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Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla

  • Barnes Bay, P.O. Box 8028, West End, AI-2640, Anguilla
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Billy Cueto

Resort Manager
“The main thing that goes into keeping our guests happy is a contented team.”

 

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2001
  • First Four Seasons Position: Front Desk Agent, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California; Four Seasons Hotel Houston; Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Birthplace

  • Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Education

  • Studied Fine/Studio Arts, Summer School of Music and Art, Yale University; Bachelor of Fine Arts, Experimental Studies – Painting, Texas A&M University-Commerce

Languages Spoken

  • English

Sometimes, a change of scenery is all it takes. “I came to Anguilla for the first time in April 2018 on a task force to revitaliz\se the rooms,” recounts Billy Cueto of the opportunity that led to his appointment as Resort Manager of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla. “The culture of the island drew me right in,” he continues. “I just thought, ‘I could live here.’ It’s wonderful to be among people who are so inviting and at a Resort that’s so stunning.”

Cueto brought a lot with him, not least a notably personable demeanor and 17 years (and counting) of experience at various Four Seasons, the only company for which he has ever worked. “Basically, I oversee the operational aspects of everything that makes the Resort function, and make sure the staff feel safe and secure in their positions.”

That last bit requires a lot of cheerleading and positivity, he adds, likening his efforts to “a vice principal rallying the student body before a big game.” It comes naturally to him. “It’s also very important because the main thing that goes into keeping our guests happy is a contented team.”

That same softness and gentleness extends to his approach to resort clientele. Cueto interacts with guests a lot to ensure they’re enjoying their stay, that they know who he is, and that they’re in safe hands. He believes strongly in projecting an air of confidence as well as warmth. “If there’s ever an issue, I want guests to know I can fix it, and I will,” he says. “The buck stops with me. Anything I can keep out of my boss’s office is a win.”

A child of the Midwest, Cueto originally found his way to Four Seasons out of necessity. An artist by nature, he studied experimental arts at college in Texas and art history in London before heading to Chicago in hopes of getting into graduate school for fine art. “But I missed the deadlines for application, so I needed something to do.”

His then-girlfriend had an idea. “She said, ‘you know, you’re good at cleaning, why don’t you be a janitor?’” The movie Good Will Hunting was raking in millions at the box office at the time, so he gave it some thought and sketched out a plan to housekeep at a hotel in the evening and create art by day. “A good friend told me, ‘if you’re going to work at a hotel here, you should work at the best in the city – Four Seasons.’”

Good call.

After purchasing a new suit and tie from Banana Republic, Cueto headed for Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. There was nothing available in housekeeping, but there was an opening at the Front Desk. “I remember looking at the palatial lobby, with fountains and marble and orchestral music and bellman with white gloves, and just being transformed.” Then, on his second day, the actor Will Smith walked by and waved. That was it: “I fell in love with the pageantry and what Four Seasons was all about right away.”

Cueto’s hotel skills grew with each new position, and his background helped, notably during a run as Front Office Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Houston when he got to oversee a renovation. “I was no longer an artist, but the Hotel became my art. I knew art history and colour theory, and I could talk aesthetics with the designers. It gave me a different view on things.”

Cueto went on to spend seven years at Four Seasons properties in Los Angeles, advancing to Director of Rooms. Then the task force opened the door to Anguilla, and he hasn’t looked back. “The island is totally different lifestyle from a big city. Wherever I go, I run into people I know, and when little inconveniences occur, like everybody here, I just roll with it.”

Meantime, Cueto holds it as a point of pride that he is a lifer at Four Seasons with no intention of working anywhere else. “I’ve always been proud that I’m a loyalist. I don’t mean to boast, but this is really the best hospitality company to work for.”

While his goal is “to eventually run one of these things,” at present Cueto is quite content. “Every morning, I wake up with the sun and see the ocean from my balcony. It’s perfect!”