“The things of this world are in so constant a flux, that nothing remains long in the same state” – the words of John Locke, English philosopher and one of the great Enlightenment thinkers, apply as much now as they did when he uttered them in the 1600s.

As the pandemic took hold and hotels around the world were forced to close their doors, so began one of the greatest times of flux in living memory, in particular for the world of travel.

Determined not to be pulled down by challenges beyond our control, we sensed an opportunity not to be missed. Our mantra at Awasi has long been that “time is the most precious thing we have” and, for once, time was in strong supply.

Conscious that inboxes across the globe were being flooded with virtual yoga lessons, baking classes and one-size-fits-all lockdown tips, we decided to look at the man in the mirror and focus on our own team. And so began a series of live internal talks, designed to help our team keep learning, feel motivated and be connected.

  • Leadership Training: Awasi managers received training on leadership, covering areas in which they could improve and allowing the managers in our three lodges to compare experiences and share ideas.
  • Head Guide Excursion Training: Following the success of a series of external webinars hosted by the head guide of each property, the head guides of Awasi Atacama, Awasi Patagonia and Awasi Iguazu gave a weekly training session for the Awasi family to learn about the experiences and excursions across all three properties.
  • Awasi Talks: Every Wednesday the Awasi Talks take the form of a webinar where different members of all of the team give the Awasi family a class on their subject of expertise: Baking, Cocktails, Electricity…

The still-ongoing Awasi Talks are open for all Awasi personnel, designed to share knowledge of each lodge – Awasi Patagonia, Awasi Atacama and Awasi Iguazu – and to build on the team cohesion within the Awasi family.

The pastry chef at Awasi Iguazu, Valentina Marambio, gave a lesson on making churros, whilst the Awasi Iguazu sommelier Dana Córdoba gave a talk about wine titled “One glass, one story”.

But no kitchen can function without its ovens, and no drinks served without a wine cooler, so our next talk was given by Nicolás Arman, head of the maintenance team at Awasi Iguazu. His topic: electrical installations. Not an area of the hotel our guests, or indeed the majority of our team, are familiar with, but just one of the elements behind the scenes vital to the functioning of a luxury lodge.

There is little more motivating than watching an expert talk passionately about what they love to do, so we encouraged our team members, regardless of role or responsibility, to pick a topic to discuss and share via zoom with the entire organisation. After all, everyone has something to teach.

Other talks thus far have included a history of the Jesuit missionary ruins in the forests near Iguazu, a guide on public speaking, a discussion on local teas and herbal infusions – no topic was off-limits and everyone was free to choose their subject of expertise.

Following a series of successful webinars hosted by our heads of guiding at each of our lodges, we also arranged live presentations by the Head Guides at each lodge. These weekly sessions were designed to allow the team to share experiences and learn about excursions at other Awasi properties, encouraging the sharing of ideas, tips and inspiration for what is widely considered one of our key selling points, namely our excursions and activities.

If you would like to take a look, here are the links.

A detailed look at Awasi’s Private Excursions with Atacama’s Head Guide, Nicolás Acevedo:

Awasi Patagonia Head Guide, Tomás Navarrete, gets into the details of what’s on offer at Chile’s famed Torres del Paine National Park and what lies beyond:

Awasi Iguazu Head Guide, Paula Bertotto, gives the lowdown on excursions on offer in Argentina’s Atlantic Rainforest:

Our aim is to be ready to receive guests when the time comes, and to emerge on the other side with the Awasi team feeling closer, united and more in tune with the Awasi spirit than ever.