Today we’d like to introduce you to Melody Corvalán.
Melody, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up in San Diego, a city where millions vacation, the hotel industry always seemed luxurious to me. But, it wasn’t until after I went away to college at the University of Utah in 2003, where I finally was able to dip my toe into the industry. I began working for a Marriott as a PBX Operator learning about all the different hotel departments and most importantly how they worked together. I felt like a fish in water for the first time. To be paid to smile and be happy and to make others happy was something very special to me!
At this hotel, is where I learned about the catering department and its function within a hotel. I remember thinking how odd that the Marriott loads up food in a van and delivers it to an event. But in reality, that is not at all what the catering department does. The catering department handles all local events within their ballrooms. The catering team sells, details and executes all hotel events. Within the catering world, I was able to find my niche in hotels. Helping someone with their most special day was my calling.
After college in 2006, I returned to San Diego to continue my career in hotels working for such brands as the Holiday Inn, Westin, and Hilton. As a San Diego native, the Hotel del Coronado was a place I couldn’t imagine being able to visit let alone work for.
I had no idea that the Hotel del Coronado was an open resort! Most people know as we see thousands of visitors every day, but for some reason, the first time I set foot on a property was for my job interview. I couldn’t believe I was being interviewed for my dream job at one of the world’s iconic hotels. I was hired as the Associate Director of Catering on October 31, 2016. I have seen and helped with amazing events in our historic Crown Room and our ocean view Ballroom. My team and I have a goal to make every event be personalized, exclusive and special.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road is never smooth for anyone I believe. But that’s what makes every accomplishment feel even more wonderful. That’s what cements the gratitude I have in my heart. I am literally a statistic. I am Mexican, I am a woman and I am a college drop out with the hopes of being a hotel executive. More than becoming a hotel executive I wanted to create experiences. I wanted to figure out a way that I can be successful at touching the lives of people and somehow make a career out of this. The Hotel del Coronado has recently become a part of Hilton’s Curio Collection. Hilton is one of the best companies to work for, with opportunities for growth but most importantly they give me the tools to make dreams come true!
Please tell us about Hotel del Coronado.
Everyone has heard of the iconic and historic Hotel del Coronado! What can I say about its almost 30 acres of breathtaking views, it’s gorgeous turret and it’s 130 years of rich history, I currently hold the title of Associate Director of Catering. I lead the department that is responsible for booking and detailing events in our ballrooms and meeting space. I am a part of a team of 6 strong women who know the resort and our decadent culinary selections. Together, we plan and work together to create del memories. We specialize in ethnic, religious and traditional weddings as well as corporate beachfront events and charity galas. We are known for spectacular spaces, themed parties and amazing service.
The Hotel del Coronado is managed by Hilton Corporation. Our hotel falls under Tracy Walker, Area VP of Operations. She oversees our General Manager. Out of 12 people in our executive team, 4 of them are women. Women are powerful at the Del. That’s what makes me proud of the company I work for!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, I would not have done anything differently. I loved every hotel I worked for. No matter the brand, the size, how new or old it was, the location or any other factor. They all helped me get to the most beautiful resort in the world. And not only get to it but to be a leader in it.
- Address: 1500 Orange Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118
- Website: www.hoteldel.com
- Phone: 619-522-8891
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @melthedel
Crown City Photo, Pam Scott, True Photography