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DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside, Renewed and Rejuvenated
Taking pride of place by the banks of Putrajaya Lakeside, the DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside is a tranquil escape that combines luxury with natural beauty. Recently, Top 10 of Asia had the pleasure of sitting down with Ian Barrow, the accomplished General Manager of this exquisite property. In a candid interview, he unveiled insights into the hotel’s recent renovation, its distinctive features, and the remarkable initiatives undertaken to enhance the guest experience. Dive into this exclusive conversation to discover the soul of DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside and why it should be your next quiet destination.
- The DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside has completed its refurbishment. What was the overall amount invested, and what were the works involved?
The scope of our renovation project consisted of significant transformations on several key areas within the resort. We invested significantly in the overhaul of our guest rooms, rejuvenating them to offer a fresh and modern experience. Additionally, our efforts extended to the main dining hub, Makan Kitchen, The Koffee lounge, the Executive Lounge, and all culinary facilities, ensuring a top-notch culinary journey for our guests. The rejuvenation also covered our meeting rooms, which now feature updated Audio Visual systems, providing a seamless platform for events. We didn’t stop there – our Spa & Gym facilities received a complete makeover, as did our outdoor landscaping. Moreover, we proudly introduced new attractions, including the Splash water park, a dedicated kids club, and engaging game and arcade rooms.
- The hotel was opened in 2021. Can you explain why the hotel was renovated two years after it first opened?
The resort comprises four blocks, each integral to the guest experience we envisioned. Due to the unforeseen construction delays arising from the global pandemic, only two of these blocks were completed as initially planned. However, we undertook a soft opening in October 2021, to introduce our guests to the unique offerings and impeccable hospitality that the DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside promises. The ongoing construction of the remaining two blocks, which commenced in 2022, underscores our commitment to providing a complete and enhanced resort experience.
- The 290-room hotel is owned by Idaman Putrajaya Sdn Bhd and managed by Hilton. How are room sales and MICE business currently?
Hotel room sales are improving at a promising volume, with a growing demand from both domestic travelers and international markets. In the realm of MICE business, we are glad to be seeing a rising demand particularly driven by team-building initiatives stemming from corporate entities in the Klang Valley region. This resurgence is especially driven by a series of training-oriented events, contributing to the dynamic atmosphere at our resort.
- Who is the hotel’s target market in terms of leisure travelers?
Our resort embraces a diverse range of leisure travelers, both from within Malaysia and across international borders. This inclusive approach underscores our commitment to catering to a global audience seeking unparalleled leisure experiences.
- What are the hotel’s main draws?
The DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside boasts several distinctive attributes that set it apart as a premier destination. Our architectural design stands as a hallmark of heritage, making a striking impression on visitors. Our versatile meeting facilities cater to a wide array of event needs, while our expansive outdoor areas offer ideal settings for invigorating team-building activities. The crown jewels of our offerings include three meticulously designed pools: the exhilarating Splash Pool, the tranquil Lakeside Pool, and the scenic Rooftop Pool. Additionally, we take pride in curating the Malaysia Experience – a journey that encapsulates five integral pillars: Cultural, Culinary, Family, MICE, and Wellness.
- In your opinion, what are the prospects of the hotel industry in Malaysia and how do you think it will look in the next coming year?
Hilton’s primary focus is to increase the presence of our brands in Malaysia and SouthEast Asia to cater to a wide range of travelers. With seven hotels in development in Malaysia, we are expected to bring 2,300 new rooms in the near future and the expansion includes the introduction of our high-end brands such as Waldorf Astoria and Conrad, as well as our lifestyle-oriented Curio Collection by Hilton. We’ll also be extending our full-service brands, Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton in key cities across Malaysia. With this, we are committed to providing our local and international guests the flexibility to choose a hotel of their choice that matches their purpose, requirements and preferences.
- Tell us a bit more about the DoubleTree studio Residency program? How do you see it as a way to help emerging artists in Malaysia? Is this the first time DoubleTree by Hilton has launched a programme like this and where did the inspiration come from?
The DoubleTree Studio Residency program reflects our commitment to supporting emerging artists in Malaysia. This collaboration with Segaris Art Center, provides a platform for local talent to showcase their creativity and engage with a broader audience. While this program might be new for DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside, the inspiration came from our desire to integrate the local arts and culture scene into the fabric of our resort, enriching the experience for our guests through engaging weekend workshops with the artist.
- What strategies do you employ to ensure exceptional guest experiences and customer satisfaction?
Outstanding guest experiences and high levels of customer satisfaction are the result of DoubleTree by Hilton’s CARE Service culture. From the moment our guests arrive, we infuse a personalized touch, aiming to offer a smooth experience for guests with connecting rooms and family-friendly amenities. This encompasses granting access to features such as swimming pools and the spa, allowing guests to maintain their well-being and relaxation throughout their stay, It also encompasses a seamless journey from check-in to check-out, and actively attending to guest feedback to guarantee their comfort and delight at every step.
- Can you share a memorable guest experience or success story from your time as GM here?
In my role as General Manager at Doubletree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside, I had the privilege of overseeing various aspects of guest experiences, and one memorable success story that stands out is a grand wedding of a young local couple. They had chosen our hotel for their special day, and it was a joy to witness the entire event unfold flawlessly.
They were a couple who had very specific ideas about their dream wedding, and they were extremely particular about every detail. They envisioned a romantic lakeside ceremony and a grand reception in our ballroom. It was a complex event that required meticulous planning and execution.
To make their dream a reality, my team and I worked closely with the couple from the moment they contacted us. We offered personalized consultations to understand their vision, provided creative solutions to meet their unique requests, and ensured that every aspect of the wedding was tailored to their wishes. We coordinated with our culinary team to create a customized menu that showcased their favorite dishes and flavors.
Their wedding was a resounding success, and they were delighted with the outcome. Their guests were equally impressed, and the positive feedback we received was overwhelming. The couple mentioned how our attention to detail and dedication had made their special day truly magical.
This experience highlighted the importance of personalized service, attention to detail, and effective communication. It reinforced my belief that by listening to our guests, understanding their unique needs, and delivering on their expectations, we can create exceptional and memorable experiences. It’s a philosophy that I continue to uphold in my role as a General Manager, ensuring that every guest’s stay is nothing short of extraordinary.