Keeper of Quality
    Category: Forbes Life By : Justin Doebele Read : 1020 Date : Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 05:04:20

    Courtesy of JW Marriott Jakarta

    Jakarta boasts a number of top-end hotels, with more on the way, but the JW Marriott stands out among them. Opened in 2001, it has become one of the iconic hotels in the five-star segment in the city, and, since late 2011, it has been led by Karan Berry as the general manager. Karan is a veteran hotelier, with more than a decade’s experience as a general manager, and was also the deputy general manager for two years at the world-renowned Oberoi in Mumbai.

    Karan has a unique perspective on Jakarta’s notorious macet. “I love traffic jams,” says Karan, 42. Why? The hotel, based in the Mega Kuningan traffic circle, is known to be situated in one of the areas most prone to jams in the city. Thus, says Karan, the hotel has a reason to urge guests to hold most of their meetings in the hotel, so they maximize their time during their visit (the average guest stay is 2.4 days). “I recommend to our guests that they hold most of their meetings in our hotel,” says Karan. “We offer location, location and location.” More importantly, he says, is the hotel’s choice of venues. “We can showcase our offerings,” says Karan. He also notes many local residents are happy to come to the hotel, because of the quality of the service and food.

    The hotel boasts five restaurants, including the noted Blu Martini Bar and Lounge, to others offering Japanese and Chinese cuisine. The executive lounge also has food. More importantly, room service, which is being scaled back in many hotels worldwide, is still offered 24 hours a day in the hotel.

    The hotel also participates in Marriott’s global “Meetings Reimagined” program, an initiative launched by Marriott in 2014 to bring some innovation and fun to the often-stale meeting formats found in most hotels. This program has its own website, which boasts that it offers “inspiration and tools for great events.” The site offers tips such as changing the design of the room to fit the agenda of the meeting, such as arranging seats in a square to promote dialogue. It also suggests offbeat food stations for breaks, such as a cotton candy station or a hot chocolate station (instead of just coffee or tea).

    The JW Marriott is well equipped to handle meetings of most any size or shape. It has a 900 sqm ballroom that can seat 700, as well as many smaller meeting rooms. The hotel’s website states that it has 23 event rooms, and, combined, the hotel has 47,000 square feet of event space. Of course, those staying on the executive floors can also access special meeting rooms as well. One of the most impressive features is the hotel’s “Meeting Services” app. Guests can download an app that allows them to communicate with the hotel while in the meeting, so they don’t have to get up and leave the room. The app allows the user features such as ordering more coffee, changing temperature of a meeting room, or reviewing the bill.

    Karan himself also likes to hold meetings. He does regular meetings with the staff, including a special “Fresh Eyes” meeting with new staff who have been working at the hotel for less than 60 days. The idea of this meeting is to make the new employees feel welcome, as well as getting their views on the hotel. Sometimes “fresh eyes” will notice something that others don’t because they have a new perspective.