Paolo Randone General Manager of Wyndham Casablanca Hotel Jakarta: Open the door to the world

Story By
Sri Utami

A vision of Indonesian tourism and hospitality

The rebranded hotel, which opened its doors to guests using the new name Wyndham Casablanca Hotel Jakarta in December 2018, has 280 elegantly-appointed guest rooms that feature contemporary decor, comfortable bedding and spacious bathrooms, along with complimentary high-speed Internet access. The hotel is the ideal location for corporate and social events with its 12 versatile meeting rooms and banquet spaces, also a poolside venue, complete with state-of-the-art amenities and arrangements, and of course event professionals to assist and take care of all the details.

Paolo joined as the General Manager of the hotel just as Wyndham started and has witnessed the best and the worst of Indonesia including the economy crisis in 1998, and the Bali bombings of 2002 and 2005. In our interview, he shares his experiences of working in Indonesia and his vision for Indonesia’s tourism and hospitality industry where living in a digital era means hoteliers need to adapt to different types of guests, along with their wants and needs, to deliver personalized service.

Paolo is an Italian national and fluent in Bahasa, with a total of 30 years working in the hospitality industry in Europe and across the globe. 12 years have been spent living in Indonesia between Jakarta and Bali. He first arrived in Indonesia in 1992 for the opening of an Italian restaurant with William Wongso, the culinary expert at the World Trade Center, Jakarta. Then he worked for Mandarin Oriental until 1998 before moving to Nusa Dua Beach Hotel Bali until the bombings in 2002 and 2005. Since then, he has worked in various Asian countries, such as Korea, Bangladesh, and Thailand in Bangkok and Pattaya before returning to Jakarta. Paolo said, “Indonesia, with its diverse cultures and warm personality of the people are the true hospitality resources that need to be further trained and developed. Especially with the rapid advances in technology which are changing people’s behaviour and lifestyle in doing business or leisure. It’s time to open the door to the world!”

Paolo went on to explain, “Indonesia’s tourism, from west to east archipelago, with unity in diversity, there are much greater potentials to explore and develop. There are thousands of other places, still! These will lead to better employment opportunities, infrastructure development, and better capital and investments generated. Even if compared to other Asian countries, the people are the most valuable resource in the industry.” He added, “Government plays an important role in integrating and pro-actively involving all resources and supporting elements. Another role of the Government is to provide marketing and guidelines to promote other destinations and experiences to explore, for example, mount Krakatau, mount Rinjani and mount Ijen with the adventure and beautiful nature for long term sustainable tourism.”