With pure appreciation for the diverse hospitality world, Christiane Ferger fell in love with the industry from the first moment. She joined Alila Seminyak this year and is ready to welcome guests back to the island of Bali.
by Runi Indrani
E: How did you first get into the hospitality industry?
A: I did an internship in a family-run hotel and was hooked. I really enjoyed the energy and the diversity. There are so many different departments and jobs you can do in a hotel. As an intern, I could see the different areas and I just really enjoyed the energy and the interactions with the guests, as well as colleagues.
E: How did you decide to move to Indonesia?
A: I’ve been with Hyatt for over 25 years and have been very fortunate to work in different countries and privileged to join different hotels and experience different cultures. When Hyatt asked me last year if I’d be open to move to Bali, I said yes. I had spent nine years in Japan, which I loved, but I was keen to experience something new again. Bali is a very special place, so it was a no-brainer for me to come here. I also think it’s nice to join Alila because it’s a different brand under the Hyatt family – it’s exciting.
E: Do you find yourself putting on different kinds of “hats” for each brand, or is there a common thread in all your roles?
A: It’s a bit of both. We need to adjust to different hotels and cultures, and of course every brand is different, but the core of it, taking care of the guests will always be the same. Hyatt’s mission is to “care for people so they can be their best,” and that extends to our guests and colleagues. That doesn’t change, no matter where you are, which country you are in, which hotel or brand you serve; the core of it is the same, it’s the hospitality and care.
E: What is the most memorable or rewarding moment in your career?
A: There are many special events I have been fortunate to be part of, from big summits, to hosting guests for the enthronement of the new emperor in Japan. For me personally, I think the most powerful moments are the ones when you have been able to mentor and coach team members, and then you see them succeed and find their paths in their career.
E: What plans do you have for Alila Seminyak moving forward?
A: The past two years have been so challenging for this island, so for this hotel, and all of us, the priority is to recover. We have to work on many different areas of the hotel to bring it back to life and really shape a new guest experience relating to the needs that people have now. The team is very excited to finally be able to welcome local and overseas guests again.
E: You’re taking part in the Women@Hyatt initiative. Can you share more about the programme?
A: The programme is there to support diversity, inclusion and helping women to succeed in leadership. We don’t just need to be equal, we also need equity, because everyone needs different things to succeed. The programme helps women to connect. This is very important because we still have far too few strong networks for women leaders, women who can also encourage the next generations and can be mentors for younger women starting in the business. We need to make sure that we listen to our female colleagues, to what they need. As an employer we also have a responsibility to help women get an equal start and get into the roles they want.
E: What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the hospitality industry?
A: Just do it. A hotel is such a versatile business and a diverse place to work. The best thing for me was that I had a lot of opportunities that could give me really diverse views of the industry, and I think that is really what makes a hotel. It is so satisfying to care for somebody and really make someone’s stay, to create an experience for them. Of course, you also have a great team working with you, which also gives a great energy, so I can only recommend it.
Jalan Taman Ganesha
Bali 80361, Indonesia
T: (+62) 3613021888