Interview Juan Paolo Alfonso General Manager Alila Ubud

profileWhat does a day-in-the-life of a General Manager of Alila Ubud look like?

It looks pretty good.  I like to come in early to do my walk and get the fresh and crisp morning air. The rest of the day is spent making sure guests and our teams are well cared for.


Have you always known you would go into hospitality? What initially sparked your interest?

I initially wanted to be a chef, and went to a school that offered both hotel and culinary credentials.  During my time there, I realized that I gravitated more towards the hotel aspect.  I loved the interactions with different people, and how dynamic the hotel business is, and that’s how I somewhat stumbled on to the business.  I still love to cook, but only for a select audience – mostly my wife.


Tell us what makes your resort different from the other luxury resorts in Ubud.

Realizing that this may sound like a cliché, but what really makes Alila Ubud different from others are the people.  I have to say that I’m very fortunate to be leading a team of such exceptionally warm, genuine, and caring individuals.  People who make everyone feel immediately at home, and part of the family.  Yes, I know that this can be said about Balinese people in general, but our team takes this to a different level altogether.  I’ve been posted in many locations, and have never felt this level of care and kindness.


Working in the hospitality industry, what do you love most about it?

The fact that it’s different everyday, and you’ll never know where you’ll be tomorrow.


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

Empathy is the key quality to effective leadership. The ability and willingness to understand and share the feeling of others enables you to properly inspire and motivate people around you.


If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

Right here.


How do you cope with the pressures at work, and what do you do to relieve stress?

As mentioned I still love to cook, and I find that cooking is somewhat a form of mediation for me and allows me to disconnect from work even for a little bit.  I play bass guitar, and after a good day’s work, I’ll get home grab my bass and just play.


What is the one thing you can’t live without?

Travel.  I need be able to travel and experience different places every so often.


What do you do in your free time?

I guess I could say that my wife and I are foodies.  We love trying different restaurants and dining experiences.  Everything from fine dining to hole in the wall places.  Bali is wonderful for this as there are infinite options to keep us occupied.