Founder of The Sanchaya
In Russia, there is the tradition of a dacha. Referring to a seasonal second home kept by many Russians to escape the hustle and bustle of a city, it was this tradition that inspired Singapore-based Russian businesswoman Natalya Pavchinskaya to build The Sanchaya in Bintan. Discovering a beachfront plot of land in the Indonesian island’s Lagoi Bay overlooking placid aquamarine waters planted a seed that eventually sprouted into a lavish, palatial resort that harkens back to the mansions of 19th century colonial Asia. We speak with Pavchinskaya about the start, creation and culmination of her passion project.
On building The Sanchaya
It started with a dream. I did not want to build just a luxurious hotel; I wanted to introduce a different concept of luxury. One involving people coming together in what feels like the personal estate of a close friend. Where conversations are struck up with ease and guests become friends. Where minds can relax and be challenged too. I was inspired by the European salons of a bygone era, and wished to recreate their feeling of hospitality and meaning of luxury, while also bringing that notion to the highest level in modern times.
All of our partners played integral roles in bringing my dream to life. Ranging from the designer to the furniture supplier to the lighting consultant, all of them are veterans in their respective fields, bringing vast experience to the table. It was a joy to work with professionals so passionate about what they do, and their collective drive and expertise inevitably had great impact.
On her art collection
My personal art collection is dotted throughout The Sanchaya – the word means collection in Sanskrit. It’s very thematic yet very personal. For more than three years we worked with art suppliers from Thailand who curated the collection. Rare pieces of art, artefacts and other furnishings have been handpicked to give insights into the histories and cultures of Southeast Asia’s countries. Every piece is special and relevant to the property. I have an eclectic taste in art, and the collection at The Sanchaya certainly reflects this.
At the highest level of luxury, it is more than variety or concept. It is about the smallest details, but those are the ones that people will pay attention to the most.
On the first to notice on entering a hotel
The first thing I notice is the energy of the place. The serenity as well as the surrounding scents. I feel the energy as soon as I arrive at the property, from the entrance all the way to the villa.
On her choice of hotels
I choose hotels due to their location and individual touches, and the creative ideas behind them. Personalised service and reviews are also important. I eagerly try out new properties as well as return to stay at some of my favourite ones around the world. I would say Four Seasons properties are among my preferred choices.
On other business ventures
I feel that my hotel business is connected to other creative ideas I have. I have recently designed my debut clothing line that marks a contemporary yet classic take on smart casual and sporty wear. The apparel is designed for true travellers at heart. I am passionate about my work, and every element of a different project gives me the motivation to stay focused.
It all depends on how I feel. Different moods give me different callings. At times, a simple pyjama party just for myself is the best way to relax. Other times, a fun outing with my friends is the answer.