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Hotelier Indonesia is happy to introduce David Kurniawan, an Indonesian hotelier currently living and working in Shanghai. With significant experience in both Indonesia and China, we appreciate the value he brings to our publication.
[HIC] What is your current position, and what is the chief focus of your work-day?
[DK] I built China Hospitality Synergy (CHS) mid of 2011, a company based in Shanghai. I am the Chairman and CEO of the company. The first CHS project is in Qingdao where we took over the management of Tiantai Golf Club and Tiantai Hot Spring Resort. I am leading the golf club and resort as the General Manager.
Our focus is to re-design the service concept and improve the service standards of the golf club and resort to the 5 star level. We will bring a new experience and brand value of Tiantai to the members and also the villa owners. TianTai Group is the top 5 real estate group company in Qingdao.
[HIC] Golf clubs and resorts have been a large part of your professional career. What venues have you worked at in Indonesia?
[DK] I studied in Bali Tourism School (previous called BPLP) in Nusa Dua. After graduation, I started my career with Hilton International opening the Bali Hilton as Front Office Manager. Hilton gave me lots of training experiences and principles of running 5 star hotels. Five years later, I thought that I would try a different experience in running boutique resorts, which at that time was a new concept of hospitality introduced in Bali, pioneered by Amanresort. I joined its sister company called GHM (General Hotels Management) opening The Chedi Ubud as an Executive Assistant Manager. It is a totally different approach in running big hotels like Hilton hotels compared to boutique hotels.
[HIC] What prompted you to make a move to China?
[DK] Four years later, GHM assigned me to be a Resident Manager to support the General Manager to open its first operations in mainland China at the Fuchun Resort. Fuchun Resort has an 18 holes member’s only golf club, villas and hotel. GHM had 2 properties to operate in China, the Fuchun Resort in Hangzhou and a T8 Restaurant in Xintiandi, Shanghai. Both properties became a trend setter of China's boutique resorts and restaurants.
Though China is a huge country with significant developments in the IT and real estate industries; back in year 2000, China did not have any high-end resorts which focused on the service quality. Although China rich in culture, they lacked the level of hospitality acceptable to the international communities/clienteles.
Fuchun Resort and T8 offered the first quality service resort in China with totally different approaches; for example, the resort offered simplicity and the experience of living in China's environment. We tapped into a growing trend at that time, bringing luxury, glamour and modern European lifestyle experiences to the people in China.