Showing posts with label hotelier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hotelier. Show all posts

Friday, August 19, 2022


The 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.

Enthusing 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).

His 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.”

Montandon 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.

He 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.

“It 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.”

Conversant 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”.

According 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.”

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