Area hotels employ hundreds of locals whose combined roles contribute to the success of each, but Daniella Giorgio at the Hyatt Regency Newport may have the most coveted position: Director of Fun. Imagine her as a land-lubbing Julie McCoy, steering guests to an array of onsite diversions for all ages and abilities. From yoga on the spa deck and wine tastings to volleyball and learning tricks behind the bar, Giorgio’s job is to show visitors the spoils of Newport. We sat down with the busy DOF recently, and here’s what she shared:
- What are some of the things guests most frequently ask?
They generally want to know information about the Hyatt itself as well as information about Newport. Since the activities department offers free bike rentals, a typical question would be, “Where is the best place for a bike ride?” I typically send guests down Thames Street to Ocean Drive for an incredible 10 mile scenic route right along the coast.
2. What are some of your fun suggestions for families? Young adults? 20s to 40s?
More popular activities for families include our Movies on Lawn, held three times a week, and our Parachute Play, and parents can join in with their children to wave the parachute and play games. The kids love it. For adults, we offer weekly wine tastings and a mixology session with one of our Hyatt bartenders. For a slower more relaxed pace, watercolor painting is offered on Saturday mornings where guests sit in our Adirondack chairs and a local artist teaches the class of mostly novice students. There is also football, soccer, bocce, croquet equipment and more.
3. What do you think is Newport ‘s best kept secret?
Pineapples on the Bay is the best kept secret in Newport. I have to admit that before working at the Hyatt, I didn’t know of it. Being a native Rhode Islander and having visited my share of waterfront restaurants, Pineapples is, hands down, the best spot for ocean front dining in the state; guests have a front row seat for the incredible sunsets over the Newport Bridge.
4. What are some of your favorite fun things to do in Newport ?
My summers as a student were spent enjoying Newport ’s vibrant nightlife and beaches, but now I have taken time to explore the many other great things that Newport has to offer. My personal favorites include the Cliff Walk, a tour of the Breakers and a night out at the Newport Playhouse, a great little dinner theater with excellent food.
5. How would you recommend one become a “Director of Fun”?
If fun is your passion it will show through in the details. You need to be able to show your prospective employer concrete evidence of those details. Save invitations, guest lists and include pictures of events you plan, because you need to show that you are organized and creative, and obviously, you need great people skills. You need to be your own PR firm, constantly talking to guests about activities.
A lot of guests walk by my office and comment on my plaque that says “Director of Fun.” They say, ‘Wow, what a great title!’ or ‘I want that job!’ If I did not already have the job, I would probably say the same thing. I remember what it is like to work in a cube. Trust me, this is much more fun!!