Adopting Indonesia as his second home, German-born Jan Kroeckel is no stranger to Asia. After working in Vietnam and Thailand, the soft-spoken man is now returning to Bali to helm the iconic Peppers Seminyak. We sat down with him to understand more of his passion for hospitality.
Q: Hi Jan, this is your second time working in Bali, are you happy to be back?
A: I am very happy to be back. I feel very lucky to have come back to this beautiful island as talks of re-opening started, and to see Bali bouncing back so quickly, reclaiming its spot as one of the top worldwide holiday destinations, is an amazing experience to be part of.
Q: You’ve worked with quite a number of luxury hotels over the course of your career. What prompted you to work for Peppers Seminyak Bali?
A: This is the first time for me to lead an exclusive villa-only resort. Plus, Peppers Seminyak has a great reputation as one of the premier resorts in Seminyak, and it is always an exciting challenge to build on that.
Q: What do you think is Peppers Seminyak Bali’s distinguishing feature that sets it apart in terms of offering a unique experience?
A: The large inventory of well-appointed three-to-five-bedroom pool villas that give you a very secluded feeling, while at the same time being located right in the heart of Seminyak. Our five-bedroom villas each sit on almost 1,000sqm of land with a 15m pool, making them some of the largest villas in Seminyak. At the same time, our guests have access to all the usual hotel facilities, such as 24/7 in-villa dining, spa, kids’ club and a gym that is open around the clock.
Q: You graduated from one of the best hospitality schools in the world, can you briefly share your love for this industry?
A: To be able to travel the world and to work with and meet people from different countries and cultures on a daily basis is what attracted me first to the hospitality industry. Until this day, this is still what I enjoy most about working in hotels.
Q: Throughout your vast experience, what is the most challenging, as well the most rewarding, aspect for someone in your position?
A: One of the most challenging aspects, especially since the pandemic, is talent acquisition. Working in a hotel goes hand in hand with long hours and working on weekends and holidays, and finding great people that are willing to put up with this becomes increasingly difficult. But once you find the right talent, to then mentor, develop and coach that person, to see them grow their career in the hospitality industry, gives me immense joy.
Q: You’ve been working in Asia since 2009. What has changed between then and now in terms of the hospitality industry?
A: The biggest change for me in the last 10+ years is the digital revolution. Technology and the internet have completely transformed the way we do business and the way we interact with guests and clients.
Q: Would you tell us about your leadership philosophy around the resort?
A: I’d like to think that I am a very hands-on general manager. I enjoy walking around the resort and talking to my guests and my staff. Being very approachable and visible to everyone is something that I try to practice every day, and I always have an open-door policy.
Q: We know there are a lot of young hoteliers out there striving to make it in the industry, what advice would you give to these individuals?
A: Make sure you love what you are doing. Be open-minded and curious. And most important of all, never stop believing in yourself.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time to unwind?
A: I enjoy playing tennis and taking bike rides along Sanur beach with my family.