MAHO VILLAGE, St. Maarten (April 22, 2013) – An excellent first and lasting impression of a destination and a resort, especially an all-inclusive one like Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, are of paramount importance.
Having someone who embodies the essence of the “Friendly Island” in the role of Guest Experience Manager is equally important. This is where Sonesta Maho’s Guest Experience Manager, Carmen Peterson, is an asset. Born into the well-known Peterson family of Simpson Bay, Carmen is proud and knowledgeable about St. Maarten/St. Mart in.
Her knowledge also assisted in the transformation of Sonesta Maho into the country’s only all-inclusive resort. “Every day I work with people who have never been exposed to the all-inclusive concept and I share my knowledge and experience with them. I believe my experience in the all-inclusive concept has helped me tremendously in fitting into the new Sonesta Maho.”
Based on the number of hotels on the island, experience is very important and has given Carmen an opportunity in her field. In general, she feels more training for people working in the hospitality sector not only for the destination to remain competitive, but at the forefront of the hotel industry in the Caribbean.
“My experience has allowed me to bring something new to St. Maarten. Having seen how other islands operate, I can definitely make an impact in the tourism sector here at home,” Carmen says.
Hospitality has always been Carmen’s passion. Graduating from Milton Peters College HAVO, she headed to further her studies at Christelijke Hogeschool Noord-Nederland in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. There, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management.
After graduation, Carmen worked in Dorint Hotel in The Netherlands as an assistant executive housekeeper. She later moved to back to the Caribbean, stopping in Jamaica where she worked for the world famous Sandals Resorts in the Food and Beverage Department for several years. First she was the Food and Beverage Trainee Manager and moved her way up to Assistant Food and Beverage Director. She later changed departments and moved to Guest Services Manager.
Carmen had worked with Sonesta Maho Vice President Hotel Operations Armando Pizzuti at Sandals prior to his move to St. Maarten. When Carmen felt the call of home, she returned to St. Maarten and worked for a short time outside of the resort industry. Pizzuti offered Carmen a position at Sonesta Maho to suit her skills after he started to work for the company.
Having worked for Sandals, Carmen is not new to the all-inclusive resort concept having come from Sandals Resorts, where she had “a great experience.” She says that the knowledge she gained at Sandals is a plus at Sonesta Maho, now an all-inclusive resort after many decades as a traditional hotel.
Sonesta Maho along with sister Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort are the only all-inclusive resorts on the island. "The Sonesta Resorts are the only resorts on the island that offer the all-inclusive option to vacationers seeking or whom have grown to love this concept," Carmen says.
The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, with its all-inclusive meals, drinks, kid's club and scheduled activities program, is a "destination within a destination,” offering exciting nightlife, a variety of accommodations and first-rate amenities for singles, couples, and families.
The property is conveniently located on the island's southwest shore just minutes from the airport, and features a large pool area with swim-up pool bar, cascading waterfalls, a second quiet pool area and oceanfront wedding gazebo.
Five restaurants and five bars, fitness center, four tennis courts, nightclub, and more than 24,000 square feet of meeting space increase the amenities options at the resort. Other amenities, such as The Maho Serenity Spa, Casino Royale, and tours and excursions are available for an additional fee.