NOW! Jakarta welcomes Dan Benzaquen, the new General Manager of Pullman Jakarta Indonesia, who is also the youngest to hold the position at 36 years of age.
Your previous post was in the Middle East. What are the similarities between Jordan and Jakarta in terms of hospitality industry?
Indonesia in itself is quite niched. The kindness of the people in Jakarta is one of the strongest point. This is why the hospital and tourism industries are very successful. If you look at Bali, Bintan, Jakarta, visitors are always impressed by the people. And it works because this is already part of the culture. People are generally hospitable to one another. They have respect for one another. When you grow up being kind, that’s already a big plus in hospitality.
Would you mind sharing your initial impressions on your first day at Pullman Jakarta Indonesia?
When I first arrived for the job interview back in March, we landed here in the late evening and yet we still have people welcoming us and greeting us as we arrive. Again this speaks to the hospitable nature of people here and especially more because of the hotel’s training. And the moment we arrive at the apartment there were people there as well and also a lot of welcome notes and small gifts, special amenities like chocolate and towel arts, and other personalised welcome that was really heartwarming. From then on the experience has been really pleasant.
In your opinion, what are some signature features that first-time guests must experience?
One of the things that my predecessors did very well was to translate their passion towards the guests. One of our taglines is to “make our guests fall in love with what we do”, and I think this is something the team really does extremely well. At the end of the day, a hotel is a hotel. The design can be nice, the location can be great, but the people is what really makes it different. If you’re coming to a property where the team really wants to please the guests, a big percentage of the job is already taken care of. I just need to ensure we keep on developing that strength through leading with the same heart and mainly through ensuring that we keep on redeveloping ourselves through ideas, programmes, contributions to the community, which, to me, is one of the most important things to do.
Would you like to share a bit about your CSR and sustainability efforts at Pullman Jakarta Indonesia?
We are discussing a few upcoming plans in developing our CSR programmes. We are eliminating plastic as much as possible within the property in terms of amenities and other utensils, which is a lot of work. We are also asking our partners and suppliers to reduce the use of plastic as much as possible in their dealing with us.
We have a few other big plans for our CSR activity, although unfortunately I can’t really share much at the moment. Once the information is ready, you will definitely be the first to know.
Anything in the near future you’re excited about that you can share?
In terms of F&B, Chef Cameron is working to redevelop the menu at Kahyangan Japanese Restaurant. The upcoming happenings is of course Halloween, Christmas and New Year, and we have special plans for those. We’re constantly working towards different things in this year and the next, and part of Accor’s identity is delivering a wholesome experience to the guest from the moment you arrive until the moment you check out.