INSIDER INTERVIEWS WITH ANANTARA VACATION CLUB PROFESSIONALS – I MADE SUBRATA & KHUN GRAPE


Behind every Anantara Vacation Club team member is an experienced traveller, a passion for hospitality and a lot of personality! This month, we spoke with the new General Manager of Operations at in Bali, I Made Subrata, and Korbkul Kaewkarn (Khun Grape) Villa Manager of our Club Resort on Koh Samui to see how they themselves travel.

Here’s what they had to say…

Insider Interviews with Anantara Vacation Club Professionals – I Made Subrata & Khun Grape

I Made Subrata

I Made Subrata — With more than twenty years experience in resort operations across many international properties, including Intercontinental Bali Resort, Conrad Bali and Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Mr. I Made Subrata recently became the General Manager of Operations at Anantara Vacation Club Seminyak Bali. As a Bali native, he’s looking forward to bringing his expertise and experience to Anantara and looks forward to collaborating with all teams in serving our Owners and stakeholders.

Q: What do you miss about Bali while you are away?

A: The natural beauty, the culture and people of Bali, and, most of all, the spiritual magic of the island keeps me missing Bali while I am away. These things are such an important part of Bali, my birthplace, that I could never stay away long.

Q: How do you maintain health and fitness when you are away?

A: I like exercising while travelling such as working out in the resort’s fitness center, however I prefer outdoor exercise like jogging or power walking and swimming. It is always a good idea to keep fit while away as our body clock and system often needs help adjusting to the new locality.

Q: What are your travel essentials?

Hat, sunglasses and my phone – I need it to still be able to connect with others and, of course, snap great moments while travelling.

Q: What’s the very first thing you do when you go on holiday?

I’m always really curious to get to know the area where I’m staying and understand the surrounding environment, including where to eat, shop, etc. I like exploring new things in the destinations I visit that inspire me to see things from a different perspective.

Q: What has been your most memorable/favourite holiday?

A: Visiting Jakarta with my family to experience metropolitan city life, which is very different than our island life in here Bali. We visited several tourist areas that are favourites among families, like Sea World, the national museum to learn about the region’s past history and many more places to entertain the family. It was a memorable trip for my children to experience seeing a big city and high rise buildings, however you need to be patient with the traffic!

Q: What is the best restaurant, café or bar that you have visited while travelling?

A: Chaam while visiting Anantara Vacation Club Phuket Mai Khao. The great selection at the breakfast buffet was an excellent start for a productive day – I liked the healthy corner that had a wide range of choices. For dinner, the menu featuring Thai cuisine was very special. I had the tom yam goong which had an incredibly authentic taste – delicious!

Q: Favourite travel tips?

A: Get sufficient information about the destination prior to travelling so that you can better plan your experience, explore new places with an open mindset, and find a special gift from the destinations you visit as a way to remember your journey.

Q: What is your most treasured possession you have picked up while travelling?

A: I bought my wife and children gemstone bracelets as gifts from Thailand and whenever they wear them I’m fondly reminded of my visit to the country.

Q: Who is your favourite travelling companion?

A: My family – I want to show them the whole world. They love exploring new places and it creates excellent moments to share family time together as I’m often busy with work and serving the community traditions. The children always are excited to travel and it provides good motivation for them to study better and help us at home when we’re planning for the next trip.

Q: What are the top holiday destinations that you have yet to visit?

A: I would like to visit Europe, especially Frankfurt in Germany, to visit my foster parents and see the various countries in that region. It has always been a dream of mine to see other destinations of the world and appreciate their differences.

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Khun Korbkul Kaewkarn (Grape) — Khun Grape joined the pre-opening team of Anantara Vacation Club Mai Khao Phuket in November 2012 as Guest Relations Manager and was promoted to Duty Manager in September 2013. Now, as the new Villa Manager of Anantara Vacation Club Koh Samui, Khun Grape takes pride in delivering the highest levels of Owner and guest satisfaction at all times and is a great asset to the team in Samui.

Q: What do you miss about Samui while you are away?

A: I’m a tropical person through and through so always miss Koh Samui’s sea, sun, sand and coconut trees when I’m away.

Q: How do you maintain health and fitness while you are away?

A: Eating and trying local dishes! I love trying new dishes to eat local and learn about a destination’s culture…then I make sure to walk around town and leave my prints in the sand – good exercise for both the body and mind!

Q: What are your travel essentials?

A: Books. I’m a big, big bookworm and cannot live without books.

Q: What’s the very first thing you do when you go on holiday?

A: Google it! I love planning each trip and Google is my first step in researching a place…but it’s also still good to get a little lost sometimes and just see what happens.

Q: What has been your most memorable/favourite holiday?

A: My first trip to Japan in 1994. I visited a small town called Tokushima and was lucky to have a chance to join the “Awa Odori Festival” which features folkdances performed to welcome the souls of ancestors in the Bon season. “Awa” is the former name of Tokushima and the Awa-Odori is characterised by irregular steps and by a jovial, energetic rhythm. My friend told me a saying about the festival, “It’s a fool who dances and a fool who watches! If both are fools, you might as well have fun dancing!” I did enjoy myself dancing that day…

Q: What is the best restaurant, café or bar that you have visited while travelling?

A: Sukibayashi Jiro (Jiro Sushi) in Tokyo, Japan is the best restaurant I have ever been to. I love Japanese food and sushi is definitely my favourite. Honestly, it was worth every single yen I paid. ‘Jiro Ono’ or ‘Grandpa Jiro’ is amazing. He never talked to his customers while making the sushi but his son, Takashi, was very cheerful. I was so happy to see his movie come out in 2011 called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” – no wonder his restaurant has three Michelin stars and has created such a “Jiro’s culture”!

Q: Favourite travel tips

A: Good shoes take you good places. I believe that. As a woman, I love shoes and, on my vacation, need at least three comfortable and nice shoes in my suitcase.

Q: What is your most treasured possession you have picked up while travelling?

A: Pictures. I always bring home all my souvenirs on a memory stick.

Who is your favourite travelling companion?

A: My hubby! But soon, there will be a new addition – I’ve been told our vacation designations will change after having baby…let’s see!

Q: What are the top holiday destinations that you have yet to visit?

A: Egypt!!! Ever since reading an issue of National Geographic about ancient Egypt and Tutankhamen I’ve wanted to go!

If you have questions about either resorts in Bali or Koh Samui, or would simply like to connect with Mr. Subrata and Khun Grape further, please contact them at Isubrata@anantaraclub.com and korbkul_sr@anantaraclub.com respectively.


About Anantara Vacation Club Editorial Team

Anantara Vacation Club, launched in 2010, is an exclusive collection of luxurious Vacation Ownership resorts and suites, offering each generation the opportunity to explore the world’s most exciting destinations. Owners can purchase Club Points that determine the length of stay, time of year and the size and type of accommodation. Visit: anantaraclub.com Contact us: info@anantaraclub.com

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