A passionate hotelier with almost two decades of experience, Frank Guglielmo is not a stranger to Asia. After working in the French Riviera, he made the move to Indonesia in 2009 by chance. After a series of working stints around Southeast Asia, the Frenchman is now back in Bali and helming one of the island’s most iconic venues, Hanging Gardens of Bali.
Q: Tell us a bit about your background. What drove you to pursue a career
A: In my 20s, after completing my studies in hospitality management, I got my first taste of the industry by working in one of the iconic palaces on the French Riviera. After a few years, I decided to take a chance and moved to Indonesia where I finally developed a real passion for hospitality and a strong motivation to progressively climb the ladder.
Q: This is your third time working in Indonesia, what made you the decision to come back?
A: I will say that Indonesia is my home now. I am thankful for being able to work in a few countries in Southeast Asia, such as Myanmar and Cambodia, but I always find myself coming back to Indonesia. Prior to making Bali my home, I worked in Jakarta and Flores, but this little island holds a sentimental value to me because my son was born here. Bali is also a unique place to live and work.
Q: Being the general manager of one the most iconic resorts in Bali thanks to its stunning infinity pools, what challenges did you face when you first took the role of the leader?
A: Hanging Gardens of Bali is not only represented by the unique architecture of its pools, which are definitely gorgeous, but it’s much more than that. The highlights of this place are the magic atmosphere that you feel throughout the property, the surrounding nature, and our people who are doing an amazing job. The biggest challenge for me was definitely figuring out how to get the resort back to busy operations after the pandemic, and how to attract more guests from all over the world. In addition to that, the other challenge is to keep being creative at all times and invent new original experiences to surprise our guests.
Q: How would you define Hanging Gardens of Bali to someone who has never been to the resort?
A: Hanging Gardens of Bali cannot be totally defined by words; it has to be experienced. Our resort has a unique feeling, staying here is a full sensory journey. Our guests often say that their stay allows them to disconnect and reconnect with themselves.
Q: Would you tell us about your leadership philosophy around
A: In this resort and all the places that
I had worked for in the past 17 years, the key lies in teamwork, where we develop, improve and grow together. Our people need to feel valued and appreciated, they definitely are our biggest assets.
Q: In your opinion, what do you think makes a great hotelier?
A: A great hotelier needs to be proactive and to constantly put his feet in the guest’s shoes. You also need to be passionate and hard-working, as you won’t be counting the hours until bedtime. A hotelier also should be creative in many ways and particularly good at interacting with others, as human touch is key.
Q: What have you always enjoyed about the hospitality industry?
A: First of all, I always enjoy being in contact with my guests. I keep encouraging my team to spend as much time as possible with the guests who are expecting this human connection and cultural exchange. Secondly, there is no routine as each day is different, one day you’ll be brainstorming on a new marketing strategy, the next day you will be working on a new restaurant menu with your chef and so on. There are no boring days working in the hospitality industry!
Q: What plans do you have for Hanging Gardens of Bali in the coming months?
A: We are working on hosting more exciting events and creating new unique experiences. Stay tuned!
Q: What do you like to do in your free time to unwind?
A: During my free time, I spend some quality moments with my family. We try to explore the island’s best-kept secret, if it’s possible, we try to travel abroad as much as we can.
Asia Dreams Volume 47
Hanging Gardens of Bali
Bali 80571, Indonesia
T: (+62) 8113800988