Q: Describe your responsibilities in under 10 words?
A: Promoting W Bali – Seminyak with a great team of talented marketers.
Q: What makes a typical day?
A: A typical day for me is arriving around 7.30am to prepare the day for the team. Then, as in every hotel, morning briefings with the GM and heads of departments, then our team morning briefing. Most of the morning is made up of emails and follow ups with the team to make sure we’re on track on everything we have to do, and with a team of seven talented individuals that can be a lot. Afternoon is for meetings with colleagues, guests, press… working on strategic or long-term projects, preparations for big events. Then it will depend if we have an event or not, but generally finishing around 6:30pm after making sure the team is actually going home.
Q: What’s the toughest part of your job?
A: It’s never over! There is always a next event, something new we want to do, a new project. But that’s life in a hotel: we’re open 24/7, 365 days a year. And that’s also what makes it so interesting: you never get bored, there is always something to keep you on your toes.
Q: What do you find most satisfying in your job?
A: I have the chance to work in and really influence what is happening in one of the best hotels in Bali, one of the best Ws in the world. When you work in hotels, you always dream about working for one of these dream properties, one you see as an example of a dream destination; and that’s what I do now.
Q: Who has been the most influential figure in your career?
A: That’s a tough one. There have been a few, and for different reasons, but I would still say Thomas Van Opstal. He was my general manager at Sheraton Oman and gave me my first role as director of marketing. He really trusted me with running the show as I wanted, while teaching me a lot about how to run a five-star hotel. He was always cracking jokes and never against getting a beer after work.
Q: Name one really special thing about your hotel?
A: Whatever/Whenever! We have it in all Ws but we’re the only W here and it’s something we really try to apply all the time with all our guests. They can ask us anything and we’ll always try to make it happen (as long as it’s legal!).
Q: How do you unwind?
A: Nothing very extraordinary. I go out with friends, I read a book at a warung by the beach and I play PlayStation. And when I feel very guilty about all that, I go for a run or I do CrossFit
Q: If you hadn’t taken this career path, what would have chosen?
A: There could have been a lot of things, I guess. Before working in hospitality and marketing I had trained to be a professional horse rider, I was also guitar teacher for four years, then I began working in bars and took an exam to be a beer sommelier in Belgium, where I come from. Working in hotels is always perceived negatively in Belgium, people see it as lowering yourself, they imagine you will be a servant or a cook. They never tell you how fascinating your career can be, that it can take you all around the world meeting so many different people. If I had known how incredible working in hotels was, that is probably the only job I would ever have done.