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Mark Switon | General Manager | Capella Ubud

Capella Ubud: Your New Favorite Place for a Perfect Retreat 

When you are feeling lost with the everyday chaos and need some quality time to relax, then taking a vacation is the perfect deed to do. Taking a break from the usual routine, spending some quality time with yourself, family, or friends is the best rejuvenator in such a situation.

While planning a vacation, the typical first step is to find a perfect location. A location, which will add beautiful memories and quality experience to one’s life. One such beautiful location is Capella Ubud, Situated in Bali. This beautiful destination is set within a dramatic terraced landscape, with prominent rice paddies surrounding the entrance, leading through a densely forested valley all the way down to the sacred Wos River.

The destination is managed by Mark Swinton, the General Manager of Capella Ubud, who has thirty years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry. He makes sure that every guest enjoys and remembers the stay at Capella Ubud.

Capella Ubud’s team of highly caring colleagues place their guests at the centre of everything, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. They believe in seeking connection and shared experiences that inspire us. Its passion for culture and history drives them to delve beneath the skin of Ubud to sample a life of authenticity. It takes pride in curating unique experiences punctuated with unforgettable moments that will delight and enrich for years to come.

 The Tale of Capella Ubud

Inspired by the early European settlers from the 1800s, celebrated architect Bill Bensley conceptualized this refined tented camp as a tribute to their spirit of adventure amidst untouched nature. Nestled between Ubud’s rainforest, rice paddy fields, and the sacred Wos River, in an authentic Balinese artist village called Keliki, Capella Ubud, Bali offers 22 luxurious, individually styled one-bedroom tents and one tented two-bedroom tent.

Food and beverage selections include Mads Lange – the camp’s dining room, Api Jiwa – an intimate and highly interactive Asian barbecue, and the mortar and pestle pool bar. The Campfire is not merely the place to meet the local storyteller over pulled hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows but, weather permitting, an equally fabulous venue for casual dining.

The tented gymnasium – The armoury is for guests who wish to work out in style and Yoga and Pilates by design, while an invigorating weekly schedule with a diverse range of low and high impact camp activities further compliment your exercise regime.

Adventure wellness, pampering spa treatments designed around the moon phases, spiritual and sound healing, as well as in-retreat rituals are on offer at Auriga Wellness. Transform your event into a reality with an exclusive island event. Whether it’s a fairytale wedding, a corporate retreat, or a vibrant music festival, the private islands provide the perfect canvas for your extraordinary moments.

The officer’s tent, exclusive to guests of Capella Ubud, Bali, is the camp’s living room where morning coffee, afternoon tea, and the daily evening cocktail and canapé ritual are served. The unobtrusive and highly personalized services of a dedicated Capella culturist further complement your stay.

The camp is adorned with handpicked valuable antique art objects, books, paintings, drawings, and furniture, some of which are from the owner’s treasured private collection. The owner, Mr. Suwito Gunawan, is a prominent Indonesian businessman from Jakarta and an avid art collector.

No tree was cut during construction so that the refined jungle camp remains a hidden sanctuary from afar. It captures the imagination of those who aspire to a truly unique experience that allows them to enjoy the essence of Ubud’s untouched natural surroundings in personalized and stylish comfort.

From the opening of Capella Ubud, Bali has been highly regarded by the international luxury travel community culminating with Travel + Leisure’ 2020 Worlds Best Awards recognized Capella Ubud, Bali as the number one hotel in the world.

Comforting Experiences

Bali is steeped with history dating back centuries. It has a rich and interesting cultural heritage, is renowned for its art, and offers great biodiversity. Captivating temples, rituals and ceremonies, exhilarating waterfalls, rice terraces, walking trails, bespoke boutiques and handicraft stores, artist homes, and niche farmer’s markets and plantations are waiting to be discovered.

The company has so much to discover. However, two of their favourites are:

A Soul Reborn, experience a spiritual cleansing ritual or ‘Melukat’ in Balinese at the Wos River Temple. Aimed to cleanse the spirit and dressed in traditional Balinese attire, guests will be guided through prayer and offerings by a local priest. During prayer, the priest will purify the guests with holy water as a blessing to the body and soul. At the end of the ritual, the guests will receive a lucky charm bracelet, ‘Tridatu,’ as the symbol of the three goddess’s Brahma, the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.

On Top of The World, a guided excursion whereby people will climb to the peak of Mount Batur, an active volcano, for a spectacular view of the sacred scenery and witness the sun breaking through the horizon ahead of a glorious new day. While the guests are taking in the sights and witness the island waking up from a peaceful slumber, your camp ranger is setting up a well-deserved hearty picnic breakfast.

A Visionary Chief 

Mark Swinton was appointed as General Manager for Capella Ubud, Bali, in 2019. In his role, Mark is channeling his thirty years of professional experience in the luxury hospitality industry, an innate love for Bali, and a passion for wellness to work.

Alongside the Capella Hotels and Resorts team to further elevate their highly successful first Capella branded array into Bali. The success of Capella Ubud, Bali, is attributed to teamwork, the undivided passion for succeeding by a dedicated group focused on creativity and continuous improvement.

“Surround yourself with unique talent, provide the vision, and let them create,” says Mark.

Towards a High-tech Future

One of the dominant factors is technology towards the change in speed and accessibility. Thirty years ago, the company would receive reservations through fax, taking time to type, print, send, and respond. Now reservations are received within seconds through communication platforms such as WhatsApp.

Communication with guests has also evolved through the technology of mobile devices and applications providing real-time connections ensuring timely information and assistance. Behind the scenes, technology has provided faster connections within our teams, ensuring prompt follow up whether it is creating the ‘magic’ or correcting a glitch. Technology advancement has also improved efficiency especially related to utility consumption, which supports financial improvement and sustainable upgrades.

Overcoming Adversities 

From the beginning of the pandemic until now, Capella Ubud’s camp has remained open, providing multiple support aspects to its colleagues and community. This would never have been possible without the massive commitment and unwavering support from its Indonesian owners and the Capella Hotel Group.

The challenges have been many; psychological, financial, operational, and more; however, each day has been approached with renewed vitality that brighter days lay ahead, and its story is only just beginning.

As Capella Ubud navigates through this challenging period, its colleagues have continued to embody the philosophy that guides Capella service excellence while maintaining the highest hygiene standards to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all guests and colleagues. In support of Indonesia’s vital cleanliness, health, and safety protocols, Capella Ubud, Bali has completed CHSE certification by the Bali Tourism Office, The Ministry of Tourism, and Creative Economy Indonesia, and is consistent with WHO recommendations and CDC.

The Trendsetting Quest

Capella Ubud remains open, and although occupancies are minimal, its greatest ambition is to offer the highest level of personalized service while seeking to stir the heart of the guests with extraordinary experiences.

It believes in the craft of hospitality and handcrafting even the smallest of details sharing with the guest’s insider access to its community’s culture, traditions, and adventures.

It has ensured that during 2021, Capella remains responsible in everything it does, providing the ultimate in service, attentive focus towards preventative care of the physical assets, taking advantage of the time to excel in further education and coaching of its colleagues while being vigilant to protect the highest level of quality within its product.

The vision for the future has been, and always will be, long term, striving to continually improve while always ensuring its guests are at the heart of everything it does. Being proactive and seeking to learn about the guests while anticipating their interests motivate the team at Capella Ubud to continually develop its offerings with a sense of discovery.

Advancing further inspires the team to focus on the smallest of details within its operation while embracing the environment’s health around. Also, through the Capella Youth program, the team endeavors to enrich its surroundings through school initiatives to empower the community’s youth toward creating a better tomorrow.