The Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta’s General Manager spoke to NOW! Jakarta about the hotel’s latest developments.
You’ve been here in Asia for quite some time now and Jakarta for about two years. What can you tell us about the changing demographics in this region?
I have been in Asia many years and China in particular and I have seen the developing middle class there. I expect that the same thing will happen here but of course Indonesia isn’t as developed yet. But more people are travelling and they’re more discerning and they know what they like in terms of service and hospitality. We emphasise Indonesian hospitality here and of course the interaction with guests. I think Asia is the place to be, in terms of tourism and more.
This was one of oldest hotels in the city. How do you stay competitive in this neighbourhood with so many hotels around?
We have been The Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta for twelve years now and have a long history before that, so people have good memories of the Hotel. At the moment we are in the process of rejuvenating the property, we have just opened our new Golden Ballroom with seven adjoining meeting rooms and a separate grand entrance –like a self contained conference centre- and a new swimming pool to compliment our current residence pool will open shortly. Of course our location is second to none and with 700 bedrooms combined with this new facility and our existing Lagoon Garden (Marquee) which has a capacity for 1600 guests complimented by its own seven break out rooms we have a unique product .
Where are most of your guests from?
Most of our guests are from Asia and actually mostly Indonesian with neighboring Asian countries making up the biggest proportion of guests. We do, of course, have guests from further afield and particularly during the upcoming Asian Games, many of the games officials who are primarily European, are staying with us. With our current large venue Lagoon Garden most of our Food and Beverage visitors are from Indonesia but we expect the Golden Ballroom will attract many International conferences.
What is the draw for these clients?
Location is a big draw as we have arguably the best location in the city, we have in addition many regular clients and companies that have remained loyal over the years.
The Jakarta Convention Center which is connected directly to The Sultan Hotel and Residence Jakarta by an air conditioned walkway which also helps, as indeed does having 34 acres of gardens and our expensive sports facilities-like an oasis in the centre of the city. I would say also our staff a combination of experienced staff who know how to deliver authentic Indonesian hospitality combined with energetic young recruits eager to go the extra mile for our guests.
What’s coming up in the next few months?
Our Golden Ballroom of course which is already open and will be in full flow for the Asian games. It’s a self contained conference centre with its own entrance, own car park etc. which will be run separately from our Lagoon Garden which is our other large ballroom. So we aim to be the number one venue in the city for weddings, social events etc. That’s my big project at the moment.