General Manager of COMO Uma Canggu
With more than 15 years of experience in managing luxury properties around the globe, the American-born hotelier’s love of hospitality was passed down by his mother. After relocating to South America, Montenegro and Sri Lanka, Henry Scott decided to join the COMO Hotels and Resorts team as General Manager of COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, before relocating to Bali and making Canggu his new home.
Q: How did you get into the hospitality industry?
A: After I graduated from the University of Georgia, I was uncertain of what profession to follow. My mother recommended the hotel industry as she has been in it for 30-plus years and I was familiar with it from early childhood.
Q: Has it always been your passion?
A: Yes, I really love what I do; it is more than satisfactory at the end of the day. Moreover, it does not stop with the customer-facing part of the hotel, you have the opportunity to meet and socialize with people representing a wide range of nationalities in an even wider range of places all around the world.
Q: In your own words, what makes a hotel stay with COMO unique, especially in Canggu?
A: We tailor-make the COMO Uma Canggu experience for you and only you. It can range from a surf excursion with our in-house Tropicsurf instructors, to wellness sessions that include pilates, yoga and boxing led by specialized instructors, to the pleasures of eating well in glow juice bar with its nourishing favourites from the COMO Shambhala Kitchen, or our vibrant playful COMO Beach Club where each sunset is special and enhanced by evening entertainment. We even tailor-make programs for your children at Play by COMO – our own children’s interactive and digital detox centre. Our genuine service delivered by our team is what makes these experiences possible.
Canggu is considered the trendiest destination in Bali, offering a taste of Balinese ambience, stunning sunsets and surfing, where travellers can find organic foods, a healthy lifestyle, lovely boutiques and local cultural activities.
Q: Throughout your career, you have been blessed to live in different parts of the world. What motivated you to move to Bali?
A: Indeed, I have been blessed to work and live in countries with beautiful people and cultures. Our group’s Vice President of Operations asked me over dinner if I would be interested in returning to Asia to work, so my wife and I decided to visit the property and Bali. The energy we felt during our visit was inexplicable. An expatriate said to us if Bali wants you here it will keep you here, if it does not it will tell you it is time to go. Bali was telling us to stay. We also appreciate the genuine hospitality of the Balinese people, while Canggu as a destination is a very hip community with many expatriates, and COMO Uma Canggu is a beautiful property that I believe in.
Q: What are the most challenging issues you are facing in your current position?
A: The most challenging one is to bring first-time guests to Canggu. With so many destinations on offer, including very well-known areas like Ubud, Nusa Dua and Seminyak, we are facing great competition. We are making efforts to encourage travel trade partners and repeat Bali tourists to enjoy a new destination, where COMO Uma Canggu is their hotel choice. Once guests visit and stay in Canggu, most likely we will see them come back. In our first year of operation, we have seen one of the highest shares of return guests in our group. It should not be surprising, as there are any number of reasons why Canggu is considered the coolest new destination in Bali.
Q: What’s a typical day for a general manager?
A: As the general manager I am the host, so I frequently engage with my guests, whether it is having a coffee or tea, or at lunch or dinner. I do daily property walks, connect with the employees and, of course, do the administration component.
Q: If you could relive one day of your life, which day would you choose?
A: I do not believe there is one moment in particular that I would like to relive. I continue to have a blessed life and appreciate each day and experience I am given.
Q: In the eyes of your employees, what is your best quality?
A: Integrity and being driven. I am transparent with my team as I have only positive intentions for them and the property. I believe they, and I, are learning as we continue to work with each other.
Q: What advice would you offer to those who are inspired to become successful in the hotel industry?
A: The hotel industry is pretty interesting and a pleasant domain to get involved in. As with any other job, it has its ups and downs, and that’s the great part of it. There is always place for innovation and there will always be innovators. People will continue to travel, and you have an opportunity to make a favourable impression on someone’s visit. It is very self-rewarding in that it may take you to incredible destinations where you meet amazing people, allowing you to continue to enhance your leadership style.