We had the good fortune of connecting with Katri Rantala and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katri, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Hotels are for getting a little escape from our day to day lives, experience something different and recharge those batteries. We have always wanted to think what we ourselves appreciate in a hotel, or an airbnb, when we travel as a family with our kids and dogs, or when we go on a trip together as a couple. We love details in service, amenites and feeling welcomed and special, so those are the very things we want to express to our guests and that are behind our success. Keeping that in mind we added different amenities, extras without cost, anything that might make one’s stay here easier and more relaxing. When travelling with kids or fur babies we go the extra mile, because we don’t wan’t to just “accept” dogs or babies, but make them feel just as special as anyone else. We do this by offering kid friendly breakfast, crib, toys, changing table, anything from a night light to a baby monitor, and having a play ground. And for dogs we have our pet package that includes a toy, something to chew on, a bed, food and water plates, and our whole 4hectar area fenced so that they can run free and enjoy the nature. For couples we offer different surprises, decorations, snacks, drinks and flowers for a small cost. In general we have an attitude to help our guests in whatever way we can, having in mind their stay here might be the first time in a long time they get to have a vacation and enjoy eachother’s company. We focused from the very beginning on offering the best possible customer service, because we think it to be the greatest asset in any service business. Being kind, available, and willing to help in any way possible. After two years with our hotel we now have truly the best team working with us, and everyone here treats our guests with the same respect and consideration.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I studied Spanish as my major in Finland, and finished my master’s in 2015. Right after graduation I moved to Baja California, Mexico to be with my future husband and two years later we started to build our hotel here in Valle de Guadalupe. I actually never practiced as a teacher or a translator, but my Spanish skills definitely helped me getting used to living in Mexico, understanding the culture and the people here. Me, like so many others, end up working in something they never really studied for. So the most valuable things turn out to be something other than your University degree. I think resilianse, kindness and flexibility are the top 3 things to survive in any business and especially in the field I’m in now. It is anything but easy, overwhelming at times, but that’s life. And I’ve been fortunate enough to do this with my husband as a partner, so the connection we have for the same aspirations and goals is very gratifying.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My best friend is just like me, someone who loves to enjoy food and wine, so we’d have the best time here in Valle de Guadalupe. We’d start our mornings with a breakfast outside in our terrace, and do 2-3 winery visits/day plus a dinner. We’d go to Vena Cava, Montefiori, La Lomita, Finca La Carrodilla, Decantos, Bruma, Tres Mujeres, Pijoan, Xecué, Duoma and Casa Frida for wine tastings, and to dinner we’d choose Fauna, Viñedos Don Tomás, Malva, Lunario and Finca Altozano. At night we’d take a sauna for detox and enjoy our jacuzzi under the stars. We’d definitely go for a day in Ensenada as well since it’s only 20min drive away and walk the ocean side, drink some local craft beers and have fresh sea food.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve always had the support from my family, and I’ve been encouraged to start a business of my own. So from the very beginning, even in a foreign country, I felt confident and capable due to that trust and encouragement from their part. My husband is also a true optimist, that sees a chance in everything and a way to fix anything, so with him by my side I feel safe and supported, just the partner you need on a new business adventure.
Facebook: Lumi Valle de Guadalupe