Interview with Marie Browne, General Manager of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort

 

Marie Browne - GM of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort (1)

After being the Marriott International’s Area Director of Operations for Indonesia, why did you decide to take the job as the General Manager of Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort?

Firstly, the Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort is one of our best hotels in Bali. It’s busy, ideally located and has a wonderful team in place. I was excited at the prospect of working with them. Secondly, the General Manager position is the most important position in our company. In this role you are responsible for the entire business from the guest experience to the financials. I believe it is a role all hoteliers should hold to have a complete understanding of the business and to have a complete resume.

Having worked and traveled around the worlds, which Marriott’s property do you like the most?

This is tough. We have some amazing properties around the world. Having spent a great deal of time throughout my career with Ritz-Carlton brand, I have been blessed to experience some of our most luxurious hotels. If I had to choose, I would say The Ritz-Carlton Toyko. My experience from check-in to check-out was flawless.

You have been involved in 30 hotels openings and conversions globally, tell us which one is the most memorable?

Each opening has a different story to tell, filled with late nights, lots of hard work, and usually a lot of fun. I really enjoyed working on the Moxy Bandung project. Moxy is a relatively new brand to Asia Pacific, targeted at the Millennial customer. The experience is fun and spirited at affordable prices. It breaks the rules of the traditional hotel experience. We spent a great deal of time to ensure the brand experience was correct and learning a new way to provide service for our customers.

What is your greatest achievement in your career at hospitality industry?

There is no one great achievement; to me it’s a series of achievements that lead to success. The most satisfying thing is watching and helping people grow in their careers. In my time with the company, I have seen housekeepers grow to Directors of Rooms, Stewards become F&B managers, and bellmen become Directors of Residences. It’s very rewarding to be part of people’s journey.

How do you compete with many competitors in the hospitality industry?

Customers have many options today, so it’s all about the service experience. People will try you once based on your location or price, but they will come back because of the experience and the people. We put a lot of emphasis on guest engagement and anticipating needs to ensure our guests feel cared for and connect with our associates.

How would you define ‘leadership’ and what do you think is the most important quality to have to be one?

Leadership to me is about getting things done through people; providing a vision and direction and developing and motivating the team to achieve their goals. You must be able to inspire. You need to be able to articulate a goal or direction in way that people internalize and own it.

If you could pick one place anywhere in the world to be your dream destination, where would it be?

I spent almost five years in Grand Cayman. To me it’s paradise. It’s my retirement plan…

What do you do for fun during your day off?

Usually my day starts with some fresh coffee, which my husband has roasted, then catching up with family and friends around the world and exploring the island.

What book has influenced you the most?

I don’t think there is one book that has influenced me the most. I read a lot and get something from each book. One book I particularly like and go back to often is RISE: 3 Practical steps for advancing your career, standing out as a leader, and liking your life. It’s a straight-shooters guide to managing your career.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still working in the industry, hopefully helping people achieve their career goals, and growing as a leader.   Unless I win the lottery, in which case you’ll find me in Grand Cayman (note to self: must start doing the lottery)

 

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