Discovery Hotels & Resorts expands brand portfolio

DISCOVERY Hotels & Resorts is expanding its brand portfolio in Indonesia, including plans for South-east Sulawesi and Papua.

The homegrown hotel management company, which for the longest time has been operating Hotel Borobudur Jakarta and Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel Bali, recently added three properties with the soft opening of LJ Discovery Hotel in Surabaya, the 72-room Home@36 in Bali and the three-star Palace Hotel Cipanas, West Java.

Plans are also in progress for a four-star hotel in Jakarta and Kendari (Southeast Sulawesi) and a three-star property in Papua.

Discovery Hotels & Resorts president director, Poul Bitsch, said: “We are also preparing for a hotel outside Indonesia, but we are unable to announce the location yet.”

Regarding the timing for expansion, Bitsch said: “We have been waiting for the right time to grow. Indonesia had gone through challenging times with the economic crisis, bombings in Jakarta and Bali, SARS, etc. The country has been developing nicely in the last three to four years – we have a stable government and the more foreigner-friendly in terms of investment and tourism is growing, so it is time to grow.

“We have also been approached by investors to manage their properties of different categories.”

Based on these, the hotel group is in the process of creating a brand portfolio from two-star to five-star, with Bitsch expecting an announcement by year-end.

“The Discovery brand is reserved for the five-star properties, and we are in the process of finalising other brands,” he said.

In the meantime, the Palace Hotel Cipanas will serve as a benchmark for three-star hotels, where the hotel maximises the potential of what is available locally, according to Bitsch.

Palace Hotel Cipanas, for example, invites well-known foodstalls and restaurants in the area to open outlets in the hotel’s food court. Local handicraft, like silk, batik and glass paintings, are given space at the hotel’s arcade to sell their products directly to hotel guests. Sellers do not pay for the space, but share profit with the hotel.

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