RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO – Palmaïa – The House of AïA, a holistic wellness retreat in Rivera Maya, Mexico, known for its transformative Progressive Wellness concept, is excited to share the appointment of Markus Laahanen as General Manager. A decades-long veteran of the hospitality industry with experience in the management of hotels, resorts and restaurants in Europe, North America, and South Asia, Laahanen oversees the operation of all departments at the forward-thinking enclave set along white-sand beaches of the Caribbean, including rooms, food & beverage, transformational wellness, engineering, finance, administration, human resources, and more.
“We’re delighted to welcome Markus to Palmaïa – The House of AïA, and look forward to the innovative, creative thinking, and wealth of experience he brings to all our operations,” said Alex Ferri, Founder and CEO of Palmaïa – The House of AïA.
As a successful international hotelier with a background in luxury wellness and sustainability, Laahanen arrived at Palmaïa from the Atlantic coast of Portugal, where he recently led the development of Umay Resort, a destination resort in Melides that combines real estate, nature, boutique hospitality, and community living. Previously, Laahanen held senior management positions at properties in hotspots around the globe, including Managing Director and Head of Development, for the Be and Nomade brands, both of whose expansions he led via acquisitions and developments in Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Chile, and Mexico.
As Director of Resort Operations at PGA Catalunya in Caldes de Malavella, Spain, Laahanen oversaw development, repositioning and resort operations for two hotels, two golf courses, residences and residence services while guiding golf course management to water preservation and natural products usage, and wellness and nature programming including the launch of an organic farm and vineyard. He also led the reopening and repositioning of Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya into Leading Hotels of the World.
Earlier in his hospitality career Laahanen held an executive role as the General Manager of Zemi Beach House in Shoal Bay, Anguilla, as well as positions with GHM Hotels, The Setai Miami, The Chedi Milan, and the Six Senses in Maldives and Spain.
“I’ve always believed that hotels and resorts are not in the business of selling rooms or food and beverage, but of changing how we travel, experience, live, eat, experience and socialize,” said Laahanen of his appointment. “Palmaïa – The House of AïA shares this vision and I’m thrilled to part of the team shaping the way we operate hotels, how we see wellness and culinary with our progressive thinking as we move into 2022.”