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1 THE HOTEL PROFILE Accessible only by water, Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay sits on dramatic Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Viet Nam with its impressive rock formations overlooking the South China Sea, white sand beach and towering mountains behind, all adding to the sense of being luxuriously at one with nature. The exclusive property also presents the reality of the destination, with an architectural style reflecting the traditions of Vietnam. The resort is owned by Hong Hai Tourism Limited Company and has started its operation since 2004. From the beginning, a management contract was signed between the owner and Six Senses BVI, a Thailand-based resort and spa management and development company, which was established since 1995. Six Senses BVI have developed and operate unique properties in Maldives, Oman, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain and Jordan under the brand names Soneva by Six Senses, Six Senses Hideaway, Six Senses Latitude and Evason: plus Six Senses Spas and Six Senses Destination Spas. Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay comprises the 58 pool villas situated on the beach front (Beach Pool Villas), on the hillside (Hilltop Villas) and over rock formations (Rock Villas, Water Villas with Rockery, Presidential Villa) in which private swimming pools have been crafted. Several hilltop villas located near the Six Senses Spa have personal Spa Suites (Spa Suites Villas). The restaurants at Six Senses Hideaway Ninh Van Bay serve international and local favourites plus East meets West specialties, and provide ample space for lounging on daybeds with drinks from the wine cave or healthy fresh juices and favourite libations from the bar.

Besides Six Senses Spa, other services and facilities are also offered by the resort, such as fitness centre, library, sport facilities, water sports, excursions, diving and so on. The special thing that surprise all the arrival guests is that the resort use a different time zone, of which the time on the island is set up one hour ahead compared with the mainland time. The reason is that the management would like to encourage staying guests to wake up earlier and practicing the SLOW LIFE concept, hence the daytime will be lengthened. This will make guests have more time to enjoy their staying with the resort.



Breakdown Pantry Restaurants

Dates 01 July 16 July

Duration 15 days

F&B Services


17 July 31 August

40 days

Drinks by the Bay

16 November 31 December

40 days

Production Kitchen F&B Kitchen Cold Kitchen Human Resource HR Training Division

01 15 September 16 30 September 01 05 October 06 07 October

15 days 15 days 05 days 02 days


Room maid team Runner team Operator

08 25 October 26 31 October 01 03 November 04 15 November 04 15 November

15 days 07 days 03 days 12 days 12 days

Front Office Guest Service Butler Team

1.3 LEARNING OUTCOME 1.3.1 FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICES Dining by the Bay is a two-level restaurant with open views over the bay. He serves buffet breakfast in both Western and Asian styles every morning until 11:00 am. In the evening, the restaurant offers an la carte menu with international fusion as well as local favorites. Set menu is designed everyday by the chef in charge. Kid menu and vegetarian menu are available. Japanese and Russian guests can find the menu in their own language. Any group dinner shall be served downstairs, which accepts smoking guests, while non-smoking upstairs is dedicated to couples and families. Reservation is not encouraged. Normally, the restaurant is suitable for 50 55 dining guests upstairs and 20 guests downstairs. However, during peak season with event dinners such as Christmas Day, New Year Eve or functions like wedding, the restaurant may hold up to 100 dining guests with a performing stage set up upstairs. Besides, other dining venues such as Dining by the Pool, Dining by the Rocks, and Dining on the Jetty are also open to prevent Dining by the Bay from overloading. Daily workers are needed in these days to ensure smooth operation. Dining by the Pool is located at the main swimming pool. This restaurant with a small bar attached seats 44 guests and is open for lunch from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Whenever in need, the restaurant can also serves functions such as wedding parties or group dinners. Dining by the Rocks is an uphill dining venue where guests can book for table either inside air-con chapel or on alfresco wooden terrace. There are 16 seats available in the chapel and 12 seats on the terrace. The venue opens its door twice a week for 6-course menu that can also be matched with the Chefs selection of wine. Whenever in need, the chapel is used for wedding ceremony and small conferences as well. All the ingredients and necessary items are 4

carried uphill by manpower since the monorail carrier was broken long time ago without any intention of fixing. Other offers for food service include Dining on the Jetty and Dining in the Organic Garden. For privacy atmosphere, Wine Cellar Dinner, Private Barbecue on the beach, Private Barbecue at guests villas and Private Barbecue on Private Beach which can only be accessed by speed boat, are various options. Room service is also available 24/24. Due to the limited accessibility of the resort, its F&B venues usually open for staying guests only. Reservation for outside diners was accepted just in case the capacity allow with transportation cost charged. PANTRY AREA Duties of Trainee and Description During July and August, I took time to go through F&B department, which is my specialty in the college. Most of the time, I did my work as a real staff at Dining by the Bay and Dining by the Pool, two main dining venues that open daily for service. In the first two weeks, I was sent to pantry area to learn about the job of a pantry staff. Incidentally, service positions of the restaurant are only divided into waiter/waitress, room service, pantry and cashier. From the first sight, pantry seems to be an easy and physical-oriented job whereas the staffs main task is delivering food to other servers. But after three days of assisting the staff in charge, I realized how important this job was to build an efficient service workflow, and was really enjoy my time working there. Since the morning breakfast was a self-service style, pantry is very important for lunch and dinner time. Before the restaurant opened for those meals, I had had to make sure the area is well organized and ready for the first order. Those MEP works included checking and refilling clean crockery for the kitchen, setting up station for certain 5

kinds of bottled sauce (including fish sauce, soya sauce, chili sauce and tomato sauce), preparing trays in different sizes and cleaning picking up station. Throughout service time, I have been becoming an aboyeur whenever new order arrived, alerting the kitchen for next courses, reminding whether there is any special request, checking for cleanliness and readiness of the course to be delivered, assisting with certain kinds of condiment and sauce for specific dishes, and delivering such orders to servers in charge. At the same time, I had to control the delivery speed and make sure first come first serve rule for orders is maintained. This is not an easy task for me, a newcomer. Difficulties faced Being lack of product knowledge and unaware of standard of dishes, both local and international, to be served; sometimes I forgot to prepare condiments for the dishes thus slowed down the service and had to come back again with lack items, which in some aspects has affected the professional image of the restaurant. Due to my shyness in the first few days, I occasionally dared not to raise my voice so that the kitchen staffs can hear clearly and prepare the dishes in proper time. More serious, poor communication with other servers usually put me in trouble. This happened when I was busy to deliver food to one server, other staffs came to pick up their dishes without noticing me about that, resulting I find myself in lost of control the sequence of orders when came back to the kitchen. However, as time goes by, I have tried hard to solve these problems and have been assigned to be in charge the pantry area by myself from the second week afterwards. Even in the last week of August, I proudly had chance to train a new staff for this position. Learning outcome The most appreciated lesson I have learnt in this position is to realize the importance of pantry staff and get initial ideas how to organize pantry works to 6

support the operation efficiently. Besides that, I had chance to gain my product knowledge on dishes I have never seen before as well as learning various styles of food presentation. THE RESTAURANTS Duties of Trainee and description Following two weeks in pantry area, I was allowed to continue my training in the restaurant as a waiter. The morning shift last from 6:30am until 2:30pm to serve breakfast and lunch, and after hand-over briefing, the afternoon shift will continue service for lunch and dinner until late. Split shift is preferred by the management during peak season. As a trainee, I was first assigned to learn making hot beverages, including tea and coffee-based drinks (such as cappuccino, lathe, hot chocolate and caf mocha). After that, I was brought to learn the arrangement of different sections of breakfast buffet with available dishes. I also took time to learn menus for lunch and dinner as well. After two weeks of training in split shift under the helpful guidance of Mr. Hin and Ms. Nga, two of the restaurant supervisors, my name was listed on duty roster as a normal staff. This meant I have been accepted by the management to work on my own. Every morning, one among servers should be assigned to prepare hot beverages as guests request; while the rest, including me, were in charge in front of the restaurant. At the same time, another server was sent to Dining by the Pool for setting up the restaurant for lunch. An hour before opening time, apart from table setting, we had to co-operate with kitchen staffs to set up Asian and International buffet sections. All the crockery, cutleries and glassware must be ready for selfservice. During breakfast, we must go around to clear used plates and glasses, set up new cutleries, check and refill cold beverages and glassware, and assist 7

guests with hot or waiting-to-be-served dishes as well. All the tables should be set up for dinner after breakfast time, while recently washed crockery, glassware and cutleries were dried and set back to designed stations. Lunch is served from 12:00pm until 4:00pm with Catch of the Day suggestion besides la carte menu. Before dinner time, there was always a short briefing conducted by the chef on Set Menu of the day, where servers had chance to see dish presentation, taste the food and ask questions about main ingredients. However, quality of such briefings are vary depend on who is in charge of the kitchen that day, either it is Executive Chef, Executive Sous Chef, Sous Chef or Chef de Partie. Also, another briefing on area allocation, items 86 and special dietary request was carried out by the restaurant supervisor as well. During August, I got chance to serve from breakfast to dinner, from Dining by the Bay to Dining by the Rocks, involving in every steps of service sequence, including wine serving. Occasionally, I was even sent to serve private dinners, including Barbecue on the beach, Barbecue at guests villa, Barbecue at private beach and Dining in Wine Cellar. From my view, these events required much more caring level and service skill than usual dinner at the restaurant since the guests have to pay higher price and they subsequently expect higher standard of excellence. While Dining in Wine Cellar is only different from normal dinner in term of private space, other Barbecue dinners required much more effort from service team, normally consist of one server and one cook. Table and chairs, crockery, cutleries, glassware everything from an ant to the elephant for the dinner must be brought to the place by manpower. Sometimes, we need to shoulder 20-kg load of items up and down hill to guest villa, and bring the same weight back to the restaurant after service. Here, good relationship and close co-operation between server and kitchen staff in the team are very important to make the private dinner a memorable experience to dining guests. There is an interesting point of this kind of dinner that attracted me, it is the creativity. Indeed, for these event dinners, table setting and landscape decoration are freely given in hands of the server in charge, as 8

long as the service standard is maintained and guests satisfactory is ensured. Usually, server with good communication skill is preferred to take care of such dinners since he is expected to give interesting conversation with dining guests whenever necessary. From all mentioned points, I am confident to say that my effort for private dinners is successful with good feedbacks from my guests; and most of the time, I had a feeling of satisfaction after service. Difficulties faced During six weeks working in server position, I realized my biggest problem is lack of F&B product knowledge, especially wine knowledge, which hindered me from giving recommendation or up-selling products to dining guests. In the first couple weeks, since my service technique is still weak, I have always felt nervous when doing service sequence and usually forgot one or two steps during service. Moreover, the insufficient arrangement of side stations in the restaurant has also contributed to slow down the service. I and other servers have usually found ourselves run around looking for a menu, service tray or noisily searching cutleries in a messy shelf. Physically suffering was also a problem to mention about when we have to walk all the time, carry heavy tray loaded with crockery and cutleries. And the last disadvantage I had encountered is that I had no chance to practice with popular MICRO system since the whole resort was using old-style software, of which all the ordered items were posted manually by a cashier. Learning outcome Despite all those problems, I enjoyed my time to practice service technique and service sequence as well. Furthermore, I also experienced characteristics of guests from different cultures (German, Japanese, French, Russian, Australian and local tourists) and learnt how to deal with them. But the most important thing is that, by this chance, I started to have a sense of being a tactful, caring, flexible 9

and efficient server. I know that it is a long road ahead for me to gain such level of excellence, but at least at this moment, I have set first steps on that road. DRINKS BY THE BAY Drinks by the Bay is adjacent to Dining by the Bay. During low season, No Rush Hour program, in which all the cocktails and mocktails are discounted 50 percent of selling price from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm, is applied. Guests are also recommended with Cocktail of the week and a Tapas menu. Once a week in the evening, a complimentary 1-hour GMs cocktail party is held at different places within the resort. In house guests from villas can enjoy soft drinks, beers, juices, wines with light canaps. This is a good chance for them to know, have a talk and make friends with each other. Managerial positions from FOH and BOH must attend this friendly meeting. Drinks by the Bay is also in charge of wine; the Wine Cellar and Bar Store are just few steps away. Apart from those, an amount of wines, spirit and soft drinks are kept in General Store. Once a year, in the New Year Eve, the bar is transformed into a discotheque floor where all the staying guests gather to cheer the new year moment together. There are only two positions working in the bar, bar supervisors and bartenders, either experienced or fresh staff. As normal operation, two bartenders, who may include one supervisor, are required for morning shift; of which one bartender will be in charge of Drinks by the Bay while the other will take care of a bar at Dining by the Pool for lunch. Coming to the afternoon shift, the same number of staff is needed with one takes care the main bar and makes any drink requested during dinner time, when another is responsible in wine service at the restaurant. However, during peak season or whenever Dining by the Rocks open, more bar staffs are required to help the operation.

Duties of Trainee and description 10

Since December is a busy month and thus there was no specific time for training, I gained my experience through working, following useful instructions from Mr. Cng and Ms. Nht bar supervisors, and other senior bartenders. Morning shift seems to be simpler with main tasks are making fresh juices for breakfast buffet, making order and receiving perishable items for daily operation, doing MEP works for dinner service (to check and refill glasses and beverage items, to wash and pre-cut different kinds of fruit), checking and keeping cleanliness of tables, and setting up spirit and liqueur counter. The most interesting part of morning shift is to do daily sales report, where the bartender have a look at sales performance of the previous day, based on captain orders collected from all dining venue available for service. Through this, one may control the inventory of beverage items, including wine by glass and bottle. Inventory was conducted weekly and monthly as well. And those figures will be analyzed later for many purposes, such as cost control, inventory control and researching on consumer trend (Top Sales Items Monthly Report) etc. Bartender, who is in charge for dinner, was usually found to be busy with making drinks as guests request, serving and billing as well. Prior to dinner time, orange juice should be squeezed and kept for breakfast buffet the next morning, while welcome drinks for tomorrows arrival guests must also be done at this time. Whenever the GMs cocktail party happened, either within the resort or on the cruise, the bartender would be responsible for setting up the beverage station and serving during the event. Difficulties faced Once again, wine knowledge was a big challenge for me. Most of the time when there was an order, it usually took longer time for me to identify a wine bottle in the wine list and find out such bottle in wine cellar. Honestly, wine theory was just a little help when I stepped into real industry. Lack of chance for wine tasting, I found it is very hard for me to improve my knowledge on this kind of holy water. Besides that, I also saw my weakness in bar technique in term of making drinks. I 11

have usually referred to printed recipes and may not manage many orders at proper time. Learning outcome Regardless these difficulties, I took this opportunity to widen my beverage knowledge. I have learnt more about different brand names, flavors, characteristics and consumer trend of different spirits, liqueurs and wines. This is when the theory comes to life. I was also given several chances to taste wine when there was Wine Dinner held by wine suppliers to introduce their new products or in case the last ounce of bottle were left by dining guests. Through working, I have got familiar with some classic and popular recipes for cocktail and mocktail, of which Strawberry Mule is my most favourite drink. It was also very exciting experience that I was allowed sometimes to create my own recipes, though some were non-characteristic and only one was acceptable, the Passion Rhythm. Additionally, the more important outcome for my learning is that I have gained practical ideas on how to design a sufficient bar and organize workflow to smooth the operation, as well as got acquainted with management tools such as Daily Sales Report and Inventory Report. 1.3.2 KITCHEN DEPARTMENT Moving to Kitchen department, I spent two weeks in Production Kitchen and the same duration for cold section in main kitchen. Production Kitchen works as a receiving and preparation area for other kitchens of the resort. New purchases are brought from the mainland by 30-minute boat four times a week. Receiving, pre-treating and storing food products are conducted here. It is located within 7 minutes by van from the restaurants, except Dining by the Rock where ingredients must be carried uphill by kitchen staffs. All ingredients and items are delivered every morning according to Internal Transfer


forms requested by the kitchens and other departments, including the Bar and Spa team for fruit and dairy items. Duties of Trainee and description Most of the time during the first half of September, I have been working as a helper for the senior staff Mr. Hong who was in charge of the area. I would start the day by taking food, fruit and dry items according to Internal Transfer forms (IT form) issued by other departments, arranging them in separate plastic baskets, uploading those baskets on a small van and accompanying the driver to help delivering those orders as soon as possible. Lack items should be deleted from IT form or taken note to provide later upon the nearest arrival of supplies. Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at noon, new purchase would arrive according to Purchase Request had been sent to suppliers the day before. However, such requests were applied for daily market and local products only, while import items and products from other region require a certain period to order in advance. Hence, whenever there is an event that demands special items, the purchasing plan is a must. Mr. Hong plays a very important role in ensuring the ingredient supply for F&B activities. He is the one, not even the Executive Chef, who can call for suppliers help in emergency. From the moment new purchase was unloaded at the Production Kitchen door; I would be busy to help him in receiving the items. Weighing, cutting, trimming, packaging, labeling and so on. The treated products frozen, chilled, fresh or dry then would be arranged and kept in designed stores at right temperature. A typical working day would finish at 4:00pm. Any requirement afterwards would be under responsibility of the kitchen staff in charge. While I was working in Production Kitchen, I was twice sent to help Receiving staffs, who work under Purchasing department, in receiving purchase from different suppliers on the mainland. In the morning of the day, all the products must be carried to collecting place assigned by the Purchasing department, and 13

then they were transported by lorry and boat to the resort. The problem here is that those receiving staffs have very little knowledge on products they were receiving. Checking works just limit in weighing and counting. Thus, it sometimes happened that insufficient goods are rejected only when they have reached the resort. Any replacement would take time and transport cost accordingly. The next two weeks of September have seen me being the commis in cold section of the main kitchen during afternoon shifts. After all MEP works, I was allowed to involve in preparing cold dishes from the first day. Difficulties faced and Learning outcome Working in Kitchen department was a good time for me to open my eyes not only on wide range of F&B ingredients available on today market, but also about main suppliers of different products. I have also been exposed to different tips and traditional experience in choosing and storing ingredients. Other than that, I have been taught with new appetizer dishes, kinds of complement sauce and presentation styles which are surely useful for my career in the future. The only thing I did dissatisfy with is that nevertheless long hours standing in the kitchen, my technique has not been improved much. 1.3.3 HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT The only department on management side that I involved during my training was Human Resource. Because of human-dealing nature of the job, one week was not a sufficient time for me to learn much. Through open conversations with Mr. Phm Tun Dzng an enthusiastic HR Manager and his assistants at their spare time, I have been shared with interesting experience in the area (such as interview styles, how to recruit managerial positions, how to deal with headhunter companies etc.,), as well as expanded my understanding on labour related policies, both provided by law and internally set by the company in order to maintain and strengthen its workforce. 14

On the last two days of the period, I proceed to Training Division, a small office under HR departments authority. Training Manager Ms. D L and her three staffs are in charge of training on general matters and English language. New staffs will get acquainted with the resort and working environment through topics such as The Six Senses Way, The Sixth Sense, Grooming and Thin Red Line, Guest Contact Skills etc; whereas managerial level will attend management topics conducted by inviting lecturers or specialists. According to the situation, some general topics may also be arranged such as How to prevent H1N1, Policy during Wet Weather etc. Among those, teaching English is the hardest task that the division has to conduct when very few staff comes to English class with serious learning will. Logically, professional training was left for each department. 1.3.4 HOUSEKEEPING DEPARTMENT Due to special terrain situation of the resort with guest villas scattered along 2kilometre long beach and uphill, housekeeping is said to be the toughest department in operation. Indeed, this kind of job requires a lot of physical effort and carefulness to complete the main product of the company. Positions working in the department include room maid, general cleaner, runner, laundry and water boy. This water boy position has recently been assigned when the resort put its laboratory of water purification into operation in September 2009 with an aim to stop the using of plastic bottled drinking water. Ground water after treatment, with supervision and approval from authorities, would be fill in glass bottles for drinking purpose of staying guests and staffs as well. Hence, the water boy team will be in charge of delivering filled bottles to guest villas and collect empty bottles back to the laboratory.


Duties of Trainee and description I spent three weeks joining with room maid team and runner team in Housekeeping Department. Every morning, depend on occupancy rate, groups of two to three room maids will be allocated with number of villas to take care of. According to room status, either it is check-in, check-out, occupied, empty or show room; the level of attention would vary. A short briefing on allocation, remarks or special requests had always been conducted before teams in charge started their work. Any villas were reasonably not cleaned in morning shift would be left for staffs working in the afternoon shift, who will be responsible for turn down service as well. To save manpower and ease the work, there were bright ideas applied by the management. For example: pantry boxes were set up for each villa uphill and scattered along the main path go through backside of beachfront villas. The room maid may find here all the necessary amenities for the room as well as housekeeping equipments. This helps to reduce weight of carts which were used to carry all the linen items pulled by the room maid to each villa, especially for staff who has to go up and down hill to clean Rock Villas or Water Villas. It is fair to say runner team is a right hand of room maid. These staffs would just start their work around early noon, when room maid finished cleaning any villa and found out missing or lack of any villa items, either minibar items, bathroom amenities or linen. One phone call and things would be delivered as soon as possible. Another important task of runner is to be responsible for minibar and mini wine rack in each guests villa. Normally, checking for daily use will be supported by room maid while refilling, posting bill and checking before check-out must be done by the runner himself. It sounds a simple job, but the runner team will be the one to do explanation to Executive Housekeeper when it comes to inventory at the end of each month. Loss is not rare and was caused by many reasons.


Difficulties faced Though pay high attention, I still had to spend several days in order to do bed making neatly and hanging mosquito net decoratively on my own. Tiredness was unavoidable, especially when you have to sweep the floor by straw broom at least twice to make sure it is clean, and there are three large rooms in each villa with surroundings need to be kept clean also. Sometimes, I was really bored during working shift doing the same things from villa to villa. Learning outcome However, with the support from Mr. ng, Housekeeping Assistant Manager a young and frank man I have learnt a lot through working time in the department. I was explained quite clear on room set up standard, SOP and the reason lying behind each detail. I have attained deeper understanding on room products of the resort with different lay out, advantages and non-advantages of each villa, which are certainly crucial for any Sales and Marketing staff. Also, my sense of carefulness and team-oriented was enhanced. But the most attractive part is that I have collected small yet interesting stories about the resort and its products, such as the biggest villa, the highest villa, which villa was built first, which villa has the most beautiful view etc., that I can use to surprise guests whenever we have conversation. 1.3.5 FRONT OFFICE DEPARTMENT Front Office is the last department in my training schedule. Here, operator is the information head quarter of the whole resort. I spent three days with the staff in charge to observe how the work is in real industry, even though I did not help much since lack of necessary skill, knowledge and confidence to answer the call. After that, I was asked to help with guest service desk, where the guest can pass by at any time during daytime seeking for help. 17

By the time, I was allowed to shadow the butler whenever available to learn more about this position. In fact, 24/24 butler service is a very unique character of the resort. Each villa will have its own butler to take care every single thing of staying guests. Guests can call butler at anytime of the day for any information, any request or problem. There was no concierge, thus the butler will be the one who settle and arrange all programs for customers throughout staying duration. For such close contact with guests, butlers are trained to sell all kinds of products that available in the resort as well, including spa services, excursions and F&B products. Due to its important role, high supervision was conducted to ensure smooth operation. Butler team will have briefing twice a day, with the attendance of Finance Control Chief in the morning briefing. All butlers in charge had to report verbally about situation of staying guests under his/her caring: how the previous day was, was the guest feel happy with service, is there any program that guest will involve during the day or tomorrow, is there any special requests or comments from guests etc. Any opinion about operation or idea to enhance guests experience can be raised for consideration at the briefing as well. Besides that, butlers have also to fill up Daily Routine Report on guests activities in detail and whenever any incident occurs, an Incident Report with action taken must be completed and submitted immediately to managerial level. Another important mission of Front Office department is to collect and summarize Guest Comment Survey, a two-side A4 paper full of letters to which the guests are asked to kindly fill up before departure. As usual, such work was prepared by the night operator. However, at the time I was being there, the mission was passed to a new Guest Service Officer. The monthly report then would be presented to the General Director.