Ben Strother

Director of Sales and Marketing Keraton at The Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta

Q: Describe your responsibilities in under 10 words.
A: Treating colleagues with respect regardless of position, level or background.

Q: What makes a typical day?
A: It is critical to not only have a strong customer focus, but also solid trust with all our associates and stakeholders, so that together we can become the best leaders and inspire others to achieve and exceed their goals for the benefit of the property. This requires analysing and evaluating trends and programmes, then creating, planning, practicing and perfecting them to help the team achieve success.

Q: What’s the toughest part of your job?
A: Tough question, besides not exceeding the budget it would have to be being away from family. In saying that, I’ve never felt closer to my family and close friends since leaving Australia! Like me, they are passionate travellers and I am fortunate to be able to meet up with them in new and old destinations. Each encounter is precious and memorable.

Q: What do you find most satisfying in your job?
A: Not only do we curate rich, cultured offerings for our guests in each destination, I am also fortunate enough to experience these first hand, which offers something new almost every day, and that is a one of the many reasons why I love my job.

Q: Who has been the most influential figure in your career?
A: Alison Taylor, former Global Senior Vice President – Sales for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Inc. She encouraged me to never stop learning and always maintain integrity. These two pillars have allowed me an amazing global career.

Q: Name one really special thing about your hotel.
A: The seamless integration of local customs and location into each guest experience, while providing magnificent décor in a spectacular setting with impeccable service; that all combines to provide enriching experiences for leisure and business travellers alike.

Q: How do you unwind?
A: It is tough to unwind in a business like this as we are always “on”, and that’s part of the job and the enjoyment. Ironically, I unwind best when travelling for leisure. Each trip is as memorable as the last. Personally, travel is something that I remember and share better than anything else. From a young onset, travel has always been exploratory, and I don’t ever see that changing.

Q: If you hadn’t taken this career path, what would have chosen?
A: Honestly, that is a tough question. Hospitality is in my blood and has been in my family for generations. Whether I was an accountant or winemaker, I am certain that I would remain connected to hospitality – with no exceptions.