By Gaya Traveller on November 28, 2012
Being the first Sundanese owned hotel establishment in Bandung, the hotel initially started off as a 3-star property, tapping into the business market, renowned for its excellent location. Due to brisk business, the owners decided that it was appropriate for the hotel to be upgraded into a 5-star establishment.
Since The Grand Royal Panghegar’s rebirth on November 2011, apart from satisfied business guests, the hotel has also been welcoming a fair share of leisure travellers.
The Gaya Travel team had the honour of sitting down with its General Manager, Bapak Handrio Utomo, the man responsible for steering The Grand Royal Panghegar through the transition process. Pak Handrio, as he is affectionately known, had studied in an international hotel school to better equip himself in the hospitality industry.
Upon graduation, he felt that he needed to travel and see the world for experience, thus he applied and got a job in an American cruise ship company. His father, an Army General, once told the young Pak Handrio that if he wanted to carve out something big for himself, he should make Indonesia as his base.
So after a couple of years living at sea, he came back and landed a job with Hyatt. His career with Hyatt was a long and fruitful one. He started off at the Reception Desk and progressively became the Director of Human Resources and Director of Rooms. He also had served other hotels in between his Hyatt stints.
Though committed to his job, Pak Handrio still places his family as his top priority, therefore resisted transfers to other parts of the country. Throughout his 20-year career, Pak Handrio realises that he enjoys the human resources development aspect of the hospitality industry.
This has prompted him for the challenge from the very beginning and recruited the right people to match the right positions. He is indeed grateful that the owners of The Grand Royal Panghegar are supportive and do not skimp on training budgets.
Employee development and training programmes are conducted constantly. Many of the hotel’s employees have the experience of working in international brand hotels and Pak Handrio is more than happy to share his knowledge with his team members along with to become a lecturer and set up his own hotel consultancy firm because he is a firm believer of providing excellent service through effective training.
Some of his trainees have even become Hotel General Managers themselves.
He was offered the job at The Grand Royal Panghegar due to his excellent track record and vast experience. The learning opportunities to be had in transforming a 3-star property into a 5-star was hard to resist, though by no means an easy feat.He was up the consultants who the hotel engaged during the transition period.
Pak Handrio is always on the lookout to improve the hotel further and not satisfied at just being a 5-star property. He is highlighting the unique Sundanese hospitality as an attraction, especially for guests who need a home away from home. Each employee is groomed and developed to serve guests better.
With 400 rooms to fill, Pak Handrio and his team are more than ready to welcome guests to The Grand Royal Panghegar with open arms and warm smiling faces.