hotel of choice for KL-lites. Newly appointed General Manager of Four Seasons
Hotel Kuala Lumpur (FSHKL) Blaise Montandon aims to attract local city dwellers
as well as international visitors to the FSHKL, making it the most happening
place in town.
Having relocated from Hoi An, Vietnam over a month ago, Blaise Montandon
is no stranger to Malaysia and Asia. He has been to Melaka and Sabah previously
for brief holidays and worked for two decades in the Asian continent.
over the vibrancy of Kuala Lumpur, Montandon is eager to get acquainted with our
multi-cultural society, and explore the diverse food scene.
Hailing a small Swiss town, young Montandon became enamoured with hotels whilst holidaying with
his parents around the country and in neighbouring regions. “I was fascinated
by the energy, the glamour, and the opportunity to meet people from around the
world. I knew this was what I wanted to do!”
After graduating from the Hospitality Business School in Lausanne, he
studied management at the University of Lausanne before cutting his teeth at
two reputed hotels in Geneva.
Since then, his hospitality career path has taken him to Singapore, Japan, China, Thailand and India, alongside stints in Europe
and North Africa. His last outpost prior to KL was at Four Seasons Resort Hoi
An (The Nam Hai).
appointment as General Manager of FSHKL sees Montandon moving to an urban
environment. “It’s completely different from Hoi An which is a resort, so I’d be drawing on my strengths and diverse
experiences as a hotelier to see what I can bring to this Hotel.”
cherishes the time spent in Hoi An as it gives him great satisfaction to see
how the various stakeholders collaborated and worked together to come up with
distinctive products and services, the way his opening team members grew and
developed, and how they managed to create different experiences for their guests.
says: “There will always be different challenges for new and even existing
properties. Otherwise, life will be boring. Sometimes challenges can arise from
people, the product, or the location. You’d have to understand your clientele,
the market, and the situation. For instance, when I was at the Four Seasons Hoi
An, we have to open and close thrice during the pandemic.
was a difficult time but it was also most heartening to witness the solidarity
amongst the people and the community. We had the involvement of key team members
throughout those trying times to keep things going. Thanks to the support of the
resort owners, every team member was retained during the two-year pandemic period. Our team members were deeply touched as their livelihoods affected not only them but
also their dependents.”
On his plans to make FSHKL as the preferred
hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Montandon affirms he will need to get a thorough
feel of the Hotel then delve into understanding the team, the market, and
the local community better.
“I want international visitors to fall in love with this dynamic, kaleidoscopic city. This Hotel
should be an
active place in town – I want to attract the city people to come here: for lunch, for
tea, to stay, and to celebrate any and every occasion.”
in French, English, German, Italian, and Dutch, Montandon admits he hardly gets
a chance to pick up Asian languages. “I often speak English with local team
members as it’s to help them brush up their English-speaking skills at work.”
On the personal front, Montandon can’t wait to
immerse in the city’s gastronomic scene, especially its legendary street food.
Also on his agenda: exploring the local arts scene through museums, galleries
and events. A lover of contemporary
and modern art, opera and musicals, Montandon finds experiencing new cultures through their art
forms “reveal so much about a place and its people”.
to Blaise Montandon, the best thing about being a Four Seasons Hotel GM is the strong
values they uphold. “Our philosophy is simple: treat people like how you would like to be treated. We believe in and apply that core value to every level of our
team. We want to create an indelible impression on our guests and make a
connection with them so that when they leave, they will have lasting memories
of their time spent at the Four Seasons.”