At the forefront of Cross Hotels & Resorts’ dynamic journey stands Evan Burns, as Country Manager, with a proven track record and extensive experience in the hospitality industry across Australia and Indonesia, steering the helm with adept leadership and foresight.
Burns has played a pivotal role in the success of Cross Hotels & Resorts during his five-year tenure. As a highly motivated individual and a seasoned leader, Burns’ commitment to continuous improvement is evident in his dedication to staying attuned to the latest technology and industry trends as well as fostering career development. As we embark on the cusp of a new year, Indonesia Expat has the privilege of engaging in an insightful conversation with Evan Burns about the future trajectory of Cross Hotels & Resorts in Indonesia.
Hello Evan, let’s start with an introduction of yourself.
I spent my formative years in Gippsland, Victoria, situated in the eastern part of the state. Early on, I discovered my fervour for hospitality during a visit to the Langham Hotel in Melbourne. The impeccable attention to detail and the personalised service left a lasting impression on me. This revelation propelled me to climb the ranks within the hotel industry, commencing as a bartender at the cocktail lounge in The Westin, Melbourne. Over the years, I dedicated myself to honing my skills and expertise in the field. A decade ago, my journey led me to Jakarta, marking the beginning of my life’s growth in this vibrant country, which I now proudly call home.
How would you describe Cross Hotels & Resorts to those who are not yet familiar with the brand?
Over the years, Cross Hotels & Resorts Indonesia has firmly established itself as a prominent presence in the captivating archipelago of Indonesia. Renowned for our exceptional service, stylish design, and unwavering commitment to authentic guest experiences, we have set our sights on the enchanting islands of Bali and Lombok. Our objective is to redefine hospitality standards by offering luxurious beachfront villas and lifestyle hotels.
In Bali, Cross Hotels & Resorts Indonesia has meticulously chosen five prime locations to showcase our dedication to providing unparalleled experiences. These include Tanadewa Resort & Spa, Ubud by Cross Collection, Tanadewa Villas & Spa by Cross Collection in Nusa Dua, Away Bali Legian Camakila, and Cross Bali Breakers at Balangan. Our next exciting expansion plan involves the highly anticipated opening of Kaura at Manggis, Bali, along with the rebranding of one new property in Seminyak, Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak recently opened on 1st January 2024.
Our vision extends beyond Bali, reaching out to the idyllic island of Lombok. Here, we have unveiled two exquisite properties that seamlessly blend with the island’s pristine surroundings: Origin Lombok by Cross Collection and Amber Lombok Beach Resort by Cross Collection, a beachfront resort offering breathtaking views across the ocean.
Looking back at our last conversation, you mentioned plans of expansion through the involvement of new markets and potential collaborations with complementary businesses. How has that progressed for Cross Hotels & Resorts today?
In recent years, with the support of Flight Centre Travel Group, Cross Hotels & Resorts has achieved notable successes in both expansion and team performance, particularly in Indonesia. Throughout this journey, we have steadfastly adhered to our core values and taken pride in highlighting Indonesia’s rich heritage and natural wonders. Our commitment has been to offer guests an immersive experience in the local culture, coupled with indulgent luxuries.
The narrative of Cross Hotels & Resorts’ expansion in Indonesia is one characterised by passion, meticulous attention to detail, and a profound appreciation for the archipelago’s beauty. Our unwavering dedication to crafting unforgettable memories for our guests, within the lap of luxury and amidst the embrace of nature, has solidified our reputation as a leader in the hospitality industry.
Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak is set to officially open in January 2024, can you tell us more about what we can expect from this exciting new venture?
Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak is nestled in the heart of Seminyak. Our distinctive offering includes a breakfast all day, featuring an exclusive package: the Bubbly Breakfast. As part of our commitment to providing an unparalleled experience, each guest enjoys the flexibility of a 24-hour stay from the moment of check-in. Immerse yourself in the spacious accommodations we provide, with rooms boasting a generous 55 square metres. Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak invites you to indulge in a unique blend of comfort, convenience, and culinary excellence, ensuring your stay is nothing short of extraordinary. The opening of Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak marks a new chapter in luxury hospitality, and we look forward to welcoming guests to indulge in a unique blend of comfort and sophistication.
What sets Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak apart from other hotels in the Seminyak area?
Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak stands out among other hotels in the Seminyak area for several distinctive features. Firstly, our hotel offers guests flexibility and convenience. The option for a delightful Bubbly Breakfast further enhances this exclusive culinary experience.
Another distinguishing factor is our commitment to guest flexibility, allowing each visitor to enjoy a 24-hour stay from the moment of check-in. This extended time frame ensures that guests can make the most of their time at Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak.
Additionally, our spacious rooms set us apart by providing guests with ample comfort and relaxation. The combination of these special offerings makes Cross Paasha Bali Seminyak a standout choice, delivering a distinctive and memorable stay in the vibrant Seminyak area.
The incorporation of sustainability efforts has been an active part of Cross Hotels & Resorts. How have these efforts evolved throughout the years?
We’ve actively reduced our environmental impact by implementing energy-efficient measures and promoting responsible water usage. Supporting local communities is a priority, achieved through collaboration with local suppliers and artisans. Moving forward, Cross Hotels & Resorts aims to decrease single-use plastics across all properties, embracing eco-friendly alternatives.
Cross Hotels & Resorts has numerous properties in Indonesia. As Country Manager, what would you say is the key to maintaining the brand’s level of quality across each property?
The Cross Hotels & Resorts brand is gaining strong brand recognition in Indonesia for its service and variety of properties, and this is something I’ve been focused on growing not just in Bali but across Indonesia. There are destinations within Indonesia that are becoming very popular amongst our target audiences, so we’re focused on making sure we can establish a presence in these areas such as Lombok, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. The key to this is building strong relationships with our partners and potential partners, similar to the way we treat every one of our guests at a Cross Hotels & Resorts property.
What’s next for Cross Hotels & Resorts in Indonesia?
As the Country Manager for Indonesia, my immediate focus is to sustain our momentum of growth. We’ve successfully expanded our portfolio with remarkable new brands, and I aim to perpetuate this growth in the market, capitalising on the ongoing increase in international tourism month after month.
Cross Hotels & Resorts takes pride in its flexibility and innovative mindset in enhancing guest experiences. In an ever-evolving landscape, are there currently any notable trends in hospitality that you find worth sharing?
Staying ahead in the competitive landscape necessitates a blend of innovation, sustainability, personalised experiences, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Prioritising a robust digital presence is crucial, involving investments in innovative technologies to enhance guest experiences and streamline operations. Additionally, vital strategies include prioritising sustainability, emphasising local experiences, delivering unique and exceptional guest interactions, maintaining agility and adaptability, and fostering collaborations with industry partners. Last but not least, nurturing a positive work culture is essential. I believe that by embracing these strategies, Cross Hotels & Resorts Indonesia can position itself as a leader in meeting the changing demands of guests in Indonesia.