The Millennial Signature


Erastus Radjimin is the figure behind the success of the ARTOTEL brand. Now he is preparing ARTOTEL to be more than just a hotel and is ready to go international.

Interview by Andre Syahreza, photography by Toto Santiko Budi

If in the past artistic elements were only used as decoration for luxury hotels, now there is ARTOTEL: a contemporary hotel brand which places art as its main concept. Every guest who visits and stays at an ARTOTEL will feel like they are at a design studio rather than a hotel.

Art is a major component that features prominently in various aspects of each hotel. It is found not only in the contemporary paintings spread across the walls of the rooms, but is also adapted in the company’s promotion and marketing concepts.

As a hospitality product, ARTOTEL appears strong and different compared to mainstream hotels. The uniqueness of this product meets the rise of the millennial tourist segment who like to look for unique and anti-mainstream destinations. ARTOTEL was developed amid a vibrant social media scene with a backdrop of artistic photos. Erastus Radjimin, the CEO of ARTOTEL Group, carefully adapted this millennial trend as part of his business development strategy. That strategy was effective in popularising his hotels at the very centre of the trend.

Erastus says that, apart from hard work and working smartly, the other big factor that led to the success of his hotel brand is momentum, focusing on the emerging market of millennial travellers and the digitalisation of tourism. Success was also determined by distinctive products and services. In terms of content and culture, ARTOTEL has characteristics that are difficult to duplicate.

The young entrepreneur who started his business at the age of 25 truly understands the interests of the millennials at the heart of the digital trend. He launched the first ARTOTEL in Surabaya in 2012 as a start-up. Together with his sister, Christine Radjimin, he led a small, multitalented team.

From Surabaya, ARTOTEL spread to Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Batu and then Semarang. Now there are 10 ARTOTELs, and there will be 15 more opening in 2019. After that, 25 ARTOTELs will be ready for launch in 2020, including new hotels that are under ARTOTEL management.

Creative Business

Now, ARTOTEL has moved beyond the start-up stage and is beginning to enter a new phase as a medium sized business with around 1000 employees. Erastus and his team are preparing their next moves, including growing new brands such as ARTOTEL Suites, targeting the premium sector; Bobotel, a budget hotel concept which incorporates a mall; and the Curated Collection, stylish properties artistically curated by ARTOTEL and placed under its management.

ARTOTEL is also developing a Food & Beverage business, which includes the ARTOTEL Beach Club (ABC), the first beach club in Sanur, Bali. This will be followed by the first beach club in Jakarta, soon to open in the Indah Kapuk Beach area, and then the first Day Club in Yogyakarta. ARTOTEL is also developing business events, in particular those connected to art exhibitions and music concerts, along with a merchandise business that markets everyday items such as bags and clothes that are part of the wearable art category.

“So, this is already much more than a hotel I want to develop ARTOTEL not just as a hotel business, but more specifically as a ‘creative business’, because it is also about experience and lifestyle,” says Erastus, speaking at his Jakarta headquarters, which looks more like a co-working space than a standard office.

Go International

Although it is already big as a creative brand, ARTOTEL has not forgotten its main commitment, which is to develop Indonesia’s artistic community. From the beginning, the primary motive of Erastus and his sister has been to introduce contemporary artists at the international level.

In every city where ARTOTEL will open, they first select contemporary artists whose works will colour the ARTOTEL in that city. Because of this, the company incorporates an Art Division to find and select talented artists.

A number of talented young artists from various Indonesian cities have already decorated ARTOTELs with their contemporary artworks. Every ARTOTEL always involves several emerging artists chosen by the Art Division. To name a few of them, there are Darbotz and Ryan Tandya whose works appear at ARTOTEL Thamrin-Jakarta, Heri Pemad and Ronald Apriyan at ARTOTEL Yogyakarta, then Ines Katamso and Natisa Jones at ARTOTEL Sanur in Bali.

Art is always the centre of attention at ARTOTEL. With this concept, Erastus is beginning to prepare his company for expansion. After his success in Indonesia’s cities, Erastus is now ready to export ARTOTEL and become a global brand from Indonesia that is ready to compete on the world stage.