PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS — The brass bell adorning the entrance to The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, rings mightily in the hands of Bahamian Kristen Whyly, who returns home as the resort manager.
After more than a decade abroad, delighting Four Seasons guests in Thailand, Hawaii and, finally, Washington, DC, the native Bahamian is returning to his roots.
The Ocean Club is Whyly’s seventh Four Seasons address, whose career path has been more resort-oriented but has included urban hotels. He first came to the Ocean Club on a task force assignment when he was the hotel manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC.
The differences between the two operations were distinct, he recalls, and he drew on his own experiences to lead the resort team in finding his Four Seasons position. This was telling in terms of the importance of development and bonding with individual teams.
He noted, “As we continue to innovate and move forward, these connections continue to grow.”
Four Seasons’ renowned service standards are just the beginning for Whyly, who flaunts them on his desk, adorning the white sands and blue surf of Paradise Island.
General manager John Conway echoed Whyly’s attention to service detail.
“A hotelier with pedigree, Kristen’s ability to translate and imbue empathy with guests and staff is precisely why he is the perfect candidate for a resort manager,” Conway said. “He works with the team to build a solid foundation of exceptional delivery and artisan hospitality that enables us to advance our business goals and marketing strategies.
“Together, and with our division leaders, we are well equipped to navigate a strong recovery and let the world know we are very open for business.”
While the Ocean Club, Paradise Island and Nassau were thankfully unaffected by the storm, Whyly’s family home, built with her father in Great Abaco, was among those hit by Hurricane Dorian on September 1, 2019. He was among the station’s leaders and the first to volunteer with chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen to prepare food for disaster relief.
As the need for relief in affected areas continues, Whyly is working to showcase the culture and enthusiasm of the Bahamas and the Ocean Club. As the festive season approaches, he is working on a new experience that brings guests right into the national pride that is Junkanoo.
Meanwhile, look for Whyly walking his black Labrador, Samson or leading Crossfit sessions with the team and guests.
“Seeing people come together to improve is one of the things I enjoy the most,” he said.