Growing Business and People


With a passion for the hospitality industry from a young age, Joel Bartlett’s career has taken him to five countries, including studying in China. Now he’s leading the vibrant MAMAKA by Ovolo resort with his easy-going and optimistic approach.

by Runi Indrani

E: How did you decide to pursue a career in the hospitality industry?

A: It’s always been my passion, I decided to join the industry at a young age. I was fortunate enough to have a one-week hotel management study experience before I went to university. From that one week, I decided that this was the career for me.

E: You moved to China for work and to study, returning to Australia before moving to Bali. Can you tell us more about this?

A: I’ve worked in five different countries and China was the one that sort of just popped up out of nowhere. I was lucky enough to be in China during the “boom period”, as we like to say, and I did a couple of years’ training there. I guess from that point, my career really took off. I was also fortunate enough to study Mandarin at Jiao Tong University.

E: What is the biggest challenge you’ve come across in your career so far, and how did you overcome it?

A: Obviously the past two years have been challenging for individuals, groups and teams, and the hospitality industry was especially affected. We managed to overcome many obstacles. It didn’t matter how many curveballs were thrown at us, we stuck together and we always managed to find solutions to get through it.

E: How would you define MAMAKA by Ovolo, especially for those who haven’t been to the hotel?

A: I would define MAMAKA by Ovolo as a fantastic, vibrant hotel. It’s new here in Kuta. It’s fun, it’s funky, and we have an amazing rooftop. I’m sitting here, looking at the ocean where I can see the surfers. We also have the Quiksilver surf academy here as well. There are so many experiences for guests. It’s fantastic. It’s a really enjoyable place to be as a guest and to work.

E: What can we expect from MAMAKA by Ovolo in the near future?

A: We can expect everything! We’re the midst of planning an amazing rooftop launch. There are some exciting activities and activations happening in that space. At the moment, we’re about to sign some international acts who will fly over. It’s going to be a fantastic experience, something new in the Kuta-Legian area. It’s onwards from here for MAMAKA by Ovolo.

E: What do you think is the key to being a leader?

A: Being a leader is all about being consistent, and for me, most importantly, it’s about growing the business and growing the people that work for the company.

E: What is the most rewarding or memorable moment in your career?

A: The most rewarding moment has been being appointed the general manager here at MAMAKA by Ovolo.

E: Describe a typical day for you.

A: A typical day for me is getting up early, feeding the dog, looking after the kids, getting into work and doing all the fun, fantastic things that we do here at MAMAKA. That’s a day in my life.

E: What about a typical day off?

A: A day off is about family time, just trying to relax and unwind, going for a surf, and enjoying the beautiful weather here in Bali.

E: What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the hospitality industry?

A: You have to be really dedicated and really want to be a part of the industry. It’s not for everybody and it certainly has it challenges, but it’s absolutely rewarding. There are such fantastic opportunities for people who want to engage with guests and really have a different experience every day; that’s one of the key things for those who want to join the hospitality industry. For anyone trying to decide what department or area they would like, my advice is to try all the different areas and don’t rush. Take time to really determine the area you’re most passionate about, set your goals, and go for it. 

MAMAKA by Ovolo

Jalan Pantai Kuta

Bali 80361, Indonesia

T: (+62) 81138100032