HotelsLed by a newly appointed team of industry veterans, the group wants to give new life to Indonesian hospitality that is inspired by the five senses.

Unity in diversity: Hotel Indonesia Group showcases homegrown brands

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Hotel Indonesia Group's management team includes chief executive Rizal Kasim and operational director Jean-Charles Le Coz, both of whom boast decades of experience in hospitality management.
Hotel Indonesia Group's management team includes chief executive Rizal Kasim and operational director Jean-Charles Le Coz, both of whom boast decades of experience in hospitality management. Photo Credit: Hotel Indonesia Group

Indonesia is ready to challenge the leading international hotel chains by bringing together properties across the archipelago under the umbrella of its homegrown hotel management company, Hotel Indonesia Group (HIG).

HIG will build its portfolio through the management and development of state-owned hotels while also seeking opportunities to partner with private companies that see value in a group whose DNA is positively Indonesian.

Specifically, the group will wrap its purely Indonesian hospitality offering around hotels, restaurants (F&B will be a particular focus of the company) and shopping malls, ensuring that hotel guests, diners and shoppers will share a clearly identified unique experience developed around the theme of the five senses.

Fashioning that experience is a management team led by chief executive Rizal Kasim, operational director Jean-Charles Le Coz and vice president brand and marketing Eva Tobing.

“The marketing focus initially will be on the domestic market because that is the market that has been most resilient during the pandemic,” said Le Coz. “By expanding our network and showing that we have products and services that are up to international standards, recognition of our brands will come.”

Meru, Truntum and Khas are three new brands that will better group HIG's five-, four- and three-star rated properties. Pictured: Merusaka Nusa Dua, a five-star hotel in Bali.
Meru, Truntum and Khas are three new brands that will better group HIG's five-, four- and three-star rated properties. Pictured: Merusaka Nusa Dua, a five-star hotel in Bali.

Rizal said a key strengths of HIG is its central place in the travel ecosystem. “From the moment you arrive at the airport, step on an aeroplane, stay in any of our hotels, go shopping or dining, or visit one of our destinations such as Lake Toba or Borobudur, it is going to be an experience which we can bundle into our brand.”

HIG was created in September 2016 by the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises which — acting on the government’s behalf — sought to end the management of hotels by diverse state-owned entities involved in mining, telecommunications, and aviation. PT Hotel Indonesia Natour (Persero) was appointed to coordinate the changes.

“In the opinion of the Minister of State, these hotels were not being run properly,” said Rizal. “The minister wanted each state enterprise to focus on its core business. For the hotel business, this meant bringing in hospitality professionals to run the show.”

Truntum Padang, a four-star hotel in West Sumatra.
Truntum Padang, a four-star hotel in West Sumatra.

In total, more than 150 state-owned hotels will be consolidated by late 2023 under HIG’s banner with changes already completed at some 30 properties.

HIG is launching three brands — Meru, Truntum and Khas — to better identify the five-, four- and three-star rated properties respectively in its portfolio.

“Some hotels do need to be renovated to fit into the brand identity, or to be scaled up from a three-star to a Truntum four-star brand,” said Le Coz. HIG works with individual hotel owners to assess work that needs to be done, both with the property’s physical condition and the adoption of brand standards.

Khas Malioboro, a three-star hotel in Yogyakarta.
Khas Malioboro, a three-star hotel in Yogyakarta.

Rizal said a strong management team was already in place when he joined HIG in January this year. “Since that time the pace of change had stepped up with hotels in the group subject to upgrades and strict brand guidance.

“We need to make sure that those hotels in the group — especially those under the five-star Meru brand — are up to standard so they can be showcased to the international market at trade events.”

The biggest change will be seen in once-sleepy Sanur where the Inna Bali Beach Hotel is to be transformed into a four-hotel complex, including a 200 all-suite hotel, complement by a 5,000-pax convention centre.

In 1993 the Inna Bali Beach Hotel was damaged by a major fire but room 327 was not touched by the flames that destroyed rooms around it. Le Coz said that room will be maintained as a shrine in the new development.

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