You moved from property development to hospitality –was that a difficult transition?
Not at all as I get many opportunities to connect with so many people. I enjoy it very much!
You previous opened hotels in Bali –how is Sumba different? What is the single most defining thing about Lelewatu Resort ?
Sumba is a destination with its own distinctive character - a combination of unique cultural heritage, and beautiful natural landscape with undulating limestone hills and lush greenery. Lelewatu Resort was conceptualised to preserve the heritage of a traditional Sumbanese house replete with modern luxury and amenities that blends in harmoniously with its environment and its natural surroundings. My vision is to make Lelewatu an iconic symbol of Sumbanese culture and tradition.
How important is the environment and making a resort eco-friendly to you?
Sustainability is the cornerstone of Lelewatu’s ethos and we want to ensure that Sumba’s natural beauty is preserved for the future generations to come.
We understand your mantra is: work hard, don’t be arrogant and don’t stop learning. How do you encourage your team to do the same?
My team is like family to me and I encourage them to work together cohesively to achieve our goals.
Are you planning another resort?
Yes, we have some plans. [Watch this space.Ed]
What is the “little thing” that all good hotels should pay attention to?
Paying attention to detail in all that we do, and putting our guests first is paramount to providing great hospitality and service – a simple but important principle.
What is the next big luxury travel trend?
Travellers are now looking for the roads less travelled - hidden destinations that are close to the nature.
What is your own personal litmus test for whether a hotel is worthy of the ‘luxury’ tag?
I love a hotel experience that elegantly amalgamates the beauty of nature with human creativity – a seamless blend of luxury from the architecture and the use of indigenous materials for the interior design, to infusing the best of cultural elements in their service.
Apart from your own, what are your favourite hotels/resorts? (and why)
I don’t have any particular favourite hotels, but for me these are my top MUST-HAVEs: cleanliness, extra pillows, located near or on the beach and great food
What is your favourite city to visit? What is the one luxury travel experience you will never forget?
Seoul. Any trip to Seoul!
What is your best overseas restaurant experience?
Dining at any good Japanese restaurant in the country.
What is your favourite airline for business or first class? Why?
Singapore Airline as they are renowned for their good service and great food as well.
What three things do you never travel without?
My credit card, nice clothes and my personal medicine kit
What is the most important thing (travelwise) that money CAN buy?
What is the most important thing it can’t?
Luxury Links: www.lelewatu.com , www.PreferredHotels.com
About Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 700 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 85 countries. Through its five global collections. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The I Prefer™ hotel rewards program, Preferred Residences℠, Preferred Pride℠, and Preferred Golf™ offer valuable benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.