Baleka Beach Hotel – Legian,
Bali, Indonesia – part II
General manager: Ngurah
From: Legian Bali
Baliblog: How long have you been the General Manager?
Ngurah: Since 2004. This property belongs to our family and before 2004 I was doing my own thing, computer software engineering, something like that. This place was being rented to other people and in 2003 they decided not to extend it. My mother was trying to push me form before to manage the place. In 2004 I started as General Manager.
Baliblog: I think places where the management is close with the owner, they run better.
Ngurah: Yes, because we own this place so we will really look after this thing. Instead of someone who rents the place, maybe he is just trying to chase the profit. Maybe. Most people do it like that.
Baliblog: Of course.
Ngurah: But right now it seems like the owner is running the place we keep everything in order.
Baliblog: What year was the Baleka Beach Hotel built?
Ngurah: My father started it in 1975, it was November 1975. Actually my father didn't expect to build a hotel, because he is from Legian and he would like to create his own place here in Legian. Suddenly when it was almost done, I think it was 2 girls from Australia that came and said they wanted to rent the place for 3 months and they gave a deposit. So my father said, 'Oh okay, I will take this,' and then my father started another building. Then in 1976, my mother worked as a banker. The harvest at that time in Legian was really bad and a lot of people were starving because there was no rice, something like that, so my father decided to borrow some money from the bank and then invest the some to create some rooms, some hotel and then only the villagers can work here, because the idea is to help the villagers. Some of them have coconut wood, they cut the tree and they sell it here, some others work here to build the place. So that's why its called Baleka, after the village name, Banjar Legian Kaja.
I'm sure in 1975 it must have been very different. Just like a village.
Ngurah: Yes. Still really natural.
Do you remember those times?
Ngurah: I was born in 1972 but by 1978 I started to remember already. I can still remember that then there was no tarmac on the road. Really natural. Traditional.
Its funny, actually some of those things we like about Bali are changing.
So gradually the hotel grew, starting off with a few rooms, then expanding to 2-storey rooms?
How many rooms do you have now?
We have 45.
How many classes of rooms?
We have 3. We have Standard, deluxe and then we have the Suite room.
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Okay. A lot of people ask me questions about the different sleeping configurations. So in the Standard room you get 2 twin beds or one double bed?
We have some with 2 single beds and some with 1 double bed.
If they have a kid can they bring and extra bed?
Yes, we can put an extra bed in any of the room types. Actually we also have the Family Suite which ahs the living room in the middle. We can also put 2 extra beds in there.
So in the normal family room configuration you would have 1 double bed / queen size bed and you would have 2 other bed in the other room and the facility to put 2 extra beds?
Ngurah: That's right.
What facilities to the rooms have?
All rooms are equipped with AC, with hot-water, TV with satellite channels, telephone and mini-bar. All rooms have the same facilities.
How would you describe the layout of the hotel?
We have 2 entrances actually, the main entrance is on Jl. Rum Jungle and the other on Jl. Padma Utara. The pool is next to Padma Utara and pool-bar, which is also the street-side bar. The garden is in the middle with rooms on either side.
The restaurant is next to the street on the Rum Jungle side.
So you have 1 restaurant and 1 pool.
We have 1 restaurant and 1 pool-bar and 1 snack bar.
Okay. How would you describe the style of the hotel?
I think the style of most of the buildings is Balinese style. We have the wing style and then the cottage style. I don't really know the exact terms, cottage, bungalow etc. as I am pretty new to tourism.
You know a lot of these terms with westerners get mixed up. Bungalow actually means single storey structure, only 1 level. Often times hotel managers say to me "this is a 2-level bungalow." When I think of a cottage I think of a freestanding single level place with a natural roof.
Ngurah: I thought the bungalow is only 1 roof and then with cottage we can have 2 roofs.
I think bungalow and cottage are similar. They really both mean just 1 level. With a bungalow you can have a new building in 1 style and call it a bungalow with a tile roof maybe. With a cottage I think of a place that is smaller and more traditional, with a natural roof perhaps. It's just the way you interpret it. In the tourist industry they twist everything around.
Ha ha ha (laughing).
There are all kinds of terms floating around that people use, including, semi-modern, semi-Balinese, etc.
So I'm not the only one who gets confused.
You can actually create your own terms and maybe people will borrow your terms. My friends and I came up with 'cross-pollination marketing'.
Okay Ngurah, what makes this hotel unique?
I think our main selling point is our location. We are close to the beach, close to the shops. With the standard, I think all of the hotels in this area have the same standard. So what we are trying to build here is the atmosphere, we try to make the staff really close to the guests. Our hospitality, that's what we're trying to promote.
I know from talking to a lot of these Australian tourists that once they like a place they can be extremely loyal. They come back year after year and telling their friends.
Ngurah: Also because my background is with the software and doing the website etc. even though we are only a small hotel we created our own back-up system, for reservations and everything. The new program I am creating is for the repeat customer for future reservations. I'm creating a report and ask all of my staff here to get information about the guests, what they like etc. We put that in our database and if they come back the report will display automatically. We know what kind of food they like in the restaurant and will also give them a fruit basket and card to say 'welcome back'. That's my background so I really love to create the system to help make the customer feel they are valuable.
The Baleka Beach Resort is a comfortable budget hotel in the heart of Legian. There are a total of 45 rooms in 1 and 2 storeys. Each room has individually are air conditioning, hot and cold water, mini bar, TV, IDD telephone, King or Twin Bed, private balcony
Facilities & Services
Safety deposit boxes in the lobby, 1 swimming pool, full service restaurant serving western and Indonesian dishes, laundry, car rental, doctor on call, facsimile and telex, baby sitting, pool side massage drug store, tour information desk.
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