2012,” Denis said. “We really needed to focus on a clearly communicated direction. We knew it was critical for our success, so we set out to redefine our mission and values, and rebranded our hotel as part of our renovations. We really live and breathe by those values.”
Those values have Hawaiian influences, and include pono (righteousness), hanai (to adopt as family) and malama (to take care), which are each embedded within the company’s core, and are instilled from as early as the interviewing process.
“We have people who aren’t from Hawaii. They don’t need to know what the words mean, but through the interview process, you really understand what leads them to making certain decisions, how they work with others and if they have an understanding for what it takes to give stellar service,” Denis said. “If they can meet the high standards of the hospitality industry and understand our values, and what those mean to the long-term success of the company, that’s what’s important.”
These attributes also dictate Turtle Bay’s reward programs and are exercised by everyone from employees and executives to guests.
These values can be seen in how co-workers treat each other and in the rapport staff members have with the resort guests.
“Our guests are our VIPs, and our hosts really know how to take care of them,” Denis said. Of Turtle Bay employees, he added, “They build a relationship with (visitors), take care of all their needs and make an impact on their stay.
“There are concierges who can book any activity, who will talk story with them and help them find the best shrimp truck or best adventure on the North Shore,” Denis said.
What’s more, to balance their busy work schedules, staff members make the time to also have fun, and there are ample opportunities for team bonding. “We have family movie nights where we put up a big screen outside by the stables, and there are hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy,” Denis said. “Our golf tournaments are super fun. Another time, we went to Haleiwa fishpond and did community service work there. We ended the day across the street, paddling and racing canoes. Those are the rewarding times when we all come together.”
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COMPANYTurtle Bay Resort
LOCATION:57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku
BENEFITS: The resort oﬀers wellness and fitness programs, recognition programs, and community service initiatives for its employees. Staﬀ also can take full advantage of guest services such as renting a room, dining and attending concerts at employee rates.
NOTEWORTHY: Turtle Bay Resort is named after Turtle Bay, which was once inhabited by green sea turtles who would lay their eggs in the bay’s sand.