Sobha Mendis, J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence

Sobha Mendis
Guest Services Representative
Irvine Marriott
Irvine, California


Most guests checking in to the Irvine Marriott are willing to wait in line for a chance to have Sobha check them in. For the last 10 years, as a Guest Services Representative, she has become a trusted and friendly face to each new and repeat guest.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Sobha and her family immigrated to California in hopes of providing better education for her children. She had worked in the hospitality industry in her home country and quickly found a good fit at the Irvine Marriott.

The Irvine Marriott is one of the top performing hotels in the company and recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation. But according to Matt Harrison, Director of Rooms, “It’s not the bells and whistles at our hotel that keep guests coming back. It’s Sobha. In fact, Sobha is responsible for 75 percent of all upsells.”

A phrase commonly said at the hotel is, “There is the right way, the wrong way and then there’s Sobha’s way.” According to Matt, everyone understands that Sobha’s way is the best way. She persists in solving problems and is not afraid to ask questions. She says, “We all have time to teach and to learn. I love to teach the right way so guests are happy!”

In 2015, Sobha’s husband suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk or talk. Suddenly, she was the sole source of income for her family and her husband’s primary caregiver. Since then, Sobha has taken her husband to daily rehabilitation therapy sessions, not once calling off work or coming in late. Her focus outside of work is to help bring him to recovery; she says, “I’m happy to make him happy.” He has recently regained the ability to walk and is speaking more, due in no small part to Sobha’s dedication to his recovery.
Award of Excellence 2018 winner, Sobha Mendis.
Sobha Mendis

Sobha Mendis

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