Meet Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana Award Winner Leo Dela Cruz

After a 3-year hiatus, the Na Po'e Pa'ahana (the hard-working people) Awards returned last month to honor Hawai‘i’s very best hospitality industry professionals. For Waikiki Resort Hotel, award night was one to remember as one of our very own won the award for Bell & Valet Person of the Year!


A Journey of Dedication and Service

Leo Dela Cruz, Assistant Bell Captain at Waikiki Resort Hotel, began his journey in the world of hospitality in 1984. That year marked the beginning of what would become a remarkable career. He took his first steps as a housekeeper at the Waikiki Malia, a position that laid the foundation for a lifelong commitment to the service of others. Over the decades, Leo has evolved from a diligent housekeeper into the consummate professional that he is today, serving as our Assistant Bell Captain since 2015.


Anticipating Guest Needs: Leo's Signature Touch

What truly distinguishes Leo is his ability to anticipate the needs of our guests. Over the years, he has cultivated an extraordinary talent for understanding the intricate subtleties of guest service. When guests arrive at Waikiki Resort Hotel, Leo's warm and welcoming presence is often their first encounter. His deep knowledge of the local area, impeccable attention to detail, and genuine, caring demeanor set the tone for a memorable stay.


A Dedication Beyond the Call of Duty

Leo's commitment to service extends beyond the hotel walls. In addition to his role as Assistant Bell Captain, Leo dedicates a portion of his free time to driving for Uber. This not only showcases his extraordinary work ethic but also underscores his dedication to his growing family. Leo's work ethic and commitment to providing for his family are an inspiration to us all.

One exemplary account from 2021 vividly illustrates Leo's exceptional character. Shortly after travel restrictions to Hawai'i were lifted, Leo found himself in a unique situation. He was driving an Uber ride from the airport to Waikiki when his passengers began discussing their plans. Their dream was to experience a circle-island tour, an iconic Hawaii adventure. However, due to unprecedented demand and a lack of available tours, they faced disappointment. In a moment that epitomizes the spirit of Hawai'i's legendary hospitality, Leo went above and beyond. He generously offered to personally take the family on a tour completely free of charge.

Leo arrived at the hotel the next day equipped with snacks and refreshments. He meticulously followed the typical tour route, sharing his extensive knowledge of the island's landmarks and history. Throughout the day, he showcased the true meaning of aloha, treating the family not as tourists but as treasured guests in his own home.

But the story didn't end there. This family, deeply touched by Leo's warmth and hospitality, continued to stay in touch. They have since returned to Hawai'i multiple times, always choosing to stay at Waikiki Resort Hotel. Leo's ability to create lasting connections and turn guests into loyal advocates is a testament to his extraordinary service.


A Lasting Impression: Leo's Legacy

Leo's unique ability to create lasting impressions is a rare gem in the service industry. He embodies the essence of the Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards by recognizing and celebrating those who go above and beyond to make meaningful differences in the lives of others. His dedication to our guests exemplifies the true spirit of Hawaiian hospitality.