Patrick Krebs – Executive Assistant Manager at You & Me Maldives

We had the privilege of sitting down with Patrick Krebs, the Executive Assistant Manager at You & Me Maldives, to gain insight into his journey in the hospitality industry. From his beginnings in Switzerland’s hospitality industry to his current role managing the operations of You & Me Maldives, Patrick has an impressive background that has led him to success in the Maldives. He also shared his passion for sustainable development and environmental protection, which is evident in his vision for the future of the Maldives’ hospitality industry.

Could you tell us a bit about your career thus far?

My humble beginnings were in the late 1990s, and now I’m more than 20 years in the hospitality industry. My passion started with a short traineeship I did in Singapore when I was 16.

After completing my A-levels back in Germany, I continued my journey at the Steigenberger hotel management school as well as an apprenticeship and from then on, I knew that this was my dream job and that I wanted to lead a hotel or resort one day.

For me, it was important to learn from scratch and establish myself broadly. In order to achieve my goal, I have worked at the front office in England, the USA and China; housekeeping and laundry operation in Switzerland and the USA; cross-training in reservation, finance and spa in the USA; F&B, kitchen and purchasing in the UAE, China and Egypt, just to name a few.

But in order to get there, I also had to do something theoretically, which means I kept expanding my theoretical knowledge through qualifications, sometimes parallel and sometimes full-time. For example, my bachelor’s degree from Cesar Ritz Colleges in Switzerland and Washington State University, as well as sommelier courses, professional butler training in England, as well as various management courses from Cornell University.

Ultimately, this gave me the opportunity to bring my expertise to senior leadership positions in China, Egypt and now to You & Me Maldives.

What has your experience at You&Me Maldives been like?

When I first arrived at You&Me Maldives, I was very impressed with the warm welcome, the exceptional guest service, the interaction between the team members themselves and the respect and helpfulness, they have shown each other.

My core values are completely in line with You&Me Maldives, which means that only valued and appreciated team members can deliver an extraordinary service experience.

How does You&Me Maldives differentiate itself from other adults-only resorts in the Maldives?

You&Me is a private, rustic and romantic 5-star resort island, in a beautiful, untouched corner of the Raa atoll, northern Maldives, just 20 minutes by speedboat from Ifuru domestic airport or a 45-minute, scenic seaplane ride from Male international airport.

You& Me introduced the Dine Around concept 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 the 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. In addition, the prestigious Veuve Clicquot champagne is served as the house pouring brand at You&Me.

H2O by Andrea Berton is the first underwater restaurant in the Maldives managed by a Michelin-star Chef that gives diners a 360-degree view of the breathtaking marine environment, as they enjoy an exceptional dining experience.

At You&Me Spa, we use the finest products from Elizabeth Arden PRO and HESITO®, luxury skincare brands with an international reputation for quality and excellence. 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.

What do you consider to be your greatest personal achievement?

So far that is in 2019, the successful opening of TUI SENSIMAR Alaya, a 5-star luxury, 290 key beach resort in Marsa Alam at the Red Sea in Egypt. Achieved the highest rating of the Green Star Hotel environmental award for outstanding performance as well as the TUI Gold Award for the best fine dining F&B concept out of 57 hotels and resorts.

How do you foresee the Maldives’ hospitality industry in the future?

The Maldives have 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 has to 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 main focus has to 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.