At the end of Day 1 of the two day Travel Unconference Retreat at Sterling Ooty Fern Hill, we headed to the lawn area of the resort for our dinner. Honestly, it was a reaaaally long day for all of us. We had to wake up at 3:30am in the morning to catch the morning flights, plus a 3 hour cab journey from Coimbatore to Ooty followed by a day long learning and sharing program at the resort. The idea was to catch a quick dinner and head to our room.

But as we entered the lawn, we were in for two surprises. The first thing was tandoori ovens and hot tawas that were being set up with hot coals heating them up. It was a starlit barbecue dinner. The other was a small stage with the backdrop saying ‘ALL STARS’

After a little wait, the program began and we were introduced to the concept of All Stars. It was a program to unearth the other talents of the employees. And there was proof. There were Bharatanatyam performances, cross-genre dances with foot-tapping numbers that mixed top-of-the-chart pop music with Indian classical numbers, Kollywood mixed with Tollywood and magic shows.

I’ve been associated with Sterling Holidays for 7 years now and on few special occasions I have witnessed events where professional dancers and magicians were involved. But I found the performances by the employees more endearing. Even though the dance moves may not have the grace or the verve of a professional dancer, they had more heart. The best part was when they were introduced to us in the end. These are folks from the Front Office reception, Food & Beverages section and Housekeeping. Today, many of us are looking forward to meeting them at the reception, restaurant or at the resort.

This is the advantage of being a member of Sterling Membership. You begin to develop a bond with many of the staff members. Many times we are on first name basis with the staff. Many of the participants will never forget Richard’s name because he was so friendly and informative as he guided us through the trip. The next time we come back to Ooty, you can bet that many would ask for Richard. It is this bonding that makes membership special.