Maurice de Rooij – Harris Resort


Maurice De Rooij is general manager of the new Harris Resort in pulsating Kuta, flanking famed Kuta Beach. A 46-year-old Dutchman, he lives in Kerobokan with this wife Ana and 10-year-old son Philippe. He shared his day with The Bali Times’ Arga Sagitarini.

It’s an energetic start to the day after I get up at 7am. I have breakfast with Philippe and drop him off at the Australian International School. Then I like to exercise. I love sport, especially running, which I like to do on the beach, at least three times a week. Exercise is not only good for keeping fit but also helps you to have a positive outlook and a sense of humor, which is important because there are always lots of problems running a hotel.

If it’s a busy day and I’m in a hurry, I’ll skip exercise and go straight to the hotel. I’ve been the general manager of the Harris Resort since January this year.

Every morning I do a tour of the hotel. I go to every department and see how things are and talk to the staff there. We talk about any difficulties they might have and find ways to solve them. Sometimes if I see that something is wrong, I’ll fix it myself – if I find litter, for example, I’ll pick it up myself. I want to set a good example for the staff: if I can do it, they can do it, too.

My tour of the hotel is important, because it confirms what’s in staff reports, or not in them, and it also helps to build up my relationships with the staff. I have to be on good terms with the staff as they are the ones who deal directly with our guests, and the service they give reflects the characteristics and the quality of our hotel. So I try to make sure that they work properly and also enjoy what they do.

I work with a lot of young people at this resort, between 20 and 35 years old. They’re full of spirit and talented. There’s no place for lazy people here. The staff just need some guidance from me, and I’m happy to work with them. Their spirit influences me. We have facilities for them so they can relax and remain professional. The hotel’s motto is simple, unique and friendly, and our predominant colors of orange and green emphasize this.

My tour lasts about 30 minutes and ends with a briefing with the heads of every department at 9am. We talk about our preparations for the day; guest comments; our daily targets; the rooms status; guest arrivals; rate strategy for the day; and other matters that may or have occurred.

I operate an open-door policy, so that anyone can come and discuss anything with me; they don’t have to wait until we have a morning briefing. A general manager needs to be flexible.

Frequently I have lunch with the staff in the cafeteria, anytime between 12 and 2pm. I like Japanese and Padang food.

You can often find me in the lobby of the hotel, chatting with guests about their day, what they think of our service, whether they’re happy or not. The main function of a hotel is to ensure that guests are happy, and I make sure of that by going directly to them and finding out how things are.

There’s such a lot of work to do in the office and sometimes when I’m feeling a bit tired, I close my door and read a book. I don’t have any particularly favorite writers; I like to read all sorts of books – from food to economics. It’s good to know about a lot of different things, as my job demands it.

I work 10 to 12 hours a day, usually up to 8pm. Hotel work is tiring but I like it. I don’t get exhausted because working in a hotel is in my blood. I love serving people. I started out as a part-timer at a restaurant and grew to love what I do.

I get home around 9pm and play with Philippe. Because Ana is Portuguese, she likes to have dinner late at night. She’s very supportive of me – she’s traveled around the world because of my job, and I love her.

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