Bunkhouse Hotels, Todos Santos,
09.2016 - 11.2016


The Challenge

The Tres Santos development faced extreme opposition from one of the fishermen groups, who parked their fishing boats in front of the proposed Hotel San Cristóbal, leading to blockades of the road to the construction, lasting three months in one case. Confusion and misunderstandings regarding the water supply, beach erosion and encroachment on their land meant that Hotel San Cristobal faced challenges from not only fishermen, but also politicians and the expatriate community. 

The Solution


In addition to building a new parking area, beach workspace  and desalination plant as well as sponsoring local sports teams and offering complimentary English classes, SAIRA and Bunkhouse Hotels partnered to create a nine-week SAIRA pop-up hotel school. By offering high quality hospitality education based on the teaching of Cornell’s Hotel Schools to 48 locals fee of charge, public opinion of Tres Santos & Bunkhouse improved further.  Hotel San Cristóbal became a potential employer, offering future career opportunities vs. a vehicle solely bringing tourists and expats to Todos Santos, encroaching on the fishermen’s place of work and using up the water supply. 


What We Did

Creation of curriculum

•   Created an innovative, bespoke curriculum focusing on values and skills directly sought after
    by hotel operators. 

•   Taught content collated from a unique blend of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration (SHA)
     combined with latest industry research and incorporating Bunkhouse’s orientation.

Trained teachers, interviewed students

•   Sought out the high quality teaching of Cornell alumni, professors and students. 

•   Personal interviews of 80 applicants.

•   Assisted in identifying top students to be hired by Bunkhouse.

Speaker Series

•   Identified guest speakers, industry leaders and visiting teachers.


•   Oversaw 50-75% of classes.

•   Ensured all students achieve 85% or higher on final examination.

•   Content of examination based on pre-approved curriculum by Bunkhouse.


Bunkhouse Benefits

Complimentary E-Cornell

25 well-trained, local employees with a deep understanding of boutique luxury hospitality and operations (30% of workforce).


Sourced major percentage of workforce pool from SAIRA graduates

Four E-Cornell complimentary courses were offered for the top fourstudents. Three graduates have already enrolled in courses.

Marketing, CSR & PR opportunities

Marketing, CSR and PR opportunities for sustainable practices with additional tax benefits for donating to SAIRA, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.

Strengthened relationships with
local businesses

Overall Bunkhouse & Mira are perceived favorably for having invested in the local community, giving them full-time employment and raising the overall level of service in Todos Santos. 


ROI to Bunkhouse Hotel

100% success rate

Bunkhouse were looking to fill a minimum of 25 positions at Hotel San Cristóbal from the SAIRA graduates, all of which were filled.

ROI to the SAIRA student:

86% success rate

29 of the 42 SAIRA graduates submitted resumes to work at either the Hotel San Cristóbal or the restaurant, Jazamango, both part of Tres Santos. 

25 of the 29 interviewed graduates (86%) will be hired after interviews into both entry level and mid-management positions. 

A total of 40 of the 42 graduates work in hospitality.

We continue to track them for 90 days post employment. 


Liz Lambert  (Founder, Bunkhouse Hotels)

Liz Lambert
(Founder, Bunkhouse Hotels)

"I couldn’t be more excited about the work SAIRA did in Todos Santos — It’s real and it’s life-changing, and I’m excited to see where we can take it in the future with you."
Ernest Glesner   (Director at Tres Santos, BCS)

Ernest Glesner
 (Director at Tres Santos, BCS)

“The SAIRA Hospitality School brought an incredible educational opportunity to the people of a small Mexican town I live in. By connecting with the local community in a very professional heartfelt personal manner the SAIRA School was able to not only teach people skills in the bar and restaurant business, but also in life’s challenges.  I was surprised by the turnout of students that signed up for the classes and even more excited by the fact that 95% of the students continued with the class and graduated. Harsha brought something to the community, something very special, and most of the students are now working in hotels and restaurants in the surrounding community”.
“An impactful and innovative concept, SAIRA Hospitality’s pop-up school had an invaluable impact on Bunkhouse’s ability to integrate with and bring benefit to the residents of Todos Santos, teaching best in class hospitality skills and bringing real jobs to the community while providing our guests a world class experience delivered with local flair and talent. We intend to work together with SAIRA to train people in their local communities across our country and eventually around the world.”
Amar Lalvani   (CEO,  Standard Hotels)

Amar Lalvani
 (CEO,  Standard Hotels)

Herve Blondel   (General Manager, Hotel San Cristóbal)

Herve Blondel
(General Manager, Hotel San Cristóbal)

“I had the opportunity to experience Harsha’s hospitality in motion in Todos Santos. Not only was I impressed by the quality of the classes given but the genuine hospitality taught. 100% of the students that entered the class finished and participated in the course. We hired more than half of the class (not all of them applied for jobs) and each time we were interviewing one of them you could easily tell who was a SAIRA student. At the beginning I was not certain it would have any impact but at the end I was very impressed and became a fan of SAIRA Hospitality.”