JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong is a 5-star luxury hotel that exudes iconic, majestic, and spectacular state-of-the-art design and architecture. With over 141 stylishly appointed premier rooms and suites with the highlight being the lavish Chairman Suite, the hotel becomes the ‘Jewel in the City’ within the Gading Serpong, Tangerang area.

Its General Manager Lindawaty Muhlis who forged her career within the hospitality industry for over 27 years leads the hotel with her vision and mission to make the hotel better and well-maintained in line with the prestigious hotel facilities and the hotel’s top-notch service excellence.

We had the pleasure to interview Lindawati Muhlis who is also one of the Board of Supervisors for the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association Tangerang.

Tell us about your experience in the hospitality industry.

I have been in the world of hospitality, especially in the hotel industry since 1995. At that time I entered a position as a sales executive in an international chain hotel in Surabaya. Incidentally, at that time I was also nominated to handle on a national scale in Indonesia. So I was transferred to work in Jakarta to handle nationwide. Then, I worked in hotels until 1998. During the monetary crisis, I moved to Bali. There I didn’t really fit the culture because I was more of a business traveler hotel person, so I finally returned to Surabaya, and at that time, I had a chance to change my career to one of the courier companies, TNT for 3 years. Then I returned to the hotel, as a result, I continued to rank in sales and marketing until I reached the position of VP of Sales and Marketing for South East Asia.

After that, for 10 years of my career, I worked for the hotel unit, but for the rest, I went into corporate as a strategic person. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, as people who work in corporate, we must also be able to task force hotel units always. At that time I decided it was better for me to charge the hotel again. It is more important to take care of hotel operations because that is where income and revenue come from. From there, I became a General Manager with a permanent background in Sales & Marketing and focused on revenue, service, pricing, and prioritizing our hotel products to win customers.

What would you say about your daily routine as General Manager?

As a General Manager, it is certain that every morning we do a morning briefing. We arrange and make sure the day’s operation goes well. For the daily, short-term, and for achievement. I continue to follow, what the stages per day are like. Then discuss with finance, discuss costs, and demand, and make a dashboard so that it doesn’t pass through the expense. Maintain GOP (gross operating profit). Starting from the top line, revenue, expenses, and profit, that’s what we must always maintain.

Like this JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong, we have passed 6 months, and 1 semester in 2022. We managed to record revenue at 90% of the target business plan. If you say it’s good, it’s good, but as a salesperson, we must reach 100%. It should be like that, with BEP (breaking even point). But because the revenue is 90%, our EDR (average daily rate) is at 95% of the target. Maybe we can lower the prices, and revenue will increase, but we have to maintain quality. We focus more on quality than quantitative. In the end, our gross operating profit reached 106%.

What can you tell me about JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong? What makes JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong a standout hotel in the Gading Serpong area?

JHL Solitaire Gading Serpong is like ‘Jewel in the City’. That’s the tagline that our owner Jerry Hermana Lo (JHL) placed this hotel in Gading Serpong. As a jewel, plus solitaire. Solitaire is whole, unbreakable with anything, solid, luxurious, and of high quality. From there, we are confident. First, we have to lift the brand first. The image of solitaire should really be raised as the highest as the solitaire means. Second, the uniqueness of this hotel is that the building is round, not square because it is the idea of ​​​​a diamond shape, a gemstone. Later, the architect adapted to luxury.

Third, as the only local 5-star hotel in Gading Serpong, we have 141 rooms, there are 6 types of rooms, all are equipped with high technology from the automatic curtain to toiletries. Our facilities are also complete. Starting from 7 F&B outlets, ballroom, swimming pool, gym, spa, salon, to Acquaree Kids Spa Journey which is the first and the only one in Southeast Asia.

In the end, I’m building a more excellent service. With our local chain, we prove that we can compete with the international chain hotels, through products, services, and guest comments. We maintain guest negative comments at 3% of the total we receive. That’s what we aim or achieve, even maybe if possible we should have 0% negative comments.