“JOY and Mikada were the most amazing butlers. They attended to every one of our needs — which were a lot — and they are both assets to Sandals,” said one guest of Sandals South Coast.
“I cannot say enough great things about our butlers Joy and Mikada. The phrase 'above and beyond' is not enough,” said another guest.
These were just two of the numerous glowing guest comments that the butler dream team of Joyawardina Griffiths and Mikada Brown have received since becoming duty partners this year.
At Sandals Resorts, butlers are part of an exclusive group of team members tasked with curating a truly unforgettable and worry-free vacation experience for the resort group's most elite guests.
Joyawardina, or Joy as she is better known, is an 11-year veteran in butler services and one part of this rising dream team, while Mikada is a relatively new addition to the resort's exclusive butler programme, having entered the department just over two months ago.
With the difference in years of experience between both ladies aside however, it is perhaps the similarities they share that make them such a great pair.
Prior to joining the Butler Elite team Joy and Mikada were waitresses working in the resort's Food and Beverage Department.
“Food and Beverage is very interactive and fast paced, and it requires a certain eye for detail. I believe working in that area prepared us well for the demands of butler services,” said Joy, with her colleague Mikada agreeing.
“When I became a butler in 2010 there was just one other female butler in the department, which was still relatively uncharted territory for females,” said Joy. “The ladies at my resort didn't gravitate to the position as it seemed more suited for males, requiring more physical strength and being on the go and on your feet a lot. I, however, decided to dive in.”
Joy said she really yearned to provide a more personal service to the guests, while utilising her creative skills and seeing what she could bring to the role. She noted that over the years she has learnt a lot as a Sandals butler, likae being more patient, observant, proactive and kind. She added that her people skills have improved tremendously and that she has learnt to communicate more effectively.
Her experiences and lessons learnt put Joy in the ideal position to impart her knowledge to the next cohort of female butlers.
“Of course [imparting my knowledge has now] started with my duty partner, Mikada,” she said. “Mikada is very focused and her undeniable tenacity and caring ways make her a great candidate for this department.” And clearly, for these two, the admiration goes both ways.
For Mikada, Joy has been an inspiration.
“She was always neatly put together and despite all the responsibilities that I now know a butler has, she held her own as a female,” said Mikada.
She underscored that Joy was one of the persons who piqued her interest in butler services and paved the way for other females at her resort who are now a part of that department.
There are other similarities between Joy and Mikada as well. For one, they are both mothers and providing a better life for their children is a top priority for each.
“My kids mean the world to me,” said Joy, who despite her petite frame and bewitchingly youthful appearance, is actually the mother of two grown kids.
“Being a single mother is very challenging and it takes hard work and dedication. I'm thankful every day to God for being there for me and giving me the strength to do it.” Joy declared.
Like Joy, Mikada also saw butler services as an opportunity to provide a more specialised service to visitors as well as a means of upward mobility for herself and, by extension, her 10-year-old daughter.
“I struggled a lot growing up. I never had anything but I've always been determined to succeed,” said Mikada. “Now, my daughter is my greatest motivation and I want her to have everything I didn't have.”