A butler at Sandals Grande Antigua was selected as the resort’s Diamond Team Member of 2019, the highest employee accolade on the property.
“Richards is now a contender for the Ultimate Team Member of the Year, as he will compete against the top employees at the other Sandals resorts across the Caribbean. The prizes there include US $20,000, one week’s paid vacation at a Sandals of his choice, first class air transfer for two, among other VIP treatments,” a release said.
Working in the hospitality industry, and more specifically at Sandals, has come as second nature to Richards. He grew up in a household where his family members worked in the hotel sector and his mother worked at Sandals.
An Antiguan by birth, Richards grew up in Potters Village and attended the Potters Primary School and later the Clare Hall Secondary School and applied for a job at the resort soon after graduating.
“It was a very positive experience,” he said of his early months with the company. “I started out as a waiter,” the awardee said.
“Month after month, I won the Most Guest Nominated Award,” he said. “After the [then] General Manager saw how good I was, he suggested that I become a butler. At first I didn’t want to be a butler because I loved what I did.”
However, after some of the other butlers encouraged him, Richards said he was convinced that he needed to give it a try. He officially became a butler in August 2006.
“I enjoy making the guests’ vacation most memorable and enjoyable,” he said. “I enjoy exceeding guests’ expectations.”
The 2019 Diamond Team Member is the most requested butler on property, with guests specifically requesting him when they book their stay.
“Wendel continues to impress us with the quality of service he provides to our guests,” General Manager Matthew Cornall said. “He is very much deserving of this Diamond Team Member Award.”
Equally as impressive is his impeccable attendance record. After a total of 16 years at Sandals, he has only had one sick day. His goal is to be a butler manager one day and hopes to become a director at some point in the future. “That’s my field; it’s all I know,” he said. “I’m willing to pass on all I’ve learned and my expertise,” the awardee said.