For some, working in a five-star hotel on a paradise island is a childhood dream come true, but for others, it’s a fated path discovered only by chance.
That’s exactly the case for Jean-Charles Le Coz, general manager of the stunning Grand Nikko Bali Resort. Now boasting more than two decades of experience in the luxury hospitality industry, Jean-Charles reveals how, by chance, he ended up exactly where he wants to be.
Perched on the oceanfront at one of Nusa Dua’s finest resorts, we talk to Jean-Charles at Grand Nikko Bali about the beauty of working alongside breathtaking ocean views each day. We discuss the importance of uniting Bali’s hotels to create a world-class destination for all and we learn the secrets to nurturing a successful, high-end resort in today’s competitive hospitality industry.
Q: Today you’re the general manager for one of Bali’s finest resorts, but how did you first enter into the industry?
A: By chance, actually. I had been studying for business school and eventually failed, so I looked at the various options left to get a higher education diploma in less than four years and one option was Lausanne Hotel School (EHL) in Switzerland. I took the test, was accepted and I discovered a world that I have never regretted ever since.
Q: You’ve worked in four- and five-star hotels in both Europe and Asia. What enticed you to take the leap to Indonesia?
A: Again, chance. A schoolfriend completed his third year internship at Grand Hyatt Bali and when he came back to school he kept raving about it and telling me I should go. So I sent an application, was accepted and that was my first contact with Indonesia in 1993.
Q: How do you see Asia compared to Europe in terms of the hotel market?
A: In Asia there’s certainly more competition, better service and lower prices. In Europe, there’s less competition and in general bad service and higher prices!
Q: And what challenges do you face working in Asia, compared to those in Europe?
A: A different perception of what is expected of your superior.
Q: You were recently in charge as vice chairman and acting chairman of the Bali Hotels Association and this year you are responsible for the association’s safety and security. How have these positions helped you in your current role?
“I discovered aworld that I have never regretted ever since.”
A: I joined the BHA board in 2008 in charge of education. At that time I felt it was important to participate and to give back in a meaningful way to the hotel community. I believe, especially in Bali, that while we all compete, once the customers are on the island it is in our best interest to unite to make the destination as attractive, safe, environmentally friendly and respectful as possible, while enhancing the local culture. Those are some of the goals of the BHA and the position of chairman came naturally afterwards.
Q: So can you tell us, what is the most challenging aspect of your job and what is the most rewarding?
A: The challenging part is dealing with people, but it is also always the most rewarding.
Q: Nusa Dua is a hub of luxury resorts. In your opinion, what is it about Grand Nikko Bali that stands out from the rest?
A: The beautiful Indian Ocean view that can be enjoyed from so many rooms and areas throughout the property, whether you’re dining at The Shore Restaurant & Bar, relaxing by the lagoon pool or making yourself at home in the luxury clifftop villas.
Q: There are clearly so many beautiful aspects of the resort, but what’s your favourite feature?
A: It would be the great view again and also the secluded beach. We don’t have any beach vendors interrupting our guests here as we still have no direct neighbours. It keeps things very peaceful.
Q: The resort is one of the longest reigning in the area, open since 1996. What’s been the secret to its success over the years?
A: Consistency in delivering a good quality product, as well as always treating associates fairly and giving them enough training so that it is reflected in the way they handle our customers.
Q: With that in mind, how do you see Grand Nikko Bali faring in the future within Indonesia’s competitive hotel industry?
A: It will always retain its greatness thanks to its unique location and ocean views, its savoir-faire and its team of seasoned professionals ready to do their utmost best to exceed customer satisfaction.
Q: And finally, what advice would you give to budding hospitality enthusiasts?
A: Be ready to work long hours, but be sure to make them fun. And that often depends on the people you choose to work with!