The Most Magical Night

It has been over a month since we celebrated the resort’s third anniversary yet I still can’t get over it. How could I? It was a magical evening and everything I have dreamt and planned for turned into a reality. It was more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine and I’m glad the guests and staff felt the electrifying energy too.

Every detail was carefully crafted as I did not want to leave anything out. I was a control freak, I admit, but I knew I had to if I wanted it to be magical.

As I have shared on April 20, it all started with an idea of having mermaids at the anniversary party. Indeed, the mermaids drove the whole concept and we decided on “Threemendous Sunset at the Enchanted Garden of Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran”. The evening enchanted our 450 guests with our lush tropical garden and one-in-a-kind 1,300sqm saltwater lagoon area.

Guests were greeted with the magical appearances of stunning mermaids from Mermaid.Inc, accompanied by fairytale-themed music from Bali Classical Lounge.

To kick off the evening, guests were invited to release beautiful butterflies of various species from all over the Indonesian archipelago to give them a new home in the gardens. The butterfly release stunned many of guests and added a magical sight along with the stunning golden dusk as the sun sets.

The celebration continued with cake cutting ceremony of a one-and-half meter signature éclair tower along with the thrown of real flower petal confetti.

Acro and fire dance performance from Dwi & Eka, the grand finalists of ‘Indonesia Mencari Bakat’ also enlivened the evening, followed by fashion show by Air Resorts & Swimwear, Uluwatu Handmade Balinese Lace, and Aryuna Jewelry, worn by models from Yongki Model Management, and the groovy tunes from Bali’s rising DJ Shissy Bvlagry.

Aside from the actual celebration itself, we had to keep the guests busy while we work on putting and setting up the magic in the pool area. So we had Uluwatu Lace Demonstration and Flower Crown Making at the lobby and they were both so well received by the audience.

The day after, we also hosted A Day at Sea – an experience to know a life of a local fisherman, and other engaging activities were also specially prepared to take all the guests’ experience to the whole new level during this extraordinary jubilee.

It was truly a magical night and I could not have done it without the immense support of the team, the family, EP, our entertainers and partners. I wish I could replay the moment and slow mo it.

Can’t get enough? Me too. Watch the video here.

This event marks a few career achievements for me:

  • Efficient planning
  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Enhanced leadership skills
  • DIY’d backdrop
  • Event styling
  • Project management
  • Internal/external communication

Those are just a few things I learned during this whole process and I am just glad to have had the chance.

Photos by Grace Road Photography

Quinn’s 4th

When I first adopted Quinn in 2013, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I have had pets before but none of them last very long.

But Quinn is different. I adopted her because I was lonely. She gave me a reason to come home to an otherwise empty house. Quinn has been through a lot. She was separated from her litter just a month after she gave birth to them. She stayed in my house for awhile. She stayed at KC’s a week here and there whenever I travelled. She was taken care by Sahar, EP, Trixie. She came with me to Sunshine Coast. She has had exploratory surgery, visited a bunch of vets, and on/off medicines. But she stayed tough through it all.

And this champ just celebrated her 4th birthday today! Hip hip hooray!

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Happy birthday Quinn! Thank you for being a part of my life and for teaching me so many valuable life lessons.

Up in the Air

I travel a lot this past year, mostly between Vancouver, Jakarta, and Bali. So now while I’m waiting to board my plane again, I decided to write down all the places I’ve been to (by plane) since May 23, 2015.

Sooo.. how many trips did I take? What’s the total amount time I spent up in the air?

Drum roll please….

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37 trips.

215 hours.

I had no idea I spent that much time on the plane! 215 hours = 8.9 days?! Holly moly! Can I claim that #jetsetter title now?

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Most Productive 72 Hours Ever

Let’s recap the past 72 hours..
 
THURSDAY
Morning: Run through last minute details
5pm – 10pm: Move around furniture and decorations
9pm: Set up pop up shop at the lobby
10pm – 11pm: Karaoke with dad’s friends
11pm – 2am: Fix lighting and hang birdcages & lanterns
 
FRIDAY
8am: Design last minute thank you cards
9am: Breakfast with some VIP guests
10am: Get my hair braided
11am: Read through MC script & press release
12pm: Set up flowers and signage
1pm: Uluwatu Lace workshop
2pm: GR with the models
3pm: Fix photo signage
4pm: Flower crown workshop
5pm: Quick shower
5:30pm: Celebrating Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran‘s third anniversary!
9pm: Event ended
10pm: 1 radler + 2 tequila shots
2am: Bedtime
 
SATURDAY
8am: Prepare breakfast boxes
9am: On a traditional boat lifting a 50m fish nets out
10am: Meeting with a construction company
1pm: Lunch with media
3pm: Learn how to mermaid
5:30pm: Sunset yoga
8pm: Stall hopping (12 sate padang + 1 lontong, 1 mie keriting cha siu, 1 pempek kapal selam, 2 serabi, 1 grilled banana with chocolate cheese, 1 bika ambon, 1 beer, 1 aqua)
 
The past few days have been so amazing. It was chaotic at times, but I still feel the rush. I’ll write soon about the things that happened!
I’ll just leave you with this one collage, taken within 12 hours..
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Now it’s time for bed because it’ll be another early morning again tomorrow and Monday! LET’S DO THIS.

Preparing for the hotel’s anniversary party

Here we are, just 2 weeks away from the Hotel’s third anniversary!

If you have been following my snapchat or instagram, you would know that I have been working on the concept for this upcoming anniversary party since January. It’s been such a fun and creative process, definitely something I enjoy doing. It reminds me of the days when I was convinced I wanted to be an event planner. But hey, maybe it’s not too late?

For the past few anniversaries, I have been involved on the design side and mostly just for collaterals. This year, I get to be in the driver’s seat and obviously I took this opportunity to make it our best celebration yet. At first we were going to hire an event planner to help us organize the event but after meeting with three, I realized it would be much cheaper if we were to do it ourselves and we can also control the quality of the entertainment we provide too! So from there, we started researching entertainers that would help bring this party to life.

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I spent hours sitting by the pool side one day and it just hit me.. I want mermaids to be there. I had no idea where I would hire mermaids or how cheesy it would be, but much to my surprise, mermaiding is actually on the rise in Bali. I had no idea! Once I have confirmed the mermaids, it really set the tone for everything else. Then came the strings players, the acro dancers, the fashion show.. Everything just flow.

There is so many things I learned along the way. For example, Indonesians are just so creative and responsive. It was so easy to find anything I needed, whether it was through Instagram, Tokopedia, or just good ol’ Google. They pretty much everything and do it so inexpensively. We pretty much found our goody bag supplier, mermaid, swimwear designer, models from Instagram.

Now two weeks before the event, I just finished the design for the invitation and currently working on the photo backdrop.

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The goody bag has been ordered, the decorations have been discussed, the sponsors are happy, the media have been identified. Now we just have to make sure we forward the invitation to as many people as possible!

More about the event soon..

 

Tending the Mayor

1 night I was in Bali, then I was in Jakarta, then I was on the plane, then Port Moody, then downtown Vancouver. All back to back. What’s going on?!

At first when my dad asked if I wanted to go home to Vancouver out of nowhere, I didn’t know what to say. Yes I want to go, but I also had a long list of things I wanted to do at the hotel. But I couldn’t turn down his offer because I was going to Vancouver to attend Globe Series Conference and be the personal driver/assistant to Ridwan Kamil, the #1 mayor in Indonesia right now.

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I didn’t even have time to be jetlagged, it was always a time to go go go go.

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We took him to UBC briefly. He enjoyed Vancouver so much that he said he might convince his son might be interested to study in Vancouver.

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Later that night, he did a candid interview and dropped some wisdom at the Indonesian consulate.

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Then the tour continued..

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We started the conversation in Vancouver..

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And we continued it in Bandung!

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I was pretty exhausted but happy for the opportunity. It was amazing to hear directly from him the ideas and plans he has for Bandung and I can only hope his energy and goodwill would spread to the rest of Indonesia.

MBA Candidate!

I couldn’t sleep that night. I just kept tossing and turning. It was as if I was waiting for something to happen. Then something did.

My phone buzzed.

Any other night, I would just ignore it and force myself to sleep. But that night I picked it up and I’m glad I did! It was a nicely written email from the SFU MBA Admissions team letting me know that I have been accepted to their program!

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I jumped out of bed right away and called my mom (she was in Vancouver, so it was her morning). I then texted EP and a few of my other friends. We were all celebrating the fact that I will be coming home to Vancouver, not as much the fact I got accepted to MBA. Haha! The responses I got from Facebook was immense though. I don’t want to sound cocky or anything but I am so very thankful to have such supportive group of friends that want me to be successful.

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It truly is an incredible feeling to have that much support from others. But.. yes, there’s a but.

I am a little sad and concerned that I would have to leave the hotel for 1.5 years. Life is so funny isn’t it? Just a few months ago, I wanted to have a way out. Now that I have my “way out”, I don’t really want to leave. I am getting used to the hotel life and to the work that I’m scared that if I leave, I would have to start from the beginning again when I come back. Maybe I am just chickening out thinking about the amount of homework I would have to do. I was never a good student. I procrastinated often when I was in school. But I know this time it would be different.

I know I would come out from the MBA program a better, a more skilled leader. I look forward to enhancing my business and analytical skills. I want to make better decisions. I want to lead my staff with empathy and wisdom.

Yours sincerely,

MBA Candidate (Can I call myself that already? Is it too early? It just sounds so cool!)

Behind the scenes of the opening of the first sports bar in Jimbaran

“What about sports bar?” asked one of the bartenders at the hotel.

For the last 1+ year, we have a venue at the hotel that we’re not using. It’s just left empty because we didn’t have a strong concept for it. It’s such a waste of space but we just didn’t know what to do with it.

Until one night I had a chat with two of the bartenders at the hotel and they brought up the idea of a sports bar.

But it was in August. We were too busy with everything else that was going on and we didn’t have a budget for it. But we’ve got everyone’s approval for it so we started planning and in January 2016, we really put all those planning into action.

On January 7th, I posted on Facebook, hoping there will be 3-4 replies to help us get started.

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I obviously underestimated the power of Facebook and my friends’ interest of sports bar. 36 people liked the post and over 40 comments were shared. Each of them are so valuable. Some weren’t even considered by our team previously. We really took the comments seriously and we discussed them over and over again to make sure we hit all the right marks.

When I got to Bali, I made sure all the preparation for the opening is ready. There were still a few important things missing, like the pool table, foosball, and decor. I’m a GSD (get sh*t done) type of person so I took my Purchasing guy out and made sure we got everything we needed.

A week later, things looked better.

Yep, that’s our pool table before they got put together. Here’s a little secret for you… it’s a refurbished pool table. The price is half of the new and I was super picky about the quality.

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For example, this leg right here, needed more bronzing. They had to do it three times ’til I was satisfied with the result. But once we put the pool table and 6 TV’s in, it started to look a lot like a sports bar. The next thing we worried about was the food and beverage.

I was wrong. Nothing to worry about here. The team has got it under control.

Thankfully, everything ran as scheduled and we were able to open the sports bar to our in-house guests as per our original schedule. It was a huge success! We received great feedback from our guests and we fixed our mistakes right away. It’s far from perfect still and there’s still lots of training to be done for our staff, but it’s definitely off to a good start.

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Never in my life I thought I would ever help open a sports bar, but I did and I had so much fun doing it. I could have never done it without the support of the team here and the friends I have on Facebook. So thank you, for your hard work and for your ongoing support for Smoqee Sports Bar and Lounge, the first and only sports bar in Jimbaran, Bali!

Mandapa Reserve Resort, Ubud

Life is good at Mandapa Reserve, the only hard thing is the damage on my wallet.

When I was looking for a place to check out this weekend, I was recommended over and over again to check out Mandapa Reserve by Ritz-Carlton in Ubud. It just opened a few months ago and is supposed to be the new luxury.

We were sure in for a treat. At $700 a night for their 100 sqm suite, this place doesn’t disappoint. I love their interior – luxurious but not pretentious. With only 35 suites and 15 villas, the place feels pretty homey and personal.

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The breakfast restaurant offers a very standard buffet but the view of the Ayung River and the tasteful decor made up for it.

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Rose gold cutleries? Genius.

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After breakfast, we joined in the rice planting activity. This is one of the complimentary activities they have and it sure was fun! I’ve walked and biked on rice paddies before, but never actually planted them… until today!

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Mud bath is the best kind of bath!

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Afterwards we chilled by the rice paddy, just enjoying the brisk wind and taking in the view. When it got dark, we went down to the restaurant lounge by the river.

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What’s so nice about the restaurant lounge is that it’s situated right by the river and they put spotlights on some trees too. So not only you get the sound of the Ayung River, but you also get to enjoy the view at night in your private little “cocoons”.

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Mandapa Reserve, thank you for the inspiration and the experience.

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#AussieDay & #CNY2016 at Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran

We love celebrations.

Just a few days ago, we celebrated #AussieDay because most of our in house guests on that day were Australians.

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Looking a week ahead, we will have a large number of Chinese travelers and so it just makes sense to decorate the hotel accordingly.

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Who’s behind these stellar decorations? Our Housekeeping team. I love how vibrant these decorations are and how they create such a different mood to the hotel.