Interview of I Z Melvin, General Manager de l’Hôtel Maya (Kuala Lumpur)
Category: Asia Pacific
Article written by our desk on 2005-12-21
On the occasion of the ILTM, that took place in Cannes from 5th to 8th December 2005, I Z Melvin, General Manager of the Hotel Maya in Kuala Lumpur, was kind enough to answer some questions. He gives us here the keys of his commercial strategy, as well as his definition of a luxury property.
Journal des Palaces : I Z Melvin, The Hotel Maya is a recent and very design Hotel, nevertheless it reflects a very “zen” atmosphere. Tell me more about its conception.
I Z Melvin : Hotel Maya opened the 3rd of September 2005. It used to be a traditional Hotel until January 2005. At this time we decided to close the Hotel and to do major renovation costing almost 12 millions $, to convert the 280 rooms into 207 rooms. We decrease the number instead of increasing it. The reason we did that is the already high number of rooms in Kuala Lumpur. And as we wanted to make a difference, we preferred to offer larger rooms. So we have 107 suites and 100 rooms.
JDP : With this kind of urban Hotel, what kind of travellers are you targeting ?
IZM : We are the only Hotel in the City that provides the kind of comfort we do. You can find a Hotel in the city but overcrowded. We welcome business travellers, family, friends travelling together…Customers can enjoy the City, and then enjoy the Hotel where they feel completely relaxed. That was the whole concept behind the Hotel development.
JDP : Which concept ?
IZM : Now, more and more people are coming to Boutique Hotel in Malaysia. Not “Boutique” in term of few room number, but because of the service standards we created. The fact that customers can check anytime of the day, or have breakfast in bed for example.
JDP : There is a trend that consists to be closer to nature. The Maya is an urban Hotel. How does it deals with the lack of nature around ?
IZM : In Kuala Lumpur, everybody put “nature” everywhere, but outside of the Hotel. What we did is to bring “nature inside the Hotel. We create a landscape. So when people arrive they face Nature. They don’t have to go out. Giving the simplicity of the place. So it’s not only a pleasure for the eyes, but it’s also an atmosphere we brought to the rooms. It’s like a homey feeling. And when you have a homey feel that comes to you it’s simple you don’t have to think about it.
JDP: Everybody seems to wonder about what luxury is. So why do you think that the Maya can be defined as a luxury Hotel ?
IZM : Most people think about building Hotels costing a lot of money, but they don’t think about the service. In luxury, the service is more important, because high technology and material beauty don’t interact with customers. Here we have 300 employees for 270 rooms; it’s the higher ratio in the City. We want to give customers the care they wait for. When you travel you need to be taken care of. And for me giving the best service that is luxury. When people want to come back because of the good way they have been treated that’s luxury.