Interview with Laurens Kritzinger , General Manager Courtyard By Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort

Laurens Kritzinger
Laurens Kritzinger

Congratulations on your new role! How do you feel about being the General Manager of Courtyard By Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort?

I stayed at Courtyard Seminyak as a guest, for the first time around 3 years ago. I immediately fell in love with the resort, the lively and trendy area, but most importantly the warm and friendly associates, and decided there and then that this is where I wanted to work one day. Two years later my dream became a reality!

It is such an honor for me to be able to continue the success of this hotel, especially to helm a team who is already used to winning.  I believe it will be challenging, but exciting at the same time to see the hotel and my team grow together.

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

My passion started when I was doing my studies in business management in South Africa while taking a part-time job as a college student. After completing my studies I unexpectedly received an opportunity to join a luxury safari lodge in their front office department. Long story short, I arrived at this amazing resort in the morning around 10am for my interview; met HR, Front Office Manager and General Manager – and started working at 2pm that same day!

The rest is history and 20 years later I still live my dream of working and living in exotic locations; only now it’s even better as I have my family with me.

What do you think is the secret to your great career in Marriott?

I come from an unconventional hospitality background, hence I believe I bring a slightly different perspective and fresh outlook to the hotels where I work. In my previous workplace, including the ultra-luxury safari resorts around Africa and beach resorts in Zanzibar and the Maldives, there’s a big focus on teamwork, community involvement as well as putting guests’ needs as priorities and looking after them and ensuring we go above and beyond in meeting their expectations. 

I really appreciate my position as a leader in Marriott every single day, and I always do my best to motivate my team and constantly look at ways to improve our operation, profitability, associates morale and guest experience.

Share to us the latest update about Courtyard By Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort

This special hotel is still getting support from our amazing team. We work together as a family who believe that the success of this hotel will be a mutual success. This idealism is what makes Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak resort stand firm in the midst of the current pandemic situation

How do you cope with today’s ongoing pandemic?

My wife and two daughters moved over to Bali from South Africa last year, so as a family we make sure to focus on a healthy work life balance. Mini staycations around Bali are great and we have already visited most of our incredible Marriott sister hotels!

I try not to take things too seriously at work and to spend sufficient time every day casually interacting and chatting to our guests as well as our amazing associates. 

I believe working out regularly also helps to maintain not only physical, but mental health in this pandemic – I am a passionate triathlete and recently found my passion in doing Crossfit.

What is the most challenging thing in your current position you have experienced so far? 

The ongoing Pandemic! Sadly tourism in Bali has been severely affected by a lack of tourism; both domestic and international. It is really heartbreaking to know that a countless number of people around this wonderful island have lost their income or a major portion of it. We as a leadership team in Courtyard Seminyak continuously do our best to find new ways to evolve our business to generate additional income for our hotel, thus also benefitting our associates and ensuring their job securities.

Describe yourself in three words.

Wow, difficult question, but I will try me best to answer it!

Driven, adventurous, optimistic

How do you maintain a work and life balance?

I think the most vital aspect of maintaining a good work and life balance is to communicate well at work and to trust your team to take care of the hotel when you take your time off. This way you can unwind and focus on your life outside of work.

As a family we also set dates a few months out for when we will go away – this gives the family something to look forward to and to be excited about.

If you could go on a long holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go, and what would you do?

My two daughters both love the Frozen movies so I would love to take them somewhere like Canada or Scandinavia where it snows in winter. It would be a lot of fun to build a snowman with them and have snow fight

Once our children are a little older, my wife and I would like to do a US road trip and attend the annual Crossfit games in Madison, Wisconsin.