Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, Indian Ocean
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, Indian Ocean
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, Indian Ocean
Marteyne with Manta_Simon Hilbourne

In conversation:
Marteyne van Well, General Manger Six Senses

If you want the inside scoop on running a hotel, ask a GM.

In conversation with Marteyne Van Well

Marteyne van Well has worked at Six Senses for over a decade – there really isn’t much she doesn’t know about keeping guests and staff happy. She talks to us from the island paradise of Six Senses Laamu, the hotel she calls home, where she has been General Manager for eight years. With a deep-rooted love of the ocean and its marine life, and an unflappable personality, Marteyne tells us why working in the Maldives is wonderful.


Marteyne with Manta_Simon Hilbourne

Could you explain a little to our clients about what your job entails?

The overall aim of my job is for our guests to leave here feeling complete and happy. There’s no tangible gift when you return home – just the memory of your time spent here so it’s my responsibility to ensure that guests leave richer in experience.

Although there’s no set pattern, my day tends to be split into thirds. One third is talking to guests – making sure their hearts and minds are satisfied. The other is taking time with my staff to ensure they are energised and inspired, as island living can present its challenges. Inevitably, the last third is admin, emails and meetings.

What do you think is the most important quality to have when you’re running a hotel?

In a role where anything can happen and there are countless ‘what if’s’ at any time of day or night, the most important characteristic is to be grounded with the ability to keep a cool head. If you’re easily flustered – you’ll struggle!

In a day when you might have to prepare for Elton John’s unexpected appearance to a sudden private jet arrival, lost luggage or ill guests, you really must be prepared for it all with a calm mindset.

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, Indian Ocean

What is the strangest request you’ve been asked for by a client – and were you able to meet it?

Working in one of the most beautiful destinations in the worlds, I often get asked to help create unusual engagement proposals. Where the ring is to be hidden is often surprising – inside a coconut, a sandwich or in a coral reef are some of the more interesting ideas!

When I worked in a hotel in Washington an African Head of State once asked me how he could donate a giraffe to the President of the United States.  I can admit I wasn’t able to help – but it makes a great story…

Why do you think the Maldives is such a popular destination?

A: Aside from its sensational beauty and an ocean that produces a different colour of blue every day, I have found the Maldivian people to be some of the most warm-hearted in the world.

These days, guests are looking for artisanal experiences which they can touch and feel, and with such an authentic Maldivian culture underpinning everything, guests can really enjoy homegrown experiences with staff who were born here. Unlike many other destinations, the Maldives strong heritage has allowed it to stay true to its roots – guests can’t get enough of this cultural paradise.

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, Indian Ocean

What do you do when you have a day off in Laamu?

If I have free time in my day, I genuinely love chatting to guests. I have a lot in common with many of them and some have become friends over the years, we might grab a coffee together or go for a run.

To disconnect from work, I find the ocean to be very soothing and energising. I’m a very keen diver and try to go as often as I can. Usually you can find me out with the marine research teams, collecting data from seagrass or keeping an eye on our manta rays.

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, Indian Ocean

How important do you think sustainability is and how have you seen climate change alter Six Senses Laamu?

Having been in the Maldives for eight years I have seen the visible signs of climate change but thankfully the Maldives have a tight control on building impact of this beautiful area.

At Six Senses Laamu, sustainability is very important to us we are very proud of our eco innovations. Our Earth Lab, Waste to Wealth and glass recycling inspire our guests and show them that it’s possible to holiday in style, but also sustainably. I know many guests who have gone home to make their own changes, on the back of what Six Senses achieve here, which makes our impact doubly beneficial.

The Verdict

“Six Senses Laamu is my favourite hotel in all the world, and I certainly see it as my home. To be able to welcome guests here and help them experience paradise– I feel like I’ve got the best job in the world. Every day is wonderful.”

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, Indian Ocean

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