To be “honest, committed and relentless” is Imelda Sundoro Hosea’s motto in life and foundational principle on which her brainchild, Sun Motor Group operates. What started as a small family business of buying and selling used cars in 1974 in Solo, flourished into an empire of car dealership with more than 56 outlets in various cities in Indonesia. With the help of her four children, Imelda ventured into the hospitality business and staked her ground as a hotelier mogul with 15 hotels in Bali, Jakarta, Semarang, Solo, and Yogyakarta. Indonesia Design had the opportunity to chat with the young-spirited lady on a lovely day in her hometown, Solo.
We notice most of your hotels are managed by AccorHotels. What are their strengths?
I value AccorHotels’ integrity and values. The AccorHotels team has proven their professionalism and continues to deliver a performance that meets my expectation. Plus, their vast international sales network has brought the sales up to speed. Most importantly, AccorHotels’ customer service is based on maintaining a good relationship with its clients.
What is your favourite brand among AccorHotels’ products?
I would say, at the moment, is the SO Sofitel. I went to the one in Bangkok and was quite impressed by the creativity of having five design elements of nature separated by floors for the rooms and restaurants.
We notice you are so much involved in the design process in each of your hotel. Is it perhaps your true passion?
I did not have any formal studies in architecture, interior design or construction management. I learned from my own experience and plenty of travelling. Honestly, I copied and pasted from what I’ve seen in many places and it is not as easy as people may assume, because you have to have the eyes to see what goes with what to make a harmonious design. I think there are many people who can afford to buy premium products and artworks, but they may not have the ability to display those properly. Knowing where to source all kinds of products from is also important.
I envisioned how my hotel’s design theme should serve the purpose of preserving the local culture and with that, to make it a goal to win a MURI (Indonesian World of Records) award.
How many of your hotels have won MURI records?
At this moment there are three hotels: Ibis Bali Kuta for the most Poleng (Balinese black and white fabrics), ibis Styles in Denpasar for the most frangipani element throughout the hotel exterior and interior, and The Royal Surakarta Heritage Solo-MGallery by Sofitel for the most batik motif.
The Grand Mercure Yogyakarta Adi Sucipto which will be opened soon will join the list. The hotel is adjacent to the shopping mall, with direct access to ibis Yogyakarta Adi Sucipto.
We heard you have more in the pipeline, please share.
I have several locations including some car showrooms that we need to relocate and some lands I have recently acquired, which I mostly turn to hotels. The Grand Mercure in Yogyakarta is opening up soon; then there is one hotel in Cikarang; two in Jakarta, including one near my office on Jl. Matraman and another one in Bintaro area; two in Surabaya; and one in Kediri, Lombok, Madiun and Malang.
What is it that you have not accomplished yet?
To have a resort hotel with direct beach access.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Shopping (laughs). I enjoy shopping in traditional market is in Indonesia and overseas and Paris for branded items.