While still under construction, my wife and I moved into an unfinished apartment here at the future site of Ohana Retreat Bali. Most of the guest rooms did not have windows or doors installed. Staircase railings were strewn across the property, waiting for tile to be installed on the stair’s steps. The pool was a big hole in the ground, with tile slowly climbing up the walls by virtue of a small dedicated crew. Ragged tarps haphazardly blocked the blazing sun while the pool crew worked for days on end.
Our mural artist had begun the process of painting tens of walls throughout our future hotel.
Mud and rain was everywhere, as perhaps 15+ daily workers tracked in dirt wherever they went.
Yet being on site gave us hope that there was light at the end of the tunnel. All of the construction work was slowly giving way to what is known in the industry as finishing work: hiding all of the wires and pipes, covering bricks with plaster and paint, installing fixtures, and essentially making the structure livable.
At this very moment our guests are from Romania, England, France and Switzerland. We have a full-time masseuse on staff, as well as housekeeping and additional daily helpers (gardening etc).
We have had guests from 28 different countries since we opened on June 1, 2019. Our lives are now focused on the business of making our guests comfortable and happy: the art of hospitality.
We are grateful that our guests have been wonderful. They haven’t minded our initial lack of experience, as I believe they saw us genuinely doing our best. Over time we began to feel comfortable in our new roles and the guest reviews have been consistently, gratifyingly positive. Some reviews were even beyond our expectations.
When a family extended their stay with us, even though they were financially penalized at their other accommodation, we began to feel that we were creating the type of place that was more of a fanciful dream just a year ago.
Thank you to all of our workers and guests for helping us achieve something extraordinary. I still wake up at times astounded that guests are satisfied and we get to live in this small piece of paradise.