Patrick Krebs – Manager at The Cocoon Collection: the Cocoon Foundation in the Maldives focusing on improving the lives of the local community

//Patrick Krebs – Manager at The Cocoon Collection: the Cocoon Foundation in the Maldives focusing on improving the lives of the local community

Patrick Krebs – Manager at The Cocoon Collection: the Cocoon Foundation in the Maldives focusing on improving the lives of the local community

Mr. Krebs, congratulations on the prestigious Best Luxury Honeymoon Resort 2023 in the Maldives Award! Is it easy to manage such a beautiful resort like You & Me Maldives?

Managing a luxury resort successful, in the middle of the Indian Ocean on a remote island, is not an easy task and requires a lot of dedication, attention to detail and tremendous effort from all team members, every day.

There are many different factors that decide the success of an operation, certainly, this includes guest satisfaction, but also team members satisfaction at work and happiness in their private time on the island. The one island one resort concept means also that the island is a workplace and home for team members alike. To create a great island team spirit, we organize many different activities.

Considering team member’s engagement and fluctuation, we must be doing something right, as we usually hear that the team feels appreciated and genuinely cared for at their second home.

Other areas are recruitment, logistics and delays in the supply chain, maintenance, and usage of resources, all in line with environmental preservation. Guests sometimes ask us where our water, electricity, food supply or fish come from.

As an island resort, we are as self-sustaining as possible with our powerhouse, desalination plants, water-bottling plant system and water treatment plant. Social awareness is very important to us, and we wanted to share our success and give back to the local community. We source locally as much as possible and support local businesses around us.

What are the advantages you offer to the guests of You &Me over the other resorts in the Maldives?

You & Me Maldives compared to other resorts is a very private, rustic, and romantic 5-star resort island, located in a beautiful, untouched corner of the Raa atoll in the northern Maldives, just 20 minutes by speedboat from Ifuru domestic airport or a 45 minute scenic seaplane ride from Male’ Velana International Airport.

Culinary-wise, we introduced a dine-around concept at You & Me whereby guests on Half Board, Full Board, and All-Inclusive packages can choose to eat lunch and dinner in any of the à la carte restaurants (except H2O underwater restaurant), and breakfast in the main restaurant. This gives guests a wide variety of dining options, and the chance to sample the resort’s gastronomic offerings. To round the experience, Veuve Clicquot has been selected as the house-pouring Champagne brand at You & Me Maldives.

One of the highlights is for sure the H2O underwater restaurant by Michelin star-rated chef Andrea Berton; first of its kind in the world offering diners a 360-degree view of the breathtaking marine environment, as they enjoy an exceptional dining experience.

Part of our holistic guest journey is of course the You & Me Spa, where we use the finest products from Elizabeth Arden PRO and HESITO®, luxury skincare brands with an international reputation for quality and excellence. Our Spa therapists offer a wide range of therapeutic treatments from various corners of the world to ensure a sublime Spa experience, designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit.

As that isn’t all, we also offer eco-tourism experiences and educational programs on marine and coral life, as well as the local flora and fauna with our resident marine biologist. By incorporating sustainable practices into our operations, we believe we are not only helping to protect the environment but also enhancing the guest experience by offering unique, authentic, and socially responsible travel experiences.

What are your plans for the complex next year?

For next year we will focus on elevating the guest experience through social awareness, further environmental initiatives and enhancing our culinary experience to just name a few.

In 2022 we established the Cocoon Foundation in the Maldives focusing on improving the lives of the local community. This is towards sustainability, education, and the environment, we are conducting training and hosting schools from nearby islands, aimed to build confidence and leadership for younger generations and empower talented individuals who wish to build a career in the hospitality industry. We have established strong bonds with all the local islands and communities around us and will continue expanding our initiatives further.

Guided by our sustainability commitment, we operate to rigorous environmental benchmarking standards and implement green initiatives involving all team members throughout the resort. Our efforts include reducing waste going to the landfill, producing our own fresh drinking water through a water-bottling plant system, and much more. In the next three years, we will gradually reduce our energy consumption from fossil fuel and shift our focus towards renewable energy sources including solar energy.

How do you balance your professional and personal responsibilities?

Managing such a beautiful island has its challenges and requires full attention. Therefore, finding a good balance is essential. Waking up early, exercising, workout, diving on off days and staying fit, eating healthy, reading different publications, listening to podcasts and Ted talks, watching documentaries when time permits, and taking courses to stay up to date and to expand the personal horizon; these are my secrets for creating a healthy mindset.

However, experiencing other places and exploring the latest trends as well as spending time with loved ones is equally important.

What do you foresee for the Maldivian hospitality industry in the future?

The Maldives has a unique advantage in terms of safety and security as an island state. As a country, it is far easier guarded due to limited ports of entry and provides a much higher level of security to guests than other destinations can.

Certainly, the hospitality industry is constantly evolving and has grown significantly every year with natural and manmade island resorts. Undoubtedly, this was also accompanied by a positive move for the economy. New streams of tourists will come with the additional runway at Velana International Airport, built to accommodate the world’s largest aircraft. The Maldives’ target audience has changed significantly over the last decades, from a merely diving destination to a high-end resort accommodation for honeymooners and tourists seeking rejuvenation and a health-conscious lifestyle.

A stronger focus will be placed on developing niche markets such as MICE, cultural and sport tourism. Such needed events and conference infrastructure must be established in the next few years, to supply demand. There will also be a growing demand for cultural and experiential tourism to showcase Maldivian life to visitors through local culture, cultural performances, traditional crafts, and heritage sites.

The beauty of the Maldives is stunning but wouldn’t remain so unless protected. With the establishment of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, Baa Atoll (2011), Addu City (2019) and Fuvahmulah City (2020), it is essential that the Maldives find better ways to manage sustainable development and protect biodiversity.

The future aim must be to reduce the carbon footprint and align the growth of the hospitality industry with sustainable development and environmental protection. It is vital that further regional waste management facilities with waste-to-energy treatment plants are established in each atoll at the same speed, as new resorts are opening. These facilities need to operate under the highest waste and recycling standards. However, the focus must lay on renewable energy, the reduction of total waste and predominately the elimination of single-use plastics. Fundamentally one of the future goals is to go green and to establish further Biosphere Reserves all over the Maldives to secure the future for generations to come.

By |2024-03-09T16:09:45+03:00June 13th, 2023|Leaders|0 Comments