Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1988
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Assistant Director of Food and Beverage, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
- Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence; The Regent Kuala Lumpur (formerly a Four Seasons Hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok; Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel; Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Seattle; Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
- Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
- Master of Professional Studies, Hotel Administration, Cornell University; Bachelor of Science, Transportation, Travel & Tourism, St. Louis University (Parks College), Missouri, United States
- English and Japanese
Randy Shimabuku’s credentials are impressive: 17 hotels during 40 years in the business, including more than 25 with Four Seasons. But far from resting on his laurels, the modest hospitality veteran embarks on each new challenge with the same humble appreciation with which he approached his first job as a pot washer in 1974. “It’s the only way to truly maximize my exposure to everything a new destination has to offer,” he explains. Which, in the case of Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, was far more than he anticipated.
“Coming from Hawaii, I get the island mentality in terms of the closeness of the community,” Shimabuku says. “And after more than 25 years with Four Seasons, I am very familiar with service, passion and intuition. But Kuda Huraa is the most unprecedented example of all of those elements that I’ve experienced to date: it’s almost scary. And a large part of the beauty lies in the fact that the team here just don’t know how good they are.”
So how does Shimabuku even begin to go about perfecting paradise? “The staff here have made the island their own,” he continues. “You can’t teach that. My role revolves around perpetuating the feel of the island and thinking of ways to fuel recognition of the team – the way they take care of everything else is inspirational.”
Traditionally more a landlubbing spa-lover than a marine adventurer, Shimabuku is – true to form – embracing all that Kuda Huraa has to offer. Despite his passion for flying (he was qualified to pilot small planes at the age of 19) you won’t see him trying out aerial 360s with the Resort’s on-site Surf School just yet, but he is planning to master the waves and has also made weekend snorkelling a permanent diary fixture, with a view to – one day – becoming a certified diver.
Both foodies who love wine, Randy and his Japanese wife Atsuko have also fully immersed themselves in their role as the ultimate island hosts. Over intimate dinners and relaxed interactions, they extend the warmest of welcomes to guests from across the globe. “This is a private island unlike any other,” Shimabuku enthuses. “It’s important that we continue to convey that sense of belonging to as many guests as possible.”
In the meantime, Shimabuku admits to simply not having the superlatives to describe his adopted island home. “Expect the unexpected, and you’ll still be surprised here,” he concludes. “That’s how special Kuda Huraa is.”