In 1994, Sylvie Laitre arrived in Vallarta by accident. This native of Quebec, Canada, planned to learn Spanish to complement her French and English before beginning post-graduate studies. However, on the verge of departing for a language school in Costa Rica, a friend working at Vallarta hotel called out of the blue to offer her a position for a French speaker with exemplary communication skills who was also a dancer, and within days the talented Laitre arrived.
After a year of primarily speaking French, Laitre’s Spanish was not much further ahead. It was only when she changed hotels and was rapidly promoted to management that Spanish became essential. Being a foreign female manager in the male-dominated hotel management team, she was motivated by “survival in the workplace.” Focusing as much energy on learning Spanish as she could, she quickly mastered the language without ever taking a class. “It was challenging, but if there’s any way to make your Spanish get really good, that’s it!” she recalls with a satisfied smile.
Laitre is currently the director of the extremely successful Mexico Boutique Hotels. Over the past seven years, she has increased this collection of premium properties from 28 to the current 47. This free-spirited woman exemplifies focus, the love of adventure and a consistent pursuit of excellence, blended with the persona of one of the nicest and most successful ladies you’d ever want to meet.