Mak­ing Magic

Aus­tralian Steven Cain was work­ing in fi­nance in Hong Kong when the idea of build­ing an exclusive en­clave of just seven pri­vate homes first fell into place in 2005. These days, he has swapped those heady heights and a buzzing city life to work with truly

Asia Dreams - - INSPIRATION -

Q: In­ter­na­tional fi­nance to CEO of a stun­ning, exclusive villa re­sort in Bali; that’s quite a change. How did it come about and how does your ex­pe­ri­ence in in­vest­ment bank­ing trans­late into be­ing a suc­cess­ful re­sort CEO?

A: I've been part of this project since the be­gin­ning, in 2005, when a group of us de­cided to build our dream homes on this stun­ning piece of land, but it wasn't un­til the fi­nan­cial world dra­mat­i­cally changed in 2008 that one thing led to an­other and the villas be­came The Un­gasan Clifftop Re­sort and some­time later I be­came the CEO. It was com­pletely un­planned, but I have never been hap­pier. I live and work in par­adise with the most beau­ti­ful peo­ple in the world. In the fi­nan­cial world, I was for­tu­nate enough to work for a great com­pany that cared about its peo­ple, where ev­ery­one worked hard and looked out for each other. I've tried to build the same cul­ture here. We work hard as a team to achieve the de­sired re­sults, re­ward­ing good per­for­mance and have a lot of fun along the way.

Q: What do you most en­joy about your cur­rent role over­see­ing the re­sort and Sun­days Beach Club?

A: The peo­ple. I love work­ing with this team. We have over 300 lo­cal staff, all of whom love this place as much as I do. I es­pe­cially love to see them suc­ceed and en­joy that success, to see their joy when the guests ap­pre­ci­ate The Un­gasan. We are all very proud of what we have done and ex­cited about the fu­ture. I feel blessed to be part of it.

Q: With the in­flux of more and more re­sorts to the is­land, what is the se­cret to keep­ing The Un­gasan ahead of the game?

A: We have a very spe­cial and unique of­fer­ing at The Un­gasan, un­like any­thing else in Bali, I think. Our villas were in­di­vid­u­ally de­signed by ar­chi­tects to be pri­vate homes, not just some­where to lay your head for a while. We have re­cently started col­lab­o­rat­ing with James Viles, owner of the two-hat­ted Biota restau­rant in Aus­tralia, to pro­vide ex­cep­tional food

and drinks here in the villas and down at Sun­days Beach Club. I wanted to be sure that our Ba­li­nese chefs would fully ben­e­fit from this and re­tain con­trol over their kitchen, so James came here to dis­cover what pro­duce Bali has to of­fer, ini­ti­ated the project and then sent one of his chefs to co-head the kitchen with our Chef Maratha, who has also been to Biota to train.

Our staff are amaz­ing too, they came up with a motto that they live and work by – “To cre­ate magic with ser­vice from the heart.” Our guests re­ally feel their be­lief in pro­vid­ing mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences that live with our guests for­ever.

Q: What do you think is the most un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated as­pect of The Un­gasan?

A: I'm re­ally not quite sure! I think ev­ery­one who has been here ap­pre­ci­ates what we are and what we do. I just wish ev­ery­one who shows an in­ter­est could ac­tu­ally visit, be­cause noth­ing com­pares to be­ing here in the flesh and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it first­hand. The Un­gasan is a truly mag­i­cal place.

Q: This edition of Asia Dreams is about fam­ily hol­i­days. What does The Un­gasan and Sun­days of­fer fam­i­lies?

A: Our lux­ury villas with five king-sized bed­rooms are per­fect for large fam­i­lies, or more than one fam­ily trav­el­ling to­gether. The villas are equipped with games rooms and each has a pri­vate cin­ema. There is plenty of room for the kids to play and we have a ten­nis court and putting green, plus of course the world-fa­mous Sun­days Beach Club.

Q: I hear you are very in­volved in mak­ing a dif­fer­ence for the dis­ad­van­taged and un­der­priv­i­leged. What are you cur­rently in­volved in?

A: We sup­port our own com­mu­nity through var­i­ous pro­grams, in­clud­ing school sup­port. Most of our 300 staff are from the area, so we feel very for­tu­nate to be able to help. We also sup­port a va­ri­ety of other char­i­ties, mainly Bali Chil­dren through spon­sor­ship of Diva Char­ity and Bali Life Foun­da­tion, which is a lo­cal or­phan­age.

Q: Many of our read­ers are keen bon vi­vants. Where is your favourite place to hang out in the re­gion?

A: Hon­estly, Sun­days Beach Club is my favourite spot on the whole planet. Next would be Cuca, I think, pound for pound it's the best restau­rant in the world.

Q: What does the fu­ture hold for you and for The Un­gasan?

A: For the mo­ment, we are fo­cused on grow­ing our im­me­di­ate busi­ness, to be known as the pre­ferred des­ti­na­tion for global fam­i­lies and friends to ren­dezvous. Where fam­i­lies take time out of their busy sched­ules to come to­gether as one and re­lax and en­joy The Un­gasan, let­ting our staff spoil them in this in­cred­i­ble set­ting be­fore head­ing back to their hec­tic worlds.

– steven Cain CEO The Un­gasan Clifftop Re­sort & Sun­days Beach Club

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