By Aulia R. Sungkar
Photos by Andhy Prayitno for MWP Studio and Accor Indonesia
With over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry under his belt, Garth Simmons has occupied varied positions ever since he first joined Accor in 2007. His pivotal roles included being a senior vice president in New Zealand, Pacific Island and Japan.
Now, as COO of Accor, he is responsible for the operations of Accor hotels across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Asia. His current leadership role is focused on the sustainable growth of the hotels. Yet, in his recent interview with Indonesia Design he also discussed the importance of design in the business and talked about the new Accor Indonesia office.
When we speak of hotels, the element of design becomes inseparable. How do you describe the design that distinguishes Accor Hotels from other counterparts?
We always try to create a distinctive feature and character to each hotel; and design is a key part of it. We have more than 120 hotels across Indonesia with different characters, design-wise. We open our doors for any designers to give their creative ideas, and to bring soul into each of our properties, as long as the ideas are still on track with our brands.
Let’s talk about the new office of Accor Indonesia. What was the reason for moving the office?
We need coherency. As you know, Kuningan is part of Jakarta’s golden triangle and a hub of the business district with an ease of accessibility from various ways. The area is a reachable location by the varied choice of transportation and surrounded by shopping centres. And, the new office is in one zone with one of our flagship hotels, Raffles Jakarta. What is also interesting about the new office is the design.
Please share with us the office’s interior design concept
This modern and contemporary-style office boasts an open-casual concept. It’s casual but without eliminating our corporate and hospitality value. Our workstations are in an open space environment with low dividers that are still private yet functional for the employees.
We use a warm neutral colour palette because it creates a cosy and homey ambience. It’s something that you can feel once you first step into the office. Our lobby represents the living room, with such furniture that you can find at home such as credenzas and hanging lamps.
You will notice a touch of European style through the profile wall treatment since Accor is a French company. But we also incorporated local areas with modern weaving and Batik Parang patterns, because as you know batik is an iconic and well-known part of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. Basically, we aim to create our corporate concept with an open-casual environment combined with local elements.