As Chief Operating Officer for Hard Rock’s All Inclusive Collection, Rafael Chapur is charged with directing the company’s strategic operations from the ground up, overseeing management, marketing, sales efforts, partnerships and more for all four all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels. Chapur comes from a long established hospitality background. His father Roberto Chapur founded Palace Resorts 25 years ago, growing the company into the leader in luxury, all-inclusive resort experiences in the Caribbean before ultimately expanding their partnership with Hard Rock to create the All Inclusive Collection
How and why did you get into the hospitality industry?
My family has been in the hospitality industry for 28 years, so I grew up learning the in’s and out’s of this ever-changing industry. I knew this was a career I would be passionate about.
What do you believe are your most successful decisions and biggest mistakes and what did you learn from your mistakes?
One of the most successful decisions was to introduce the Hard Rock Brand to the all-inclusive market. It has separated us from the rest and given clients a sense of brand comfort.
How do you differentiate your hotel brand from other luxury brands?
We market our properties as a different experience that includes the Hard Rock vibe, along with luxury all-inclusive amenities. It’s a fun, vibrant brand that provides a unique atmosphere with incredible history and one of a kind memorabilia — similar to Madonna’s limo which sits in the lobby of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. These concepts make us so incredibly different, and when you’re dealing with creative individuals with the Hard Rock brand, it allows us to push the boundaries. Everything from our concerts to group activities, we’re able to push the edge a bit. It’s been accepted pretty quickly.
What are the most important traits in becoming a successful hotelier?
It is crucial to understand your client and be able to change according to market conditions and demands. We’re in an industry that changes quickly and we can’t control any of the variables. It’s important to be on top of everything and make quick decisions with little information, while trusting your gut.
What products do you cross-market with and how do you think they contribute to the your hotel brand?
We cross markets with various suppliers. Most recently, we’ve had great success with niche bands that have a strong following. This year alone we’ve had four to five complete hotel buy-outs from these type of entertainers.
What is your mantra/life quote?
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."
Favorite travel destination?
Mexico would be my favorite travel destination. It has so much to offer and the culinary experience varies by destination. The people are kind and warm, and its holds such an enriching culture and history.
Describe a great night out for you.
An ideal night out would involve good food and great music — especially going to watch a new and upcoming band.
What's next for your hotels?
We are looking at new destinations and will be making announcements later this year.