When asked how long she has worked in hospitality, Karla Pecorelli replied, “Funny story, actually.”
She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, where her parents and grandparents managed a motel. When she was born, she actually lived out of the motel, sleeping alongside her mother in the back office. Throughout her childhood, Pecorelli heard enough crazy workplace stories from her parents to scare her away from the hospitality industry for a while.
That is until she realized just how much joy there is in providing people with an unforgettable, hospitable vacation.
Since then, Pecorelli has worked at Hyatt locations around the country, from the Park Hyatt Chicago to the Andaz San Diego. Most recently, she worked as the operational resource manager at Hyatt’s Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort.
In her current position as director of operations at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington, Pecorelli works behind the scenes to ensure that everything is seamless.
“So much goes into creating a positive guest experience,” Pecorelli said. “It starts at day one. From the planning of a hotel, to the way that the doors open, to the way that we clean the rooms. There are certain things that guests look for, often subconsciously. It’s psychological.”
A hotel functions much like a machine, with each individual element working to power the whole. At the Hyatt, Pecorelli communicates with employees throughout the hotel to prioritize a carefree experience for the guests.
“The guests will never really know what goes into creating a seamless hotel stay,” Pecorelli said. “Ideally, they should never know. They’re meant to have a flawless day — it’s meant to be easy and enjoyable.”
The Hyatt Regency, located on the Southport campus in Renton, was built in 2017, offering brand-new amenities and stunning views of Lake Washington.
“When people hear that I moved here from Hawaii, they say that Washington must not even compare, but I couldn’t disagree more,” Pecorelli said. “When you walk into the lobby here, you see Lake Washington, and it’s just as beautiful and impactful.”
See how this hospitality veteran spends her day.
5 a.m. Good morning, Seattle. Time to start my day — although I’m not sure my pup, Mowgli, is ready for the day.
5:15 a.m. I make myself a cup of coffee and check emails to see what awaits me.
6 a.m. Mowgli is awake, so it’s time for a quick run before getting ready to head into the office.
7:30 a.m. I arrive to my beautiful hotel on Lake Washington for what is sure to be a fun-filled day of operational happenings.
7:45 a.m. Don’t mind if I do — my morning visit at The Market in the hotel lobby includes making myself a dirty chai latte.
8 a.m. A visit with the front office team to review arriving guest preferences, room allocations, and VIP arrivals for the day.
9 a.m. I have a hard-hat visit with the SECO Development team of the Southport office complex. Wouldn’t you like to have this view from your desk?
11 a.m. Next, I visit with the chefs at Water’s Table restaurant during their pre-shift to learn about new menu items.
noon I enjoy lunch with a potential client to discuss differentiators between our product and that of our competitors.
1:30 p.m. Collaboration meeting with various leaders throughout the hotel on ways we can drive Hyatt’s purpose of “caring for people so they can be their best.”
2:30 p.m. Afternoon caffeine fix of Yerba Mate while checking emails and getting caught up on tasks that have popped up throughout the day.
4 p.m. Every once in a while, I help with amenity deliveries to a VIP guest’s room. What’s better than wine and local snacks to welcome you to your home away from home?
5 p.m. It’s time to prep for a cocktail and wine photo shoot. The photos will help showcase the restaurant’s beverage menu options.
6:30 p.m. Following the shoot, I review some of the photos. The lake photographs well, doesn’t it?
7:30 p.m. Arrive home to find Mowgli waiting for me, ready to play.
9 p.m. It’s been a long day, so I relax with some TV followed by a bit of reading and wine to end the day.
Photos courtesy Karla Pecorelli