Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach adds director of guest experience position

Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach. Photo credit: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

Kokua Hospitality, an independent hotel management company based in San Francisco, appointed Jacqueline Co as director of guest experience, a new position added to the 230-room boutique lifestyle property's team. This new position was developed to answer the growing need for a constant touch point, instant feedback, personalized interaction and an authentic immersion into the destination.

Jacqueline Co. Photo credit: Hyatt Hotels
& Resorts

In her role, Co is responsible for building relationships with the hotels’ guests and World of Hyatt members from the moment they arrive. From directing the lobby’s music playlist, designing an exclusive scent that permeates through the lobby, recreating the specialty welcome drink—now a house-brewed ginger mint infused hibiscus elixir—to developing in-house events and activities for the guests, Co creates experiences that ignite all five senses. She connects with guests at a series of touch points throughout their entire stay, including a morning greeting during breakfast at the hotel’s onsite restaurant, The Lanai, via personal notes left in the guestrooms, and at the hotel’s weekly events featuring live music on the pool deck.

“At Kokua, we’re constantly searching for ways to do things differently. We try new things, we test out the untraditional, and we shift to improve the guest experience in each specific market where we operate,” Kirk Pederson, president of Kokua Hospitality, said in a statement. “Adding Jacqueline’s role is a perfect example of this. She is our differentiator. She brings a level of personal interaction and service that’s incredibly important to guests visiting Honolulu.”

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“People often travel a long way to come to Hawaii. And once here, it’s our job to teach them the true meaning of Hawaiian hospitality,” Charles Young, GM of the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, said in a statement. “That’s what Jacqueline is here for. On a broader spectrum, she also addresses the needs of today’s everyday traveler—someone who wants choices, personal interaction, and a constant sharing platform.”

Co, a Hawaiian native, brings 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry in Honolulu to Kokua and Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach’s team. She made her way into hotels working in food and beverage operations at Hotel Renew, where she was eventually promoted to lounge and bar manager. Co went on to become housekeeping manager at VIVE Hotel Waikiki for three years, where she transitioned onto the guest services side, serving as concierge manager for four years. Prior to joining Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, Co was the assistant general manager/operations manager at a residential building, Polynesian Residences, in Honolulu.

“When I explain what I do, guests usually say, 'Wow! This is really your job? You’re here just to help us?'” Co, director of guest experience at Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, said in a statement. “It’s clear how much they appreciate it. My goal is to be that familiar face during their stay and to make them feel this is their home away from home. As their host and a part of their vacation, our relationship should be personal!”

Hyatt Centric Waikīkī Beach has 230 upscale guestrooms,The Lanai, a restaurant and bar serving island-inspired American cuisine, a 24/7 fitness facility and an outdoor pool and entertainment deck with a fire pit, private cabanas and pool bar with weekly live music. On the hotel’s ground-floor level, a Starbucks Reserve café and Duke’s Lane Market & Eatery are joined by additional retail stores near the hotel. Upon opening, Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach became the 12th hotel in the Hyatt Centric brand’s portfolio.

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