Face-to-Face: Stefan Noll, General Manager, The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Bali
1) Please can you give our readers a brief overview of your resort and its key selling features?
The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah is not a hotel in the usual sense of the word, as it was initially built in the early 1980s as the Bali residence of one of Indonesia’s foremost interior decorators and architects, Hendra Hadiprana. The estate served as a retreat, where the family could relax, celebrate and recharge for their hectic life in Jakarta. The estate is a place of artistic pleasures and most of the artwork at The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah was created by Balinese artists and craftsmen. Tanah Gajah (Elephant Realm) is a reference to a nearby Hindu temple and representations of elephants in various artistic guises roam the resort as its principle motif. When the Hadiprana family was still residing at the estate, artists and sculptors used to bring their works to be viewed by Mr Hadiprana, hoping he would consider them worthy to be exhibited in his gallery in Jakarta - the very first in Indonesia.
In 2004, Mr Hadiprana entrusted GHM with the management of his five-hectare private estate as a hotel. Since then, the 20-villa Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, with immaculately manicured gardens, lotus ponds and beautiful views of rice fields, has been the favourite hotel of art and culture lovers in Ubud. Its debut attracted a great deal of acclaim from the world’s most prestigious arbiters of travel, including Conde Nast Traveler, which elevated the resort to its coveted Hot List in 2005.
2) What are your key source markets, and are you noticing any key trends in terms of your business and nationality mix?
The majority of our guests are from Europe, Australia and the US. Asian travellers, particularly the Japanese and Singaporeans, are also among frequent guests at The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah.
3) How has your hotel performed in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, and what is your outlook for 2011?
We have been more fortunate than others since we have many return guests, who, even during the financial crisis, wanted to travel and continued to support us. We know that it was because of them, that we were able to continue on the same occupancy levels as we did before the crisis.
4) You are currently a member of Elite Resorts of Asia Pacific. How has this helped your business?
Elite Resorts has been a great pleasure to work with. Their website has been an outstanding platform for us, especially when we launched Bali Confidential, an exclusive buy-out package that caters to a single party of up to 50 for a three-night, four-day retreat. This could be a family gathering, a corporate event, or simply a get-together among friends. Privacy and exclusivity are key for Bali Confidential.
5) What new developments can we expect from your hotel over the next 12 months?
As a luxury resort with a reputation for embracing the local culture, we will keep improving on our service and guest activities.
(Photo courtesy of Prestige Indonesia)