Published on: Monday, June 13, 2022

From Mexico and Hawaii to the Maldives and Malaysia, Ivan Giles brings a wealth of luxury resort experience to his new role as General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Langkawi. His international mindedness is complemented by a genuine passion for Langkawi’s unique offerings, which positions him ideally to reintroduce this one-of-a-kind destination to travelers as Malaysia reopens its borders after nearly two years.

Arriving at the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi is something of a homecoming for Ivan, who served as the resort’s manager from 2015-2017. one of the finest designed Four Seasons beachfront properties.

Located right next to the UNESCO-recognized Langkawi Geopark, the resort’s pristine natural setting combines the allure of lush mountains and ancient rainforests, emerald seascapes and dramatic limestone cliffs – everything Ivan holds to present to travelers around the world.

At the top of his list of recommendations? The iconic boat safari through mysterious mangroves, led by experienced Four Seasons naturalists: “Have you ever seen a fish walk on land? He also loves the island’s jewel-toned sunsets, with Rhu Bar being his favorite vantage point, closely followed by Rumah Ikan Fish House, an iconic spot that pays homage to Langkawi’s local fishing traditions.

Spectacular beachfront properties have been central to Ivan’s career for more than two decades. As he observes, “There is something magical about vacationing at an island resort. Our guests leave the rest of the world behind and have the chance to truly relax, connect with loved ones and fully immerse themselves in the destination.

Most recently, Ivan oversaw Four Seasons Resort Maldives’ award-winning food and beverage portfolio at Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Explorer (the brand’s luxury catamaran) and Voavah Private Island, all located in the Maldives. In addition to ensuring impeccable service, he was also responsible for developing team members for future leadership roles. Prior to his time in Asia, he cut his teeth at two high-end resorts in Mexico as part of their opening team, then honed his skills at two coveted Four Seasons properties – as Restaurant Manager at Costa Rica Peninsula Papagayo, and as Assistant Restaurant Manager at the brand’s Five-Diamond Resort in Lanai, Hawaii.

The opportunity to work and live in different countries has been an amazing learning journey. “It opens your mind and your heart,” he says. “With enough time and patience, you can find common threads with every culture.” In Hawaii, at the end of his four-year stay, he was part of the Ohana Island family, spending his weekends diving and fishing with local residents.

What’s the secret to creating an exceptional resort experience? “Paying careful attention to every guest interaction and having rounded communication between all team members, from the buggy driver and housekeeping attendant to the sommelier and chef.” Indeed, at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, the entire team works together seamlessly to deliver highly personalized service and create memorable moments for guests.

As Ivan leads the Resort into a whole new chapter, health and wellness continues to be a top priority. In addition to Four Seasons properties worldwide, Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has implemented Lead With Care, an enhanced program to ensure the safety and health of guests and employees.

On a personal level, Ivan loves spending time with his three-year-old daughter: “She’s a mermaid, so you can spend hours in the pool or in the sea.” The little one got her passion for the water from her father, who is a rescue diver and freediver. Ivan is also eager to introduce him to Langkawi’s incredible wildlife, from exotic hornbills to beloved dark leaf monkeys.

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