Trade Talk: Rina Mariani of Andaz Bali

The General Manager of the brand-new beachside resort in Sanur shares a few tips for guests and lessons gleaned from her career thus far.

All photos courtesy of Andaz Bali

What was it like to grow up in southern Bali? Did you always know you wanted to become a hotelier?

I am lucky to have grown up in the “institution” of Bali hospitality; a lot of hoteliers started their career in southern Bali, which is home to iconic five-star hotels. I studied hospitality in IMI Lucerne Switzerland, and it was during my time there that I learned there’s a lot that goes behind running a hotel. This is also when I found out that being a hotelier can be a fulfilling career. Being a hotelier is not a job, it’s a lifestyle, and I am very grateful to have chosen this as my career path.

 

In your opinion, what are the traits an ideal hotel GM should have?

The ideal GM can strike a balance between the head, heart, and hands. These “three Hs” complement each other: empathy, hard work, and strategic thinking.

 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in preparing to open Andaz Bali during this crisis?

Challenges will always present themselves in whatever job you do, whether or not there is a pandemic. However, I choose to see the bright side of things — I am humbly proud to have completed the project in a year and three months despite the circumstances. If you talk about specific challenges, the pandemic has brought logistical challenges and since our consultants from abroad could not travel, we got almost no physical help from them. Furthermore, maintaining the wellbeing of our colleagues has been essential in these challenging times. We have to make sure that everyone is healthy and well, physically and emotionally.

 

How does your team balance the need for health and safety measures with the desire for human contact?

Technology allows us to be in contact despite not being close to each other, without sacrificing that genuine and warm connection. We provide a contactless interaction option through an AI chat platform to all in-house guests but at same time our associates are available at any time too.

 

A covered walkway on the grounds of Andaz Bali.

For those who have never stayed at an Andaz before, how would you define the DNA of the brand?

Andaz is all about personal style and no Andaz is the same, as each one is tailored to the character, charm, and style of the neighborhood it is in. Furthermore, Andaz is luxury redefined. Our service is genuine without being intrusive and caring without being over the top.

 

In your opinion, what are three must-do experiences for guests at Andaz Bali?

First, wake up early and enjoy the sunrise — nothing lights up your day more, literally and metaphorically, than a sunny start. Second, be present. That starts with taking off your shoes. Walk barefoot when you stay with us, so you can immerse and put down your barriers. As for the last one: take part in our seasonal events. We organize impromptu events depending on the season and no event is the same. If you miss it, you miss it.

 

Wok Wok, the all-day restaurant at Andaz Bali.

And do you have a favorite dish or drink from any of the resort’s outlets?

Our Manado-style mie cakalang [noodles with pulled skipjack tuna] stands out — not many restaurants or hotels in Bali offer this. We also have great selection of Made tea, plucked from Ibu Made’s garden in Ubud, with interesting blends and health benefits.

 

You’re the first female GM for a Hyatt property in Indonesia. What advice do you have for young women who want to follow in your footsteps?

In my opinion, in order to stand out in any field, not just hospitality, you need to have a strong set of skills that will help distinguish you from others. Work hard and be so good at what you do that people no longer think of your gender. Last but not least, stay healthy and happy — when you are physically and mentally strong, no challenge is too big!

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