Our beautiful Serap bounces in the office with a big smile, and it’s her warmth that we all love in the office. It’s a lovely Meet the The Team Monday as I get to hear all about how Serap came to leave her UK life behind after she met our MD Mark in Cyprus over 5 years ago.
Serap is our guests’ first point of contact at aphroditerentals.com and she thrives on finding the best accommodation suitable for each guest, with her ‘inside-out’ knowledge of all our properties. But how did she come to be our Reservations Manager (aka Guru)? On holiday in April 2008 Serap was visiting her friend who then worked at Aphrodite Hills, who set her up with Mark on a blind date – sparks flew and in January 2009, she bit the bullet and left her UK life behind and moved to Cyprus on a 6 month trial to be with Mark…5 1/2 years later I think we can safely say the trial went well, especially as it resulted in a gorgeous wedding in New York in 2011!
Serap grew up in Kent and qualified as a Health Psychologist which she then went on and practiced for the NHS in East Kent, UCL and for the British Heart Foundation in Cardiac Rehabilitation and Obesity Prevention. Although Serap loves her job in reservations, and having an input in the family business, she does miss her profession and hopes to return to it sometime in the future. Quite the contrast, Serap’s role as Reservations Manager includes answering all online and e-mail enquiries, liaising with guests and owners, taking care of all accommodation payments, arrival and departure details. She’s a busy bee and is guilty of taking her laptop home far too often, however she wouldn’t have it any other way.
I ask Serap a few more personal questions so that I can share some of her hidden talents and interests with you – there’s a lot more to Serap than her role in reservations and I frequently find myself in awe of her bright open mind and insatiable desire to keep herself educated.
What are your hobbies: “I’m an avid reader; my favourite genre of book is classic literature and my favourite all time book is ‘Wuthering Heights’, oh, wait a minute, it could be ‘Atonement’ – it’s a tough call!” (Serap genuinely looks torn at this question!) “In the last couple of years I have really found a love for photography as well, and I recently completed 2 full years of posting 1 photo per day on a well known photography website and am a member of the Aphrodite Art Group. In my spare time I also enjoy cooking and baking – my idol is Mary Berry, I just love her, her recipes are well instructed and the finished product is always so pretty, despite my messy kitchen! My other passion in life is music, I love all sorts of music but my all time favourite band is The Cure.”
What is your favourite thing about living in Cyprus: “The lack of M25!” Serap is quick to answer! “I love the chilled out pace of life here and must also mention my two cats which I adopted as strays”. We do give Serap a bit of a reputation as Dr Doolittle in the office, after all the other little strays that have passed by her doorstep over the years that she has helped.
And your favourite thing about Aphrodite Hills?: “Simply because it is so beautiful! And there’s always such a happy atmosphere what with having lots of holiday makers around enjoying their time here”.
What would you say is the most satisfying part of your job at aphroditerentals.com?: “I never get bored of receiving great feedback, it’s so satisfying. And I also love it when I am booking for return guests, because this is true testament to their previous visit and it’s lovely getting to know these guests a bit more every year”.
How do you like to unwind after work?: “This is an easy question – going for a swim in our pool after work. But in the Summer I also really enjoy the Friday live music nights at the beer garden, it’s a great end to the week and start of the weekend.”
Serap sends me back to my desk after threatening to have me fired for taking up too much of her time – but her sense of humour only adds to the list of qualities that she boasts…we can easily see why Mark has tied her down as Mrs Petts!
Stay tuned for our next Meet the Team Monday….