Meet the Grand Residences team: Julio César Escandón, Guest Relations Manager

Many of you will already have met Julio César Escandón, our Guest Relations Manager. Friendly, caring and very professional, he is passionate about service, and dedicated to offering you a luxury hotel experience.

Originally from Mexico City, Julio César grew up in Cancun and attended the Universidad Tecnológico. He has a Technical degree in Tourism, Travel and Hotels and an honors degree in Tourism Management and Development from this university. He has been with Grand Residences for almost five years now.

After graduation from college, he worked for Dolphinaris and then as a Butler in Excellence Playa Mujeres and Karisma El Dorado Royal Casitas in the Riviera Maya, both Four Diamond Resorts. Julio joined Grand Residences in 2016 when General Manager Carlo Bicaci created Butler Services. He says, “Mr. Bicaci insisted that the hotel needed a Butler department to give personalized service. He has had a long and distinguished career in luxury hotel management, and I was able to learn a lot from him during his time at the resort.”

In 2018, Resort Manager Daniela Trava appointed Julio César as Guest Relations Manager after Alberto Monzón left the company. He explains what his job entails. “I am in charge of Reception and the Bellboy and Butler departments and I am in close contact with the Concierges coordinating all services with them for a seamless guest experience.

“My job is to anticipate the needs of every owner, member and guest and ensure that the service they receive is of the highest standard and that it exceeds their expectations.” Julio adds, “I attend to any issue that may arise during their stay personally, following up with different departments. As a team we want our guests’ vacation experience to be unforgettable, something that they will treasure.

“With the Concierges, I follow up on requests we receive from owners and members prior to their arrival. In some cases, they ask for bathroom railings for the shower, high chairs or cribs, a favorite bottle of wine, or for the belongings they have in storage to be placed in their Residence. Others ask for sun loungers to be moved to their favorite position on the beach or pool deck. Depending on the request, I see what can be arranged.

“When we host weddings at the resort, it is my responsibility to assign a butler to the bride and groom to take care of their needs and pamper them so that their special day at Grand Residences is magical.

“I do the rounds of the resort several times a day, checking that everything is running smoothly in the pool and resort areas and that our owners, members and guests have everything they need. I’m in constant contact with different departments to review response times, the check-in and checkout process, and I work closely with Housekeeping, Restaurants, the Weddings and Event Manager and the Activity Manager. The support that I get from everyone in the Grand Residences team is tremendous.

“We have returned to the No. 1 spot in the Puerto Morelos area on Tripadvisor, which is immensely satisfying and a sign that we are making progress.” He explains, “I am also the Service Champion for the resort and part of my job portfolio is to look for additional ways in which we can enhance the vacation experience that we offer owners, members and guests in different areas of the resort, from the units to dining and activities. I also work closely with Daniela Trava to ensure that we are complying with all The Leading Hotels of the World standards. As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LHW rolled out new health and safety standards that all its affiliates must implement. These are in addition to our own stringent Royal Care Standard protocols.

“I want our owners and members to know that we will always take care of them and their families and that their health and wellbeing is our top priority.” Julio César adds. “As part of the Grand Residences Royal Care Standard, we have added extra steps in our unit cleaning procedures. It now takes staff three hours to clean each Residence instead of two and they are using new EPA-approved products to sanitize all surfaces.

“I review all comment cards, guest satisfaction surveys and online reviews and follow up on guest suggestions and any complaints we may receive, striving to make amends with exceptional service.

“Our owners and members come first in everything we do and for me each one of them is a VIP. We are always looking for ways to pamper them. We listen to them and we act upon the feedback they give us to improve our service. As an example of this, I had to talk to a guest and caution him for behavior that did not live up to our peaceful family ambiance. Owners congratulated me for the action I took to enforce the resort rules.

“Last October, when Hurricane Delta advanced towards the Mexican Caribbean coast and a mandatory government evacuation order for Puerto Morelos meant that we had to move all owners and guests to The Royal Haciendas. Daniela Trava sent me to the resort to stay with them during the storm. The team I headed up continued to look after the needs of our guests and keep up our resort standards as far as possible under challenging circumstances. We received several letters from owners and a member of the Advisory Council who was staying at the resort at the time thanking us for our care.”

Julio César explains, “I like new challenges and I love my job and the chance it gives me to learn and grow professionally. I’m very service-oriented and I’m also a teacher, I love to share what I have learned with other members of my team. My goal is to eventually become a General Manager one day and I’m already taking courses in the Room Management Division to gain more experience.”

Finally, as a local, we asked Julio César about the places and vacation activities he would recommend to owners, members and guests and this was his reply. “Spend time exploring Puerto Morelos, it is a peaceful place with good restaurants if you want to go out of the resort one evening. Try the local seafood in beachfront eateries on Javier Rojo Gomez and local cuisine such as cochinita pibil and lechon or roast suckling pig. For sightseeing, in addition to Tulum and Xcaret, I recommend Akumal and the Ruta de Cenotes. My favorite cenote park is Kin-Ha, the cenote is beautiful, there are jungle trails, a zip lining circuit and the food is good.”

Friendly and caring, Julio César pays attention to every detail, going above and beyond to make the vacation experience incredible for all our owners, members and guests.