Owen Ealden

General Manager at Komandoo Island Resort and Spa – Crown & Champa Resorts

Born in Leicester, England, Owen left the UK for the first time aged 3. This was the start of his love of travel. Moving every 3 years or so during school age, experiencing many cultures, Owen has called Brazil, Croatia, Philippines, USA and England home. After completing culinary studies and developing his career as a chef with Marriott Hotels, the travel bug took hold. Owen took the position of Executive Chef, at the Pacific International Hotel in Cairns, Australia becoming Food and Beverage Director shortly after. Owen’s varied career has also taken him to Papua New Guinea as Regional Executive Chef for Coral Sea Hotels, before moving to the Maldives with Crown and Champa Resorts. Owen first came to Kuredu Island Resort and Spa, of one of the largest Maldivian Resorts, as Executive Chef. The opportunity to be involved with the opening of Hurawalhi Maldives as Food and Beverage Director with the iconic 5.8 Undersea Restaurant kept him busy until April of 2017 when he was appointed as General Manager at Komandoo Island Resort.

How did you get started with your career?

Having resided in various countries and locations through most of my youth, I never had a “base” or a nation I would call home, making the transient nature of the hospitality industry very appealing. Travel has been a passion for as long as I can remember. From a young age, I was also a food lover. This introduced me to the culinary world. I started my career as a Chef.

What are some of your notable successes?

I consider my greatest achievements being a member of the opening management teams of some iconic hospitality and food concepts around the world. Indeed, my first kitchen position was for an opening brand hotel in the South East of England. My first big pre-opening project as a manager was the kitchens and catering functions of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London. Subsequently, as Food and Beverage Director, I have lead the Food and Beverage projects for the opening of the Bushfire Flame Grill and Sugar Cane Rum Bar at the Pacific International Hotel, Cairns, Australia and most recently, at the 5 star luxury resort, Hurawalhi Maldives, including the amazing and largest undersea restaurant in the world, 5.8 at. It was from that base that I am now in the position of General Manager at Komandoo Island Resort.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced?

The greatest challenge throughout my career is being apart from loved ones. What makes living and working in the Maldives so unique is the team you join once at the resort, they become family. This is the foundation of why our resorts are so popular with international visitors, as the unparalleled nature of the resort-on-its-own-island concept, coupled with the standard of service provided is unlike any other destination.

What is your advice for young adults interested in entering the Tourism Industry?

Winston Churchill said, “If you find a job you love, you will never work again”. Any vocation in the Tourism sector offers this opportunity. People, cultures, food drink and life experiences are the driving force. To succeed does not take years of study or qualifications but can be realized by a positive and can-do attitude alone, learning from experiences. Keep an open mind at all times and be prepared to leave your comfort zone!