Profile of The Month: Muhammad Isa Ismail, General Manager of Aston Rasuna Jakarta


Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I joined Aston Rasuna on September 2016, My name is Muhammad Isa Ismail, people call me Isa. After years of spending time in an out-of-the-city resort, I’m so glad to be back in the city life once more. My background is in hotelier, especially in city hotels. Now itfeels good to be back in Jakarta.!  I have more than 25 years in the hotel industry, with more than half of it in senior position. The last 11, I helped making a chain hotel; from conception, marketing, and running. After that, I ended up in luxury hotels. To be back in Jakarta when we have so many new hotels as competitors, is very challenging for me. In a way, it pumps up my adrenaline!

How do you see Jakarta as a destination?

Jakarta has an immense potential as a destination, and we as a hotel must seize the opportunity, as Jakarta to be a main and big destination. We will have one of the biggest and busiest International airport in the region, and when the mass transport in the city is ready, we will be one of South East Asia’s top business destination.

What do you think are Aston Rasuna’s strengths?

In terms of location, we are a SCBD that has it all. Malls, the newest and the best, all kinds of restaurants, live entertainment. All within easy access. Aston Rasuna is part of the archipelago hotel chain. Statistically, it is the 2nd biggest chain hotel in Indonesia, and I’m sure this hotel has large potential. It’s down how we polish and hone it correctly. We have an international standardized quality of service, food, and value for money. What more could you want?  It’s a matter how we promote this outside.

What do you bring in to the hotel since you assumed office?

Our team already have what it takes, it’s a matter how we translate Archipelago’s 10 golden rule, and to convey our strengths to our guests, and to deliver or promise.

What made you decide hospitality?

At first, I actually spent my first professional year in banking, but then realized it was not my thing. So I took management bachelor’s degree, and went to Melbourne to better my English, and ended up enrolling in Australian college of travel & hospitality for my hotel management diploma. Coming back to Indonesia, I started working in several international chain hotels, and have been in the industry ever since. I’ve done it all, from Bali hotels, Jakarta, to plantation resort, and now back to Jakarta!

I don’t believe in coincidence. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s all already been planned. We just need to see the sign and do our part. I might seem to be impulsive, but I always try to challenge myself. 

Not long after your first day in Aston, you created this unique Vertical Run event. How did it come to be?

It was a short-planned event, prepared in the course of 13 days. Property owners in this area entrusted me of creating running event, for my experience in creating the Ultra Trail Run, and ended up making the Bakrie Tower Vertical Run 2016 event, which was attended by 100 people, but created quite the buzz. We’re thinking of creating some more running events in Kuningan area.

Are you a runner?

I do run, though not as extreme as a lot of people can be. I am more into cycling, especially mountain biking. I did Magelang – Yogyakarta, or 70 km of cycling. And also photography.

How about traveling?

11 years ago, I travel every two weeks. Because I was the Regional Director of Sales, which means my clients were all the way to the far east. I go far and wide, to Europe, Russia, ITB Berlin, ATF, WTM, and all the expos.  Until one time, I had a turbulence over Russia, and was thinking maybe I should find a less mobile position, where I don’t have to fly and be away from my family all the time. But in my leisurely time, I do love the mountains, beaches, and a vibrant city life.

Where did you last travel?

I went to Palembang for quality time with my family.

Five words that describe you best:

disciplined, target-oriented, numbers, workaholic, perfectionist.

What’s New Jakarta would like to thank Mr. Isa and his team for the time spared for the interview. For more information about Aston Rasuna, follow this link.


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