"Our recruitment process is centered around finding individuals who possess a genuine passion for hospitality"

Eddie Teh is a seasoned hospitality professional with extensive experience in Southeast Asia. He joined Soneva in mid-2021, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge gained from working across various countries such as Malaysia, Australia, Laos, and Myanmar.

Fluent in multiple languages including English, Bahasa, Hokkien, basic Mandarin, and French, Eddie possesses excellent communication skills that enable him to connect with diverse audiences. In 2015, he successfully completed the General Managers Program at Cornell University, further enhancing his expertise in the field.

During his time in Australia, Eddie demonstrated his exceptional capabilities by steadily advancing within the organization, ultimately assuming the role of Regional Food and Beverage Director for the Orient Express in 2008. Seeking new challenges, he relocated to Luang Prabang in Laos in 2011 to serve as the General Manager of La Residence Phou Vao. Following this, he ventured to Yangon in Myanmar, where he excelled as the General Manager for Belmond River Cruises and Tours until 2016. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, he was then promoted to the role of Area General Manager for Belmond Myanmar.

Eddie's comprehensive experience, combined with his dedication to delivering exceptional service and his commitment to corporate social responsibility, makes him a valuable asset to Soneva Jani.

What inspired you to pursue a career in luxury resort management, and how did you get your start in the industry?

Ever since I was young, my heart has been captivated by the allure of travel and the world of hospitality. The concept of working in luxurious resorts resonated deeply with me, as it offered a perfect blend of my unwavering passion for exploration and the joy of connecting with people from diverse cultures.

My professional journey took off with a management traineeship at a hotel, which served as a stepping stone towards my aspirations. Fueling my determination, I pursued advanced studies in Hospitality Management, equipping myself with a profound comprehension of the multifaceted industry. Armed with newfound knowledge, I eagerly delved into the realm of luxury resorts, immersing myself in a range of roles and embracing each opportunity to glean wisdom from seasoned professionals. These initial encounters gifted me invaluable firsthand experience, fostering a profound grasp of the intricacies involved in orchestrating a thriving luxury resort.

How do you maintain a high level of quality and service at your resort, and what steps do you take to ensure that guests are satisfied?

Maintaining a high level of quality and service is a top priority at our resort. We achieve this through meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to exceeding guest expectations. Here are some key steps we take:

  1. Careful Selection and Host Training: Our recruitment process is centered around finding individuals who possess a genuine passion for hospitality and an innate inclination for delivering extraordinary service. Through rigorous training programs, we equip our hosts with a deep understanding of our service philosophy and arm them with the necessary skills to consistently deliver it.
  2. Regular Performance Evaluations and Feedback: We have established a system of ongoing performance evaluations to constantly monitor our hosts' performance. This enables us to identify areas for improvement and provide constructive feedback, ensuring that our service standards remain at their peak and any issues are promptly addressed.
  3. Continuous Host Training and Development: Recognizing the importance of staying ahead of industry trends and service techniques, we heavily invest in training and development programs for our hosts. By keeping them up-to-date, we empower them to provide exceptional service while proactively anticipating the unique needs of our guests.
  4. Guest Feedback and Satisfaction Surveys: Actively seeking feedback from our guests is of utmost importance to us. We employ various channels, such as surveys and personalized interactions, to gather their valuable input. This feedback is thoroughly analyzed and utilized to identify areas where we can further enhance our services, ensuring that we consistently meet and exceed guest expectations.

What sets your resort apart from other luxury properties, and how do you maintain a competitive edge in the market?

Our resort distinguishes itself from other luxury properties through a captivating blend of distinctive features and an unwavering commitment to sustainable luxury. Here are the key factors that set us apart:

  1. Unparalleled Natural Beauty: Nestled in an awe-inspiring location, our resort boasts breathtaking natural landscapes that envelop our guests in pure tranquility. With crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches of powdery white sand, and verdant foliage, the setting is nothing short of an idyllic paradise, creating a serene ambiance that enchants our guests.
  2. Sustainable Practices: We hold a steadfast dedication to sustainability and have implemented a range of eco-friendly initiatives. From harnessing renewable energy sources to diligently minimizing waste and preserving marine life, we strive to reduce our ecological footprint while ensuring our guests enjoy a luxurious experience that aligns with their values.
  3. Exceptional Experiences: We curate an array of extraordinary experiences that go beyond the ordinary, leaving an indelible mark on our guests' memories. From exclusive dining options that showcase local flavors and ingredients to spa treatments that harmoniously blend ancient traditions with modern techniques, and a myriad of recreational activities that immerse guests in the local culture and natural wonders, every encounter at our resort is designed to create unforgettable moments of joy and discovery.
  4. Continuous Innovation and Evolution: To maintain a competitive edge, we are committed to constant innovation and evolution. By staying at the forefront of industry trends, closely monitoring guest preferences, and investing in infrastructure and technology upgrades, we ensure that our resort remains a beacon of excellence in the luxury hospitality market. Through this unwavering dedication, we consistently deliver outstanding service and adapt to the evolving needs of our discerning guests.

How do you manage your staff to ensure that they deliver excellent service, and what strategies do you use to motivate them?

Effectively managing our host team is paramount to fostering a culture of excellence and delivering unparalleled service. To achieve this, we employ a range of strategies that cultivate a harmonious work environment and empower our hosts to surpass expectations:

Clear Communication and Expectations: We establish robust communication channels to ensure that every host member understands their role, responsibilities, and the high service standards we uphold. Regular team meetings and briefings serve as valuable touchpoints, aligning everyone towards our shared goals.

Empowerment and Autonomy: We firmly believe in empowering our hosts, granting them the authority and autonomy to make decisions that enhance the guest experience. This sense of ownership ignites their passion, encouraging them to take pride in their work and consistently go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service.

Recognition and Rewards: We understand the significance of acknowledging and rewarding outstanding performance. Our host members are not only recognized for their achievements but are also presented with incentives such as opportunities for further education, promotions, and avenues for growth within our organization. Celebrating their accomplishments reinforces our commitment to their professional advancement.

Ongoing Training and Development: We invest wholeheartedly in the continuous professional development of our hosts through comprehensive training programs and skill-building workshops. Equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel, we demonstrate our dedication to their personal growth and career progression.

Open-Door Policy: Maintaining an inclusive and supportive work environment is of utmost importance to us. We embrace an open-door policy that encourages host members to freely express their ideas, concerns, and suggestions. Regular feedback sessions and performance evaluations enable us to address any issues promptly and foster a positive and collaborative work culture.

What's your future plan for Soneva Jani?

Our future plans for Soneva Jani revolve around continually enhancing the guest experience while maintaining our commitment to sustainability. Some of our key initiatives include:

Sustainable Practices: Sustainability remains at the core of our ethos, and we are determined to further reduce our environmental impact. Our future plans involve exploring and implementing renewable energy sources, pioneering innovative waste management systems, and instilling eco-friendly practices throughout the resort. By leading the way in sustainable luxury hospitality, we strive to inspire positive change in the industry.

Guest-Centric Approach: Our guests are at the heart of everything we do. In the future, we will continue to prioritize their needs and preferences, creating personalized and unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression. We aim to foster deeper connections with our guests, instilling in them a sense of belonging and a genuine desire to return to Soneva Jani time and time again.

Community Engagement: We are dedicated to strengthening our relationship with the local community. Our future plans involve actively supporting educational initiatives, preserving local culture, and contributing to sustainable development projects. By engaging with the community, we aim to give back and create a positive impact that extends far beyond the boundaries of our resort.

Through these initiatives, we aspire to position Soneva Jani as a trailblazer in luxury hospitality, setting new standards for unforgettable experiences and sustainable luxury resorts. Our commitment to continuous improvement ensures that every guest who walks through our doors will embark on a journey that transcends their expectations and leaves an enduring imprint of wonder and delight.