Thu, 10 Apr 1997

Minister Joop Ave opens 5-star Gran Melia Jakarta

JAKARTA (JP): Spanish hotel chain Sol Melia's first grade hotel in Asia, Gran Melia Jakarta, has become fully operational.

The five-star hotel, located in the prime diplomatic and business district of Kuningan, South Jakarta, was officially opened Tuesday by the Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications Joop Ave.

The 428-room hotel had its soft opening last July.

Hotel marketing director Rosmalia Hardman said the Gran Melia name has been assigned to only four of Sol Melia's 205 properties worldwide. These include two properties in Spain, Gran Melia don Pepe and Gran Bahia del Duque, and one in Mexico, Gran Melia Cancun.

The premium name was only awarded to select hotels which meet stringent criteria, she said.

The hotels should have the highest-standard service, excellent architectural design and facilities. They should be also located in the center of a major international city or first-class tourist destination.

"Gran Melia Jakarta is such a product. Its uniqueness is not only in its architectural design, with its spectacular atrium lobby, but also in the meticulous detail paid to the interior design and fittings of each guestroom," she told a press conference before Tuesday's grand opening ceremony.

The hotel's architecture was designed by renowned Spanish architect Emilio Nadal. Sol Melia invested $102 million in the hotel.

"We primarily target business travelers," Rosmalia said.

The hotel has 60 executive rooms and suites, called Servicio Real, designed for businessmen with rates between US$270 and $450.

Servicio's guests have access to express check-in and check- out services, a private fax machine, a complimentary daily American buffet breakfast, free use of private meeting rooms for the first three hours and a round-the-clock executive lounge.

The hotel serves a variety of cuisines, including Japanese food at the Krishima Japanese Restaurant, Cantonese food at the Tien Chao Chinese Restaurant, international food at the round-the-clock Cafe Gran Via and South European cuisine at the Columbus dining restaurant.

Other facilities which are open 24 hours are a business center and fitness center.

"We are the first hotel in town to open 24 hours. We are opened round-the-clock so that business people who arrive late at night can still clear away their jetlag," hotel district sales manager Naomi Sihombing said.

The hotel also has a pillarless Mutiara ballroom which can accommodate 2,200 guests.

Rosmalia said the hotel's occupancy rate last year was 51 percent and she projected an occupancy rate of between 61 percent and 62 percent this year.

Sol Melia, Spain's top hotel group, has a portfolio of 205 city and resort hotels in 25 countries under the brand names of Melia, Sol, and Paradisus Hotels and Resorts.

In Indonesia, Sol Melia already operates hotels like Melia Bali, Melia Benoa, Sol Inn Legian Bali, Sol Elite Marbella in Anyer, West Java, Melia Purosani Yogyakarta, Melia Comfort Pusako Bukittinggi in West Sumatra and Melia Panorama Batam in Riau. It plans to open Sol Elite Bintan in Riau this year. (jsk)