The General Manager of InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar talks to us about the hospitality industry in the City of Flowers
We want guests to explore and enjoy the local atmosphere and specialties, which are brought to them using our global expertise and knowledge
On the hills of Bandung’s exclusive Dago Pakar neighbourhood, sits the equally exquisite InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar. Perched high above the glittering Bandung night lights, the InterContinental is a beacon of quality that’s set in a tranquil and peaceful environment. Behind the rooms, doors, and smiling faces, is Britta Kutz, the hotel’s general manager. We managed to borrow some of her time as we talked about her career in the hospitality industry, Bandung, and her philosophies in running a hotel.
Kutz was born and raised in Cologne, Germany and it is also the city where she embarked on her career in hospitality. “I graduated as a certified hotelier by the Chamber of Commerce Germany and after working over ten years for another international luxury chain, I will now soon celebrate my fifteenth year working at InterContinental hotels and resorts,” she says. Over the years, her exciting career has taken her far and wide across the world to locations such as London, Singapore, Thailand, and now Bandung –where she was offered the position during the opening of the InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar last year in September. “I did not hesitate and grabbed the chance,” she admits.
Naturally, we had to ask how a German-born person such as herself thinks of Bandung –granted it’s not traditionally considered to be a huge destination for international tourists. “I love shopping and I am also a food lover. So what better place could I have picked?” she says. “I simply love the temperature as well, the weather reminds me a lot of our summers at home in Germany.” She then continues to state that the people of Bandung has been a joy to work and interact with, even though she’s had limited experience in speaking Bahasa Indonesia.
With that out of the way, we wanted to know further about what makes a great general manager and how to create an everlasting memory for visitors. “We want guests to explore and enjoy the local atmosphere and specialties, which are brought to them using our global expertise and knowledge,” she says. Kutz noted that the InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar is the perfect place for family weekend getaways, business functions, or even as a wedding venue.
It’s no secret that Bandung –just like most cities in Indonesia- is experiencing a boom in the hospitality industry. Every year, new hotels are opening left and right. It goes without saying that it’s always important for both old and new hotels to stay ahead of the game. Even though the InterContinental was fortunate enough to receive a very warm reception from the market, Kutz still lives by the quote of “if you stop being better, you stop being good.” It’s a mantra that has served her well during these early days since the hotel’s opening. “We are continuously working on improving our offerings and services,” she says. “We listen very closely to the wishes of our guests and we are focusing on training and developing our team members.”
Of course, a great hotel manager should always possess a deeply rooted passion for the industry. For Kutz, being a hotelier has always been in her heart since the very beginning. Her best moments on the job includes seeing guests enjoying a great meal at the restaurant or seeing a young couple celebrate their wedding with their families. “I love that our job is never really a routine, that we are always creating special moments for our guests,” Kutz says.
Looking to the future, Kutz is already setting in motion numerous plans that will greatly benefit her already fantastic team. The hotel has recently opened their Chinese restaurant in the form of Tian Jing that’s located on the top floor of the hotel –with scenic views over Bandung. They will also be opening the Club InterContinental lounge on the same floor for guests who wants an even more personalised service.
As the interview winds down, we asked Kutz what an ideal one-day itinerary in Bandung would be like if she was in charge of the planning. She’d start us off at the hotel’s Damai Restaurant for a hearty breakfast. If we’re golfers, the Mountain View Golf Course next to the hotel would be our next stop. If not, a trip to Kawah Putih is in order. For lunch she recommended the Damai Restaurant again to try the signature Sundanese dish of nasi goreng cikur bakar. A full stomach would then give us more energy to do some shopping or see the traditional Sundanese Music Harmony performance at Saung Angklung Udjo. When dinner time arrives, it’s back to the hotel and enjoy the scenic views over Bandung at the Tian Jing Chinese restaurant on the eighteenth floor. As a nightcap? “I would take you to a night stroll along Braga Street and explore the antique shops there for some souvenirs,” she says confidently.