The Return of a Cheeca Legend: Bruce Graham, Head of Bell Staff

Cheeca Lodge & Spa is proud to be one of the best resorts in the Florida Keys, offering unparalleled luxury experiences that keep our guests returning to Islamorada each year. In addition to premium amenities, we believe it’s the familiar faces of our dedicated team that make Cheeca beloved by generation after generation.

Recently, we sat down with our returning Head of Bell Staff, Bruce Graham, who has been part of the Cheeca family for over a decade. Read on to learn about how Bruce started his career in hospitality, his favorite part of working at Cheeca, and more.

How long have you been at Cheeca?

Eleven years. This was actually my first hospitality job—I was previously senior customer service agent for Fedex in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  

What made you return after the hurricane and your move to Chicago?

After Hurricane Irma I moved to Chicago to be near family, but the love for my Cheeca team and guests brought me home to Cheeca.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?  

When I moved to South Florida from Montego Bay, Jamaica, I wanted to use my customer service background, and hospitality seemed like a great fit. Cheeca was actually presented to me by a staffing agency and I first arrived on an H2B visa. Once I obtained my US citizenship, it was a natural next step to become a permanent team member at Cheeca.

Can you explain your day-to-day responsibilities at Cheeca?  

Upon my return from Chicago, I was able to step back into the Bell Captain role. My day-to-day role entails overseeing the bell staff. My team is responsible for greeting all arriving guests and creating a first impression. During our guests’ stay, my team and I strive to provide a memorable experience which includes not only assisting with vehicles and luggage on check-in and checkout, but making recommendations and providing transportation to different area restaurants and attractions, and most importantly striking up conversations and making sure our guests are having a great time during their stay.

What kind of experience do you hope to craft for your guests, and what makes it stand out from what they experience at other resorts?

At Cheeca, we provide a luxury product, but our service is genuine and heartfelt, not stuffy. We recognize our guests by their names—this makes them feel special and welcome. Returning guests feel like they are coming home. You don’t get the same feeling at other resorts in the Keys or elsewhere.

What is your favorite part of working at Cheeca?

My favorite part of working at Cheeca is the one-on-one interaction with my guests. I have developed many friendships with returning guests over the years, have learned their personal stories, have seen their children grow—and they have gotten to know my story as well. It’s very rewarding to me.

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?

Reading, swimming, and visiting my home and loved ones in Jamaica.

Get to know Bruce and the other members of our team when you stay at Cheeca Lodge & Spa. Book today!

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