James Costa, Hotel Borobudur’s Genial GM

When you walk through the lush, expansive grounds at Hotel Borobudur, it’s hard to believe this resort hotel and private residence is situated smack-dab in the centre of Jakarta. This 23-acre, a garden oasis is an incredible escape from the concrete jungle grind, and it is one of the reasons why the general manager is so effusive about this property.

“What sets us apart from other hotels is this incredible greenery; no other property in Jakarta has this kind of meticulous and plush landscaping. It’s like living in a national park,” states General Manager James T. Costa.

“We strive to deliver a unique combination of blended services by offering our hotel and our long-term stay Garden Wing Suite guests service based on the warmth and friendly smiles of the Indonesian culture.”

Costa is a career hotelier. His curriculum vitae reads like a who’s who of the hotel world, and his experience encapsulates every aspect from hotel openings to sales and marketing to project management—all at high levels of the organizations for which he’s worked. And you can see this professionalism and knowledge in his warm, unaffected manner almost immediately. This is what sets apart Costa from the rest of his colleagues at other properties, and it is reflected in the way his staff speak of him. “Bapak Jim is so different from other general managers I’ve worked for,” explains one marketing manager. “He really cares and listens to our opinions. As long as my explanation is logical and it is a fact, he’ll listen and likely support it.”

James Costa started his career in the early 1980’s working as a guest relations manager for Prince Hotels in Tokyo.  After a few years and a stop in Guam, he returned to the continental United States to complete his university degree and subsequently, take on a few roles as general manager for a few large hotel group properties.  In 2003, he ended up in Montenegro and met his wife.

“I guess that’s where I consider home now. Not the US,” says Costa. “I’ve only been back twice to the USA in the past few decades.” He seems to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of so many of his new countrymen. “They really know how to live in Montenegro. The cost of living is still relatively low; you can still buy a decent bottle of wine for a few Euros, and the countryside is still characterized by what Montenegrins call WILD BEAUTY,” he exclaims.

It was his experience in big cities like Shanghai and resort properties in Bali that led him here to Jakarta and specifically to the Hotel Borobudur. He envisions a renaissance for the historic hotel and is invigorating his staff and changing attitudes. The promotional roll-out of the Garden Wing Suites is one example of the changing times.

“Every hotelier is getting into the serviced apartment business. It’s become an attractive deal for both management and clients,” Costa explains. “However, we do it differently. We still run our residences with all the benefits of a full-service hotel. A resident will never want for anything living at the Garden Suites.”

The management and owner of Hotel Borobudur could be onto something. Residents of the massive one to three bedroom suites have access to all the hotel amenities, which include all the restaurants in the hotel as well as 24-hour room service; the pools, squash courts, eight tennis courts, and a 700-metre jogging track around the tropical garden. Residents have an onsite bank, business centre, beauty salon, guest laundry service, and much more. Wi-fi and cable television along with maid services can all be bundled into a guest’s long-term stay at the Garden Wing Suites.

These offerings go above and beyond what most other serviced apartment around the city offer. The hotel and residences are also one of the most secure properties with K-9 units and 24-hour patrols. The residences’ proximity to Jakarta’s biggest landmarks is another bonus as it is walking distance from major sightseeing attractions such as Monumen Nasional (Monas), Istiqlal Mosque and Cathedral Church. Plus, with only a 35-minute drive to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and 5-minute bajak ride to the Presidential Palace, it is a convenient starting point for out-of-town visitors and guests.

 

See: Chef’s Recommendation: Hotel Borobudur’s New Italian Dish

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