A Work Week With Magnus Olovson – General Manager, The Sanchaya
We spend a week in the company of the General Manager of the ultra-luxe, The Sanchaya.
If you thought that working in hospitality was all glitz and glam then you were wrong, well, mainly anyway. Proving that living and working in one of the most beautiful places on earth is not always a walk in the park, Magnus Olovson takes us through a week in his work life.
Would you believe me if I told you that Monday was my favourite day of the week..? I’ve gotten into the habit of working on a Sunday, which is great as it means I start the week feeling prepared. I am lucky enough to live at The Sanchaya, where I work as the General Manager, so my commute is a mere 30 second walk across the estate. We’re located right on the beach here in Bintan, and the early morning is such a peaceful time of day.
I’m only human, so I sip a double espresso during our Monday morning managers meeting, before heading on an estate walk to assess any maintenance needs, stopping along the way to admire the quirky art instalments, which I never tire of. We’re fortunate enough to house Kumari Nahappan’s striking red saga seeds; the 30 fiberglass seeds were initially discovered at the Venice Biennale’s ANIMA NUMDI International Arts Festival floating down the Rio di Santa Caterina canal, before washing up at The Sanchaya. They were designed to represent the potential to grow and strengthen, and certainly add a flash of colour to the estate.
I often spend my Tuesdays in Singapore for meetings with the Owner and Asset Manager. The Sanchaya is just 50 minutes away from Singapore, so it’s easy for me to pop there and back within the day. After a busy day in the city, I head back to the estate to mingle with guests in The Bar. They’re nice and relaxed after a day spent on the beach, enjoying one of our delightful Vesper Martinis, shaken tableside by Bar Manager, Ichsan. I always find the tranquillity of The Sanchaya especially noticeable after a day spent in Singapore – it’s hard to believe how close we are to the city, it feels like worlds apart!
Our estate owner, Natalya, is staying in the Vanda Villa with guests this week – the stunning, 4-bed beachfront residence is inspired by the classical black and white houses of Singapore’s colonial past, and featured a 90sqm verandah with magnificent ocean views, an infinity pool and a private service team. We spend some time discussing what we have coming up over the next couple of months…Natalya loves events, and we love making them happen! Recently, we hosted Artur Zolkiewicz, a London-based celebrity trainer, Concertmaster Violinist, Igor Yusefovitch and Cellist, Richard Bamping as part of our ongoing experts residency programme.
I finally get some down time in the office to clear my overflowing inbox…Ah yes, the sommelier has spoken to our VIP from KL arriving next week and needs permission to fly in a case of Richebourg and one of Clos Vougeot by Anne Gros. We added some nice Bordeaux and Californians as they tend to disappear quickly. Our wine list is the most organic thing, needing to be re-printed twice a week at least!
There’s nothing major going on tonight, so I spend some time with my wife Mon and daughter Mai. I don’t want Mai to forget me at only eight months! Same thing for her beautiful mother, ha! Hopefully Mon cooks up her delicious Thai crazy spicy chicken tonight, with a mountain of veggies - while I make sure our estate sommelier Jeroen has a decent full-bodied red to discover…
Like every day, I start by walking around breakfast to chat with our guests and make sure they have everything they need – I always discover an unusual allergy to inform Chef Giacomo of, or a particularly sun-kissed guest who could benefit from some aloe vera from Ria’s garden at the spa!
We’re launching Sanchaya Sundays this week, which will open up the estate to day guests for the first time in our history. Sanchaya Sundays guests will be treated to unlimited orders from our sexy new menu, Pimms and Bloody Mary’s, and will be able to use the pool and spa facilities. I spend some time sampling the dishes – I have to say, Chef Giacomo has done a great job!
For more information on The Sanchaya, see here