Exclusive Resorts: One & Only Palmilla (OOP) rises again
In the wake of its hurricane disaster, the iconic One & Only Palmilla (OOP) Los Cabos resort has come back stronger than ever.
On the southern coast of the Baja California peninsula, the Los Cabos Corridor runs along a stretch of highway connecting Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo. This corridor is lined with warm sandy beaches and luxurious private resorts that attract VIPs and celebrities from around the world.
Among the most exclusive and iconic of these is the One&Only Palmilla, a picturesque beachfront resort overlooking the Sea of Cortez. First built as a 15-room retreat for Hollywood glitterati in the 1950s, the resort has seen multiple rebirths over the decades. It revealed its latest reincarnation in April of 2015—opening its doors to guests for the first time since Hurricane Odile passed through Baja California Sur in September 2014, leaving destruction in its wake.
The One&Only Palmilla turned the closure into an opportunity to reinvent itself, building on its classic coastal style with brand new world-class features and amenities.
“We are so thrilled to be welcoming back guests to One&Only Palmilla, a legendary resort in Mexico,” said Mark DeCocinis, President and Chief Operating Officer, One&Only Resorts, as the resort prepared for its relaunch. “We are bringing the resort back, better than ever before with a number of new enhancements. With our incredible team, we will continue the generosity of spirit that One&Only Palmilla has been known for.”
“Past guests of the resort will find what they have come to love about it, but will also discover some new experiences,” added managing director Peter Bowling upon the resort’s official relaunch. “Most importantly, One&Only Palmilla will continue to deliver the incredible warm and genuine service that guests love.”
One & Only Palmilla - New Flavors and Fan Favorites
Among the resort’s new offerings is SEARED by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, a new steakhouse from the Michelin-starred chef who previously made waves at One&Only Palmilla with Asian-Latin fusion hotspot Market. Vongerichten’s latest fine dining outing focuses on freshly caught seafood and the finest aged Wagyu A5 steaks and Kobe Tomahawk chops, which guests can view on display in a glass-walled curing room.
Guests will also be able to return to the reopened SUVICHE to enjoy sushi and sashimi prepared by master sushi chef Yoshiaki Akaike, or to AGUA by LARBI to experience Chef Larbi Dahrouch’s all-new menu featuring authentic Mexican cuisine inspired by seasonal produce and the freshest catches of the day. Followed by cocktails at the One&Only Lounge and musical entertainment at Agua Bar, there are plenty of new experiences and revamped favorites.
OOP: Rest and Relaxation
Guests come to the Los Cabos corridor to escape and decompress from the demands of the outside world. One&Only Palmilla takes this responsibility very seriously, and with its reopening the resort launched a substantial expansion of its already comprehensive luxury spa and wellness program.
“We are introducing a number of new offerings which have been in the works for some time now, including our new OBO beauty salon and men’s grooming studio, Barber & Blade,” said Bowling with the announcement of the new additions. “Guests will discover a completely new spa plus fitness center that will allow guests to focus on wellness, as well as indulgence. Wellbeing has always been an important element of the One&Only Palmilla offering and I am looking forward for having our guests discover all of our new offerings and new facilities.”
Along with a fully renovated spa and fitness center, the resort created two all-new experiences for guests. The OBO Salon by Jonathan & George, created in collaboration with celebrity stylists Jonathan Antin and Amanda George, offers both formal and casual hair and beauty options to help clients achieve a look that is “unplugged without being undone.” To give men a chance to unwind in style, the resort launched Barber&Blade offering indulgent services from luxury wet shaves and beard sculpting to facials and scalp massage.
OOP: A success one year after the hurricane struck
This month marks one year since One&Only Palmilla’s grand reopening, and over that past year guests and critics have responded to the resort’s new additions with resounding positivity. The new and improved One&Only Palmilla has garnered several key awards since opening its doors, including World’s Best in Mexico (Travel Leisure) and Best for Romance (jetsetter.com), plus a place on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2015 Gold List and a gold badge award from U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hotels of 2015. With such accolades, it’s clear that the One&Only is only getting better with every reinvention.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.