One thing all the staff at Navutu Dreams have in common is their beaming smiles. Cambodians are known for their happy faces, and walking around the resort, the cheerful grins are everywhere. You would think the blissed out guests would be the ones grinning from ear to ear, but it seems smiles are infectious at this Siem Reap Resort. Why are the staff so chipper?
Reception’s Name Game
As soon as you pass through the main gate you’ll be greeted by Karuna and Sovann at Reception, and you’ll probably be greeted by name. The two of them have been working at Navutu Dreams front desk since it opened nearly two years ago, and they make it a point to learn all the guest’s names. Sovann says that if they learn a little bit about each guest, they can tailor the Dreams Experience to best suit individual needs.
We asked Karuna and Sovann what made them smile at Navutu Dreams. They mimicked the sentiments of almost all the staff, gushing about the resort’s incredible location and the amazing team of people they work with every day. “Working at Navutu Dreams makes me happy because our location out of town allows us to hear the birds while we work,” Karuna shared. “And the owners are very friendly,” Sovann chimed in. “When we have a problem, they want to help fix it. They are very flexible with us.”
“It’s different from the other hotels. When you’re here you can see the staff are happy.” – Reaksmey, Manager
Map works at Niam Niam, Navutu Dreams’ on-site restaurant. He works in the afternoon and evening, because the owners sponsor him to continue his education in addition to providing Map with housing. Last September the Navutu Dreams team took a staff trip to Sihanoukville, one of few times Map has traveled outside Siem Reap. Yet he was insistent that he wanted to bring his mother to see Angkor Wat. “It has so much history, and it brings guests to Cambodia. I want her to see this – and the most beautiful view. Then I will take her to Pub Street.”
When in Rome
When asked what they wish guests to see when visiting Siem Reap, many of Navutu Dreams’ staff mentioned Pub Street and Angkor Wat, but a surprising number also recommended the floating villages along the Tonle Sap lake and Kyung Yu, a sort of street fair on Road 60 where locals go to eat oysters on the half-shell, ride bumper cars and try to win a Hello Kitty doll or cutlery set playing darts.
When work turns relaxing
Sreypov works in the spa and loves to take her two children to Kyung Yu in her days off, but she leaves the rides to the kids. As a mother or two young children, Sreypov decided she would prefer a soothing Khmer massage at the spa over fun and games at Kyung Yu. She says she loves when guests choose the Relaxation Massage because it is relaxing for the guests and the massage therapists. Sreypov worked at a spa off Pub Street before moving to Navutu Dreams two years ago and she said the switch has improved her lifestyle and her health. Not only is the resort a beautiful and serene place to work, but “here we have better equipment and better hours.”
Happy employees make a happy hotel
Reaksmey has been a manager at Navutu Dreams for two years and two weeks exactly. “Of course I know how long I have worked here. I am very happy. I love the team – the whole team. They work so well together. Everyone is nice and helpful. When you’re here you can see that the staff are happy. It’s different here from the other hotels.” On this point, Reaksmey is so right.
From Housekeeping to Junior Engineers, the staff at Navutu Dreams say there’s no comparison between their previous jobs and their current situation. With beautiful and tranquil grounds, empathetic and hands-on owners, and a carefully cultivated team of lovely people, Navutu Dreams is the whole package. They say happy cows make great cheese – it seems that here, happy employees make for a great hotel.