Meet Gus Tu, the Villa Manager in charge of making guests feel welcome at Canggu Beachside Villas.
Managing a 3-villa complex is no easy feat, much less keeping it in good shape while borders are closed. The Luxe Nomad passes the mic to Canggu Beachside Villas‘ ever-capable manager, Gus Tu, as he talks about villa life and how, under his lead, his team came out of the pandemic even more prepared to welcome guests to a wonderful holiday.
Keep scrolling to learn more about him!
Meet the Manager: Gus Tu
Let’s start with a little introduction for our readers!
GUS TU: Hello! I’m Ida Bagus Putu Suardana, but you can call me Gus Tu. I was born in Karangasem and currently live in Denpasar. I’m 40 years old and a proud father to three beautiful and handsome children.
How long have you worked in tourism, and with The Luxe Nomad?
GUS TU: I’ve been working in the tourism industry for almost 19 years. I started as a hotel room attendant for 4 years, then became a butler at a villa. After that, I worked at one of the villas in Seminyak as Supervisor, then Assistant Manager.
Then, in 2018, I got a promotion [with the previous management] to take care of Canggu Beachside Villas as its Villa Manager. By July 2020, the villas were officially managed by The Luxe Nomad, so I’ve been with the team for 2 years.
What do you love doing on your days off?
GUS TU: You know, I used to be a very busy person. Even on days off, I was busy being one of the caretakers for Banjar, our local customs community. But now I want to focus more on spending time with my family. I love traveling with my wife and three kids.
Aside from that, I also love listening to traditional music with a chill and relaxing vibe, like Gus Teja, as well as catching up with the news on TV.
How about a few fun facts about yourself?
GUS TU: On evenings when I’m free, I like helping my wife shop at Badung Traditional Market, which is only 30 minutes away from our home. I’m also quite passionate about cooking, so sometimes I cook simple dishes for my family like nasi goreng, cap cay, and balung (pork) soup.
About the Job: Villa Manager
What are your responsibilities as a villa manager?
GUS TU: My job is to make sure everything runs smoothly. I am responsible for the overall operation of the villas and ensuring guest satisfaction. Since Canggu Beachside Villas is made up of three villas, that means preparing and controlling the villa budget to keep all of them well-maintained and operating well.
As for guest satisfaction, I’m the first person they liaise with every day, so I make sure they have all they need. I assist them with making arrangements, for example if they’d like to book some tour or a table at a restaurant. I answer all their questions and help them by giving suggestions.
What do you love most about being a villa manager?
GUS TU: I like to meet different kinds of people, and make friends with many people.
Like you mentioned earlier, Canggu Beachside Villas is a villa complex. Is it difficult to manage 3 villas and the entire staff at the same time?
GUS TU: It is quite challenging because managing 3 villas and all staff simultaneously requires good teamwork. [If the villas are booked by different guests,] the team has to adapt our work according to the activities carried out by the guests in each villa. It’s very important to keep the whole team updated about every guests’ activities, so the team can work seamlessly together.
As a villa manager, I also have to prepare individual reports for the 3 villas and their 3 different owners, as well as complete administration for them properly and on time. Then, I provide the best suggestions and solutions for each of the villa operations and these must be approved by the 3 owners. What I do [to manage this] is delegate authority and entrust some tasks to my villa staff. We’re here working as a team and I always keep them involved to foster strong teamwork.
Sounds like a lot of work! What makes this experience worth it for you?
GUS TU: I’m happy when the guests are satisfied with our service, and give good comments about our services. I am also happy when everything in villas run smoothly. One time, the three villas were all booked by one family and they had a dinner together. I was pleased to see solid teamwork between the villa staff to take care of it. Because of [our teamwork], the guests had a memorable time.
It’s a good thing that most guests who have stayed at Canggu Beachside Villas are always happy and satisfied with our services. In fact, we still maintain a good relationship with them. Many of them consider us as their second family. Even after they return to their country, they still ask how we are and how the current situation is in Bali.
Have your skills as Villa Manager come in handy in your day-to-day life?
GUS TU: Time management is a big part of my work as Villa Manager, and this is also very useful with everyday responsibilities. I also learn from my experiences with different types of guests; this helps me deal with situations within my family and our community.
On Balinese Villa Life
The tourism industry took a big hit during the pandemic. What challenges did you face with the villa?
GUS TU: Luckily during the pandemic, we didn’t experience a significant amount of decrease in our bookings. The challenge came more from how I could prevent the villa team from being infected by the virus. Then, how to keep each villa in prime condition and in accordance with the health protocol standards imposed by the government. No less important is educating and always reminding my team and all guests to follow applicable health protocol rules.
What have you learned through these challenges?
GUS TU: The biggest one was learning how to communicate effectively both with guests and the villa team. Staying calm and being prepared for different emergences is also very important. All in all, it was a good lesson in increased awareness of health and safety at work.
What are you looking forward to as this pandemic starts to ease and travel is almost 100% back?
GUS TU: I hope that this past pandemic gives us all a valuable experience. For us Balinese people who work in tourism, I hope we stay optimistic and believe that everything will be better. And for guests, I hope they will be excited to travel to Bali again and enjoy their leisure time here.