Ratih Handayani – General Manager at Alila Manggis

With her decades of experience working in the hospitality field, Ratih Handayani has been fortunate to be involved in some of the most exclusive properties in the world. Born and raised in Yogyakarta, she is now the general manager of Alila Manggis, one of the most iconic resorts on the Island of the Gods.

Ratih Handayani

Q: You are now the general manager of one of Asia’s most breathtaking resorts, but what first sparked your interest in hospitality?
A: Over 25 years ago, my fascination with hospitality began to blossom during my college years. It was then that I embarked on my journey, working part-time for the foreign contractor that was in charge of the Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta, followed by a stint at Amanjiwo afterwards. 

Now, as the general manager of Alila Manggis, I am privileged to oversee one of Asia’s most stunning resorts. Nestled in a picturesque seaside locale, Alila Manggis is renowned for its innovative approach, deeply rooted in local culture and natural splendour. Drawing upon my early experiences and unwavering passion for hospitality, I lead our team in crafting unforgettable guest experiences that embody our core values of authenticity and community.

Q: You’ve worked for some of the most exclusive luxury brands in the world. How did that come about?
A: Each brand offered unique insights into luxury service and guest satisfaction, shaping my approach to hospitality. My experiences at these properties emphasised the importance of detail, culture and tailored guest experiences, which have been fundamental in developing my expertise.

Q: Based on your experience, how does the luxury hospitality market in Asia differ from other parts of the world?
A: In Asia, the concept of luxury in hospitality transcends the traditional markers like opulence and grandeur that are often emphasised in other parts of the world. Instead, luxury here is defined by the personalisation of the guest experience. It is more about how we interact with our visitors through our varied cultures, distinctive cuisines and their interactions with our people than it is about the exterior features. With this individualised treatment, every guest’s stay becomes a special story enhanced by the surroundings and the sincere relationships they make.

Q: You have a lot of repeat guests at Alila Manggis. What keeps them coming back?
A: At Alila Manggis, we believe the key to our high rate of returning guests lies in the unique feelings they experience during their stay. It’s not just the serene natural beauty of our location that captivates them, but significantly, the genuine care and personalised attention provided by our dedicated team. Our colleagues at Alila Manggis go above and beyond to ensure each guest feels valued and understood, creating an atmosphere that’s as welcoming as it is luxurious.

Q: With so many exciting experiences behind you, what made you decide to come to Bali?
A: Bali has always felt like home to me. It’s a place where the natural beauty, rich culture and warm, welcoming people create an environment that’s not just inspiring but also deeply comforting. Choosing to come to Bali was a natural decision – it’s a place where I can blend personal passion with professional spirit, making every aspect of hospitality deeply fulfilling.

Q: In your opinion, what’s the most important quality for a successful general manager?
A: The most important quality for a successful general manager is the ability to inspire the team. It’s about bringing the soul of the hotel to life and leading by example to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests and owners. A general manager must embody the values and vision of the hotel, motivating every team member to deliver exceptional service and create memorable experiences.

Q: What part of your job do you love the most?
A: What I cherish most about my job is its dynamic nature, particularly the opportunity to engage with guests from around the globe. Every day presents fresh challenges and experiences, making my role both exhilarating and deeply gratifying. Attending to guests of diverse backgrounds enables me to immerse myself in different cultures and perspectives, enriching my worldview. This continual interaction not only elevates our service but also ensures that each guest’s stay is personalised and unforgettable. It’s the diversity and the opportunity to positively influence someone’s travel journey that I find most rewarding.

Q: Do you have a message for young people looking to join the hospitality industry?
A: Dive in! This field is incredibly dynamic and full of opportunities for personal and professional growth. It’s far from just a job; it’s a journey that offers continuous learning and development. Whether you start in guest relations, food and beverage or any other area, you’ll find countless paths to explore and roles to grow into.

Asia Dreams Volume 51

Alila Manggis

Desa Buitan, Manggis

Bali 80871, Indonesia

T: (+62) 36341011

E: manggis@alilahotels.com

W: alilahotels.com/manggis

IG: @alilamanggis