Having been opened for just over a year, Four Points Kuta has created quite the buzz and a catalyst for more Four Points hotels to open in the Country. Its modern slash rustic design, paired with its location in Bali’s most popular tourist destination, there’s no hotel quite like it in the area. We sat down with its General Manager, an energetic and super-friendly individual who has been with the hotel since its pre-opening days.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I came from a small Kampung in Lombok, where I first started working as a bell boy long time ago. Because of financial reasons, I didn’t have the chance to go to university, so I started working as soon as the first hotel there, when I got the chance. I didn’t even have an idea what ‘bell boy’ was at that time. Fast forward, I was soon promoted to reception, and then I worked in several other hotels, including a Sheraton there. Later I moved to Jakarta and had a scholarship to study in Paris for 2 years. Since 2007, I have been in Sheraton, and last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to open the first Four Points in Indonesia, here in Kuta.
Why did this spot was chosen to be the first Four Points?
Four Points is about honest and uncomplicated comfort, while Kuta is the most famous destination in Bali. It’s a perfect match. So we wanted to make a destination that’s ‘happening’, and where people don’t feel intimidated in, that’s within walking distance, where there’s a lot of activity, day and night.
In your own words, what are the strong points of Four Points?
Starwood has long been as the upscale luxury market. People had been waiting for Starwood to come up with their mid-market, so the minute we opened Four Points, property owners were lining up to open one too. Since we opened last year, there have been 6 already in Indonesia and 6 more to come, which prove people’s trust and demand of the brand. It is one of the fastest growing hotel brands around. This particular hotel has a fantastic location, a beautiful rustic style. All our spots are unique and ‘instagrammable’.And no matter what you wear, or who you are, you will feel at home.
In relations to your relationship with your management, what’s your style of leadership?
I consider myself to be a fun person. That’s what I try to bring to my team. At the end, you will spend most of your time, around each other. So if we can’t make work fun and you don’t get along, it’s going to be disastrous! We have our challenges all the time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and laugh all the time.
You have been in the business all your life, what excites you the most about the hospitality industry?
For me, I am passionate about the hotelier business. It doesn’t matter if work in a small corner in small hotel, or if I work for a big five star luxury accommodation, I will still put my heart and soul. This is what I’m good at, what I can do, and what puts a smile on my face every day. I did try once working in a completely different industry, 9 to 5 job, I couldn’t even last 2 months! But in hospitality, I literally never feel any kind of stress!
What has been the most challenging thing for you in the position?
Although the Starwood group is very famous, but at the start of opening this hotel, it was really tough for us. We couldn’t even imagine what the hotel looked like, how do we market this? I had to show my team the 3D, and try to make them visualize the hotel long before it was finished. I went to this designer in Ubud almost every day to get a feel of the hotel. But then we see that what was once a big challenge, we turn it into a big opportunity. People might say that our location is ‘challenging’, but quite the contrary, this is where you go if you want a real Kuta experience, where you can walk around no problem. Problems are always around, it’s how you treat and turn it into opportunity.
You live in Bali, where people go for holiday. What does holiday mean for you?
For us working here, every day is a holiday! (laughs) My laugh has changed dramatically since I stepped in Bali. Everywhere I go, in Bandung, Bali, Lombok, I’m a very ‘lazy’ person on weekend, I usually just sleep, listen to music watch movies. Since I lived in Bali, I take my time I drive around with my family. I am a very family oriented person, so I don’t go out much unless with my family. We would try new coffee places in Seminyak, go to Canggu, Uluwatu and other areas to check out new destination. Because I realized that it would be a waste of time if don’t experience it.
What’s your favorite thing to do on your free time?
During the Idul Fitri holiday, I spent most of the week just being at home, relaxing with my music. My iTunes is the most updated thing I have, with the latest music, even Justin Bieber! Almost daily I update it. And I share the passion with my 18 years old daughter.
What’s your favorite place in Bali?
Ubud is still my favourite, because that’s where I had my honeymoon with my wife. Although I barely recognize it after coming back there for the first time in almost 20 years! I also love Uluwatu’s sunset. I basically I love a place with a view.
Explain yourself in 5 words!
Fun, music, coffee, passionate, energetic.
What’s New Jakarta would like to thank Masri and his team for the time spared for the interview. For more information about Four Points by Sheraton, Kuta, visit www.fourpointsbalikuta.com.