Amil looks on the bright side of life in Punta Cana
In BOP Faces, we talk to local legends: the people of Punta Cana that make this place so special. In this edition, we talk to General Manager Amil Maleck about how he keeps his positive attitude when leading a team of 450 people, life in Punta Cana and being a Dominican who does not know how to dance Merengue.
Sometimes there is a problem in the kitchen. Other times guests are not happy with their room and on a different occasion an alarm goes off in the building for no apparent reason. All examples of situations that occur in a hotel. But Alsol Hotel General Manager Amil Maleck is walking on the premises with a permanent smile on his face. He seems as stress-free as it can be. We wanted to know his secret.
“What do you remember about a boss you had in the past? Do you remember exactly what kind of work he or she did? Or do you remember if that person was a good person or not?” Hotel General Manager Amil Maleck (45) wants to be remembered by his staff as a person who treated them right. He looks on the bright side of everything. “If you give positive energy, you will receive positive energy. I bring the best part of myself to work every day.”
When difficult situations occur at work or in his personal life he copes with it in the same way. “I feel that our responsibility is to show the good part in even the worst situations. Of course, I experience bad things too, but I try to go to bed every day with positive thoughts, so I can wake up with a good vibe. I know it sounds spiritual, but I am not spiritual at all. I just believe that the power of positivity is within in me.”
Amil Maleck sits in his office that overlooks part of the space where guests of the hotel can relax at the bar. By using his Ipad with a keyboard, he handles all the hotel´s business from here. A crisp ironed light blue dress shirt with khaki pants is his outfit for today. Only the three leather bracelets and one bracelet that is made from a red rope on his wrist reveal a personal side of him. A smiling Amil explains the bracelets on his arm: “One was given to me by my kids. I have two sons, 12 and 17 that live with my ex-wife in Switzerland, we are very close. The other three bracelets were gifts from my two best friends and my wife.”
Amil thanks his positive attitude and the tight bond he shares with his family and friends due to his upbringing. Born in Santo Domingo, Amil grows up in two cultures, because of his Dominican mother and Lebanese father. “My mom and dad were 19 when I was born. Although they were young they decided to finish school. My mom became a lawyer and my dad an engineer. They always taught my sister and me to read, live, enjoy life and get an education. Every Sunday we visited my Lebanese grandmother where we ate Lebanese food, like Tabbouleh, Kibbeh, and Baklava. That is also the reason why I feel more connected to the Lebanese culture.”
“Although my Lebanese grandfather died when I was 12 years old I feel that I have got the most of him. He was such a kind positive man. He came to the Dominican Republic, in the 30´s when the government opened the border for transcultural relations. They wanted to have different cultures on the island to help the economy grow. My grandfather an entrepreneur, saw business opportunities and went to live in Sánchez in Samaná.”
“He helped to bring the first Scotia Bank to the Dominican Republic and he opened the first gas station in Sánchez. In his minimarket that he also owned, he was always friendly. If someone couldn´t pay, he would let them pay another time. When I was a kid, I used to run around in that minimarket. Even though I was so busy, climbing on everything he never ever told me to stop because I was his grandson. That is the kind of man he was.”
Being Dominican, but leaning more to the Lebanese side, Amil did not grow up with Dominican music, instead of Latin tunes, rock and roll, and heavy metal, and new wave music were his favorites. “I loved Depeche Mode, the Roling Stones, and heavy metal bands. I went through different phases. I don´t know how to dance Merengue or Salsa! And I am Dominican! I am very sorry for that, but I try.”
Life in Punta Cana
“I came to Punta Cana 18 years ago and I fell in love with the beach and the way of living. Although I grew up in a metropole, I like the laidback lifestyle you have here. Surfing is also something I like to do. I can´t do it as much as I did before, because of a problem in my back.”
“I am also a skater. There is a skateboard in the apartment of my wife and I. It is red, pink, and, blue! Skating and surfing makes me feel free. If I would not be living in Punta Cana, I would be living at another place where there are a beach and a beautiful sea like we have here.”
“My favorite secret spot in Punta Cana is Macao beach. The left side. My wife and I used to go there every weekend with our dog. We even have a big picture of our dog in Macao in our living room!”
Amil´s secret spot happens to be one of our favorites as well. Read our article on secret beaches in Punta Cana.