Jurgen Kreipl – General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta

Jurgen Kreipl – General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta

With more than 30 years of experience in hospitality management of the best hotels across Asia and Europe, Jurgen Kreipl arrived at Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta as its brand new general manager. An Asian at heart, the German-born is ready to face new challenges in a new city and country. We talked to him about his new role as well as his decorated career.

Q: Can you summarise your journey so far in the hospitality industry?

A: I started my career as a trainee in Munich, before joining the F&B department in Rome – both with established brands. From there, I worked my way up the ranks through various hotels in different countries in Asia and Europe. Beginning from Kuwait, Thailand and Vietnam, to China and the latest was in Geneva, Switzerland. Now I am in Jakarta to serve as the general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta.

Q: You began your hospitality career in the F&B department. What was the reason that made you decide to pursue higher management?

A: It’s actually very common for experienced general managers to start their careers from F&B – especially between the 80s to the early 2000s. During those times, F&B was the department that dealt with operations, whether it’s staff, equipment, schedule and system. So, F&B people eventually were the ones most suitable to move up and run the hotel. It all comes down to the decisions that I took – thoughtful decisions about which positions and which hotels I want to work in, or how it will benefit me in the future. That, and I worked hard to reach this point in my career.

Q: You seem to have fallen for Asia once you arrived – in particular, mainland China and Southeast Asia. Is there any reason for working in both regions for so long?

A: I can tell you that the shortest answer for my lengthy stay is having an Asian wife. However, even before that, Asia had always been on the top of my list. In Europe, everybody works for themselves, especially around central to northern Europe. I found that the further south you go, the mentality shifts. Work is more about the team and the family you made in the hotel. Also, you need to have a little bit of chaos in your life, and Asia offers exactly that. In Europe, everything is organised, that it just got boring after a while.

Q: Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta marks your return to Southeast Asia and your first position with the brand. What are you most excited about both living in the city and working with the property?
The region is already my first home, but in terms of career, there’s always that goal of joining the best brand there is – it’s a natural desire for every line of work. In hospitality, Four Seasons is the top of the line. It has always been my dream to work in one of its hotels. 

Q: You have around three decades of experience in the industry, but which one would you prefer more? Joining a pre-opening team or a pre-existing team? And why.

A: This depends on which hotel, as well as which brand. However, in my long career, so far, I have been part of five pre-opening teams. The pressures are different. Pre-opening is about adhering to the project timeline, and along the way you can slip in some minor details that you want. Pre-existing is about maintaining the property. There are more responsibilities here, including revenue, operations, occupancy, and so on. If I can be honest, pre-opening was an amazing experience, but I would not want to experience it again. 

Q: Do you have any advice for budding hoteliers trying to make it in this industry?

A: I have a few. First, try to work in various roles of the hospitality industry. This is to gain hands-on experience and learn about the different aspects of running a hotel. Second, you need to stay passionate and committed to the industry. After all, it’s about providing guests with the best possible experiences. Lastly, you must maintain a good network with industry experts, as well as successful peers and colleagues. Learning from their experiences and gaining insights are very valuable education in the business.


Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta

Jalan Jenderal Gatot Subroto
Jakarta 12710, Indonesia
T: (+62) 2122771888
E: contactus.jakarta@fourseasons.com

W: fourseasons.com/jakarta

IG: @fsjakarta