After successfully managing Swissôtel The Stamford and Fairmont Singapore, Katya Herting is now taking the role of general manager at Raffles Bali. The native German has almost 25 years of diverse experience in the hospitality sector, including holding the positions as director of housekeeping at Swissôtel Quito, Ecuador, and director of operations at Swissôtel Lima, Peru. Indonesia Design had an insightful conversation with her at the Library of Raffles Bali. Here are some excerpts from the interview.
What were Raffles’ considerations in agreeing to manage this 32-villa property?
Raffles was honoured to be the selected brand to work with such a quality-driven development company as Kajima and Jimbaran Hijau. Quality is a word that encompasses what you can do with facility, hardware, and location of such building, and what I call the soul that will drive guest satisfaction into the property. Raffles understands that, having a DNA that brings us to 130 years in the history of hospitality.
What were the expectations from management and owners when they approached you?
I believe the reason why they saw me as a good fit to run this place was perseverance. We met in Singapore, where I was helming the Rooms division of the property with 2,000 rooms in a huge renovation and where we created new technology-driven areas. It caught their attention that I was not walking
in the paths of others but rather disrupting the common processes of hospitality. We found ways to provide personalised experiences in the tech-driven country. I was crafting a future that was new at that time in hospitality.
What are the advantages and challenges in managing Raffles Bali?
The property of such size, exclusivity and privacy requires a lot of commitment, investment and consistency. Another challenge is finding the best talents, which is harder than in big cities. You achieve that by investing in training and making sure that the team has all the tools they need to perform well. Talent upkeep is another challenge. Moreover, the competition in Bali is vigorous. We, as the new kids on the block resurging after the pandemic, need to always aim very high especially in service, to catch the attention of well-travelled connoisseurs looking for experiences that money cannot buy. So, you need to be very creative, nurturing and sincere to connect to them, in order to stand out.
Raffles properties often embody unique aspects of their locations. How does Raffles Bali embrace the Balinese essence?
We draw inspiration from the view of Jimbaran Bay. It’s the sight that greets you every morning, complemented by the greeneries, the bougainvillea, and the beautiful blue waters. It makes you start the day with a big smile. Next is the combination of colours in the building, which we take from nature. The colours of palimanan rock and the teak wood, predominant materials in the building, mix very well with the nature.
What makes Raffles Bali stand out from other luxury resorts on the island?
Service, service, service. Then, the size of the property, the beauty of the facilities, and the constant pursuance of quality in everything we do without compromise. We need to evolve because it’s what makes us the best brand in the world. Also, understanding guests’ trends. We constantly look for new experiences for our guests. They need to feel pampered, understood and unique.