Rina Mariani on Leading A New Brand of Hyatt

Photography By Andaz Bali and Rusdi Sanad

​​With over two-decade of expertise in the hotel industry under her belt, Rina Mariani has inked her name as the first female general manager of Hyatt Indonesia. She is now taking the lead in running Andaz Bali, the latest brand of Hyatt Hotels Corporation in the archipelago. The graduate from the International Management Institute (IMI), Switzerland, has built a shining portfolio across four countries. She recently had a chat with Indonesia Design about her aspirations, goals and Jennifer Lawrence.

Rina Mariani

What distinguishes Andaz from its sister properties on the island, such as the Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Alila?
Hyatt has brands that focus on catering to the needs and expectations of their guests. For example, Grand Hyatt Bali has a bold concept characterised by being “grand,” especially the lobby. Hyatt Regency, formerly known as Bali Hyatt, has long built its brand reputation on the island. Alila is a new addition to the Hyatt group. It is one of our leading luxury lifestyle brands. Andaz complements all the brands of Hyatt, as the first in Indonesia and the first resort in Asia. What makes Andaz standout is its main concept of modern Balinese village with ample physical space that takes guests to blend with local culture.

Which are the highlights of architecture, landscape and interior design at Andaz Bali?
It is very difficult for me to pick one, as each has its own distinct. However, based on guests feedback, the 80-year-old tree in the Santhi Pool area is very rare, yet unique.

We also receive much praise on the Village Square, which is designed as shop-house concept with a courtyard. It is surrounded by three restaurants, a deli, four function rooms, lobby and its lounge to give guests a very communal feel, with no separation between the different restaurants. We obtained many inquiries for private events in this area. On the top of the restaurants and function rooms, there are guest rooms with direct view to the Village Square and all of the restaurants.

All of the other rooms are ‘housed’ in two- or three-storey buildings spread around the resort. Most of the buildings in the resort are built around the roots, trunks and branches of the 80-year-old tree. Finally, the Beach Villas feature spacious living room, private pool and garden with direct access to Sanur beach.

We also have the beachfront area and Fisherman’s Club restaurant that highlights the idea about the life of fishermen with their busy daily routine, including on weekends. Last but not least, we have the beautiful Dukuh area, where guests can experience the nuance of the Tirta Gangga, Karangasem. Each area balances out the other with its contrasting vibe.

How do you make the most of the resort’s features for your guests with ocean-facing rooms? How about the guests seeking to experience the Sanur area?
Since the early stages of conceptualising the vision, we never intended to be a beachfront resort. Building a resort with 149 rooms, all having ocean panorama, would be infeasible. However, Andaz Bali is a replica of Sanur itself, with fun spaces and lush greenery, and even you can see the culture of the Sanur natives. We treat this place the same way we do our own house. Everything is unscripted. Natural. Sanur’s cultural values balance nature, people and the Gods.

It is a holistic experience. Many of our guests prefer to be surrounded by trees and plants, enjoying the fresh air, especially during the current pandemic where you need safer outdoor space. The resort’s landscaping is indeed remarkable. You need to come and experience it to get the feel of what the resort has to offer.

Due to the pandemic, traveller’s habits have changed. So, how does Andaz Bali meet today’s travellers’ needs?
As a property of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, we are very strict with the health and safety hygiene protocols concerning the COVID-19. Additionally, the design of the resort provides a lot of space for social distancing. The layout of the resort gives guests a lot of room to move around without worry. Many guests feel safer being in this resort because they don’t have to rub shoulders with other guests. They can sit down and do their activities without any disturbance. Surrounded by various types of plants, our space, landscape and ambience make for a world that creates peace of mind.

How is the target market different from the sister properties?
Many of our guests are not first-timers to Bali. They are well-seasoned travellers who have experienced Bali before. Some of our guests don’t see themselves as tourists, but they want to blend with villagers. Staying at Andaz means they can experience becoming a Sanurian.

If Andaz Bali were a movie star, who would it be and why? Describe your property in three words.
One of my colleagues is a big believer and I trust her choice. I agree with her that the most suitable actress to represent Andaz Bali is Jennifer Lawrence. She is smart, witty and unscripted. She’s not a “yes” person, nor afraid of becoming herself. She is also beautiful in her own particular way.

As for the three words to describe Andaz, the first would be “green”. As you can see, around 70 per cent of the resort is reserved for greenery landscape. The second word is “home.” The design is very welcoming – it is homely. The last one is the most vital word, the one that I believe the most - “Taksu”.

It is difficult to pin down what “Taksu” means as it involves the energy of the visible and invisible world. You can’t touch it, but you can feel its presence, similar to charisma or charm.

Balinese believe “Taksu” is a spiritual power that infiltrates into a person or object that captivates the eyes, minds, and hearts. Like magicians or dance performers capture the audiences’ attention, healers who heal patients with mysterious power, and speakers inspire their spectators.

Andaz Bali has that “Taksu” – you have to experience it to believe it!

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Andaz Bali
Rusdi Sanad