Randy Shimabuku has been appointed General Manager of Four Seasons Resorts Bali, taking leadership of the two iconic resorts at Jimbaran Bay and Sayan at a critical time as Bali reopens to the world.
The appointment marks an exciting new chapter as the Bali resorts unveil a brand new spa, new culinary team and immersive experiences that showcase the island’s vibrant culture and diverse landscapes.
“As a leader, you have to be inspired and enriched in order to enrich others,” says Randy. “There’s so much inspiration in Bali, I feel like a kid again. I want to soak it all in and learn about the culture, the foods, the traditions – that sense of community is as important to our company culture as it is to the guest experience.”
Part of the “Three Continents Club” – having worked across North America, Africa and Asia at nine properties in his 34 years-and-counting with Four Seasons – Randy’s credentials are impressive. His childhood dream was actually to be a commercial pilot like the cool PanAm captains he saw breezing through Honolulu Airport, and he qualified to fly small planes when he was 19. In reality, it wasn’t as much fun as he’d thought it would be; he opened the escape hatch and never looked back.
His journey with Four Seasons has taken him from Toronto to Tokyo, Beverly Hills to Kuala Lumpur, and to more than his share of crises including not one but two revolutions during his eight years as General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence. Most recently, he was the host-extraordinaire as General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, where he oversaw major renovations and led the team to stellar results in guest service and employee satisfaction.
Yet the veteran hotelier approaches his new role in Bali with the same humble nature with which he landed his first job as a pot washer, at 16-years-old. “Coming from Hawaii, the ‘Island Mentality’ is very deep in my DNA,” Randy says. “Being more aware of myself and open to learning as much as teaching, is the only way to truly maximize my exposure to everything a new destination has to offer.”
He takes over from Uday Rao, Bali’s longest serving General Manager who has moved Down Under to lead the team at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney.
“I’ve known Uday for 30 years, we worked in Tokyo together. The way he has handed over the Resorts to me, as precious as a baby, speaks volumes about his deep respect for the people and their culture. I feel honoured to be the caretaker and am excited to get to know the people at the two resorts, who are true ambassadors of Bali and Four Seasons,” he says.
Both foodies who love wine, Randy and his Japanese wife Atsuko are looking forward to exploring traditional markets, the Jimbaran Fish Markets, and the vibrant dining scene of South Bali and Ubud.
“Bali is a unique island destination in that you can get completely off-the-grid in remote wilderness or secluded beaches one day, visit 9th century temples and incredible art galleries the next, and then head for the ‘city lights’ to discover innovative restaurant concepts and mingle with people from all over the world. I know that Atsuko and I are going to love the strong sense of community, and the beautiful balance between traditional village life and cosmopolitan lifestyle. I feel so lucky to be here in Bali,” he says.