Cultivating loyalty with sterling service
The Ascott Kuala Lumpur's way to building long-term relationships with guests
Issue: Nov 2009
The Ascott Kuala Lumpur has given guests great service and wonderful views since 1999
You can call Mrs Castenada a most loyal Ascott fan. The long-term resident at Ascott Kuala Lumpur has been there since the 32-storey serviced apartments opened in 1999. She shuttles between Malaysia and the US where her husband runs a business.
Mrs Castenada, who is in her 50s, talks effusively about the staff and their sterling service. Even after the interview ends, she calls up the writer to add a point she had not mentioned earlier: “I forgot to stress that this is a very safe place to be. Once I forgot to lock my car and the guards actually paged me to come down to lock it.”
This is one guest who admits to be “comfortably ensconced” at Ascott Kuala Lumpur. Though the Castenadas own properties in Malaysia, she prefers to stay at the Ascott, which she says has all the comforts of home and conveniences of a five-star hotel. More importantly, it is the relationship she has with Ascott staff that has kept her here, even as newer establishments mushroom in Kuala Lumpur. “We’re all friends so I can’t move out,” she said with a laugh.
For Mrs Castenada, the personal touch and attention to detail by staff have convinced her that “nothing else comes close to the service” in Kuala Lumpur. She recounted that she once slept on the floor when she had severe backaches. The chambermaids noticed that she was not using the bed, and very soon, a chiropractic mattress was delivered to her apartment. “They treat me special,” she said.
Staff at Ascott Kuala Lumpur pride themselves for the personalised service for all guests
Tony Ho, Area Manager Malaysia, said they pride themselves on providing personalised service to all their guests – whether they are long-term residents or short-staying visitors. “We have a frequent stayer who comes three times a year,” he said. “Over the years, we’ve built up a checklist of what she wants. So two days before her arrival, we make sure that everything she’s requested is ready.” The checklist includes featherdown pillows, a mattress of suitable hardness, and a freshly shampooed carpet. “We have come to know our guests’ habits,” Ho said, adding that many of the service staff have been there since 1999.
Leandro Villar, 52, stayed at Ascott Kuala Lumpur’s serviced apartment for 10 years before recently moving out, but he continues to use the serviced offices on the second floor. He said that he knows the staff so well that he is often invited for staff farewell parties. The Brazilian, who used to stay for three months or longer, would sometimes bring his wife and children when he came to Malaysia.
“I’d love to read and take a drink at the balcony,” said Villar, recounting his days of living at the Ascott. “I remember about three years ago, the family caught the fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, at the balcony. That was brilliant – the fireworks were right in front of us at the KLCC park.”
Bask in the sun and soak in the views from the Ascott Kuala Lumpur’s rooftop pool
Location is certainly something that Ascott Kuala Lumpur can boast about. Situated right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Central Business District, it calls the world’s tallest twin towers, Petronas Twin Towers, its next-door neighbour. Shopaholics can head to the six-storey Suria Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) Retail Centre, while city slickers wanting a bit of fresh air and space have the KLCC park which is literally a hop, skip and jump away.
For guests living in the premier rooms, the awe-inspiring sight of the twin towers is a daily privilege. Other guests who go up to the Ascott’s 22nd floor for complimentary breakfast at the Sky Lounge or swim at the open-air pool are also treated to the same viewing pleasure.
“The pool is beautiful and the Sky Lounge concept is fantastic,” enthused Villar. “During the peak season, the lounge can get pretty packed. So you should really get up for an early breakfast!”
Villar added that the Sky Lounge’s recent renovations and change in management have livened up the place. The lounge, which is restricted to the property’s guests, is now run by the same people who own 7ateNine, a bar and restaurant at the ground floor of Ascott Kuala Lumpur. The chic, modern place, which is open to the public, is a popular night spot in the city that serves up avant-garde entrees that are a blend of Latin-Asian flavours.
7ateNine, a chic, modern restaurant at Ascott Kuala Lumpur that draws a hip crowd
Although Villar enjoys the comprehensive facilities at Ascott, he agrees with Mrs Castenada that it is ultimately the “feeling of home” that made him stay for a decade at the property.
“You know, they really do special things for you,” he said of the service staff, “They never forget your birthday.” Ascott Kuala Lumpur
9 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telephone (60-3) 2142 6868
Fax (60-3) 2142 9888