Yonatan Kachko is proud to lead Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta, an artful and stylish property that provides guests with high levels of personalised service, outstanding dining and exceptional stays. Asia Dreams talked to him about his career and the Four Seasons brand.
Q: What made you decide on hospitality as a career?
A: When I was on family holidays as a child, I was fascinated by the dynamics of the hotel and would sit in reception watching all the interactions, seeing how happy the guests were. I told my parents then that this would be my future and things just evolved.
Q: You’ve been with Four Seasons all your working life. How did that happen?
A: It was sheer luck. I was working in a small boutique hotel in Toronto while I was at university and my boss was ex-Four Seasons. He believed my passion and character would suit the brand and put me in touch with them. Coincidentally, although I didn’t know it at the time, my university’s hospitality programme was supported by Four Seasons.
Q: The Four Seasons brand is very well known. What do you think are this hotel’s strongest selling points?
A: Each brand has its own nuances and areas in which it excels. The intangible things are very important to us, like how we treat our guests. We have people who would go to the end of the world to satisfy our guests; I’m not saying we’re perfect, but the culture of the brand runs very strongly through our people here.
Our hotel is highly curated with many great statement spaces that feel unique, special and luxurious. It feels like a boutique hotel but offers all the facilities and service that you find in larger hotels, which I think is great. Of course, we keep our offerings fresh and have plenty of tactical changes lined up, like visiting Michelin-starred chefs, refreshed menus, a brunch concept at Alto and more.
Q: Did you always want to be a general manager?
A: Yes, I think that was always my goal and I’ve remained very focused on achieving this. But I have been happy in every chapter along the way.
Q: If you hadn’t made hospitality your career, what would you have chosen?
A: Real estate, or maybe finance. Every single person in my family is a doctor, but that really isn’t me. As a general manager you are managing an asset and capital investments, making decisions about where to put the money, so there is a real estate component to the job.
A: As a major southeast Asian gateway destination that is growing at an exponential rate, there are a lot of luxury hotel operators in the city, but I think it’s still developing as people work out what is needed. I’ve also noticed that the people here are highly entrepreneurial and have come up with lots of interesting F&B concepts that are well aimed at their target markets.
Q: Can you share any special moments from your career?
A: In hotels you really see all the emotional highs and extreme lows. One guest, who I am still in touch with today, was staying at our hotel with her husband when he passed away. We spent 10 days supporting her through a very emotional time in every way that we could, from dealing with the arrangements, to repatriating her husband. While this is not an occasion that you want to have, it highlights the depths that we as humans can have in terms of relationships, breaking the barriers between a service provider and a customer.
Q: With the world at your fingertips, what is your dream holiday?
A: To be able to spend time with my wife and daughter, anywhere in the world, so long as we can spend time together. Europe would be nice, so that we can enjoy some delicious food and stroll around a city.
Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta
Jalan Jenderal Gatot Subroto, Kuningan
Jakarta 12710, Indonesia
T: (+62) 2122771888
Asia Dreams May – Jul 2020