New GM for Impiana Hotel Ipoh


By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

Carl Isaac

He is fun, he is affable and Carl Isaac is all set to once and for all get Ipohites to recognise the Impiana name. “People I meet in Ipoh still ask me where the Impiana Hotel is! Then when I explain, they’ll burst out with ‘Oh you mean the Casuarina?’”.

Since the hotel was acquired slightly more than a year ago by the Impiana Group which has hotels in Malaysia (KL, Ipoh and Cherating) and in Thailand (Phuket and Koh Samui), it has been a daunting task for the management to educate the Ipoh public on the name change.

When a name has been so embedded into the collective Ipoh psyche, it looks like a Herculean task ahead for Carl but this does not faze this seasoned hotelier who has had other equally challenging tasks in his previous assignments which has taken him to many S.E. Asian countries.

Carl holds a Bachelor of Business from Curtin University in Western Australia and it was during his university years that his interest in the hospitality industry developed. Working his way through, first as bartender and subsequently in restaurant management, he worked for the Sofitel group after graduation, first in Australia, followed by Vietnam and Thailand.

A hankering to return to his home and family in Malaysia saw him arrive during a downturn in the economy and he found himself ‘playing mah-jong for 3 months’ with no prospect of a job. Through sheer persistence and constant hounding of the HR manager, he landed the job of Wedding Co-ordinator at the then newly-opened Palace of Golden Horses in Sungai Besi. He was responsible for setting up the Wedding Co-ordination department while learning the ropes which soon saw him land himself the position of Sales Manager at Cyberview Lodge. He has since moved up the corporate ladder and became General Manager seven years ago, the first time at the Sedona Menado in Indonesia.

Carl has not looked back since. A stint in the Sedona Mandalay saw him finally succumb to the charms of the then Director of Sales and marriage and children have finally brought Carl home to roost.

“It feels good to be back in Malaysia and work here. It’s a great opportunity to be able to work, live and enjoy the community and the quality of life that Ipoh offers. Now, my aim is to maintain Impiana Hotel Ipoh’s pride as the most efficient, effective and favourable for our clients. I will also uphold and upgrade our service commitments to provide the best possible customer support service in Ipoh,” says Carl when asked about his vision and goal for Impiana Hotel Ipoh.

And he hasn’t been cooling his heels either. Already in the three months since his arrival, he has renovated 97 rooms and turned 66 rooms into Club rooms on two designated floors. He has the distinction of being the first GM to open a Club Lounge both for the Impiana Group as well as for Ipoh. The Royal Suite has been upgraded as has the Kinta function room. A small fitness room has been put in, and all in all the Impiana is moving towards becoming a 5-Star hotel charging 4-Star rates to cater to the rate conscious market that exists in Ipoh.

Welcome to Ipoh Carl!

7 thoughts on “New GM for Impiana Hotel Ipoh

  1. I have been joining the Swimming Pool Membership Since 1995. I love to swim and dine there. From the name Casuarina, Park Royal, Casuarina to Impiana Hotel. I guess i can give some comments on how your hotel been changing from the 1st day i walk into the hotel.

    This is the only 5stars hotel in Ipoh and it’s famous for it’s luxury rooms and find dine. Not mentioning the only hotel have a bigger pool. I can say that, It’s the one and only Real 5Stars Hotel in IPOH.

    But time seems changed the image of this Hotel. Few years back, my client from US rejected to stay there once he walk into the room, as the room smell like fish and you can find cockroaches … My son’s or my wife refuse to swim there, as the pool and toilet is too dirty and smelly. I have made complain few times regarding the pool pump is not working and nobody seems to take any action.

    Hi Carl, sorry for all the bad comments. Hopefully you can turn back the clock and make this Hotel like it use to be. GOOD LUCK Mr. CARL…

  2. Isn’t it wonderful to know that there is someone like Carl out there who is ever so positive and enthusiastic in shaping the hotel industry of Ipoh? I think Ipoh desperately needs someone like Carl to make things happen. The Impiana Group has certainly got the right person for the right job!!

  3. Mr. Isaac, please do us Ipohite proud by fully upgrade Impiana Hotel to a truely 5-star Hotel. Thank You!

  4. I must say that there is a breath of fresh air after the refurbishment of the hotel unlike the time I visited & stayed where the ambience was dull & gloomy. Congrats Mr. Isaac!!

  5. Andrew, thanks for the positive comments, Ipoh does have a lot to offer and i sincerely do hope that tourism in the area does develop to a higher volume.

    Mr. Rick Deen (nice anonymous name),
    The Impiana Hotel Ipoh is currently undergoing a fast track and positive geared uplift, no matter how anyone would like to comment, it is far better than the Casuarina days. If a change of interior and a management organisation with proper hotel standards do not satisfy most then that is the reason tourism in Ipoh cannot move forward, merely due to the “Old Boys” attitude amongst the chosen few of Ipoh. In the past 4 months that i have been onboard, my team and i have developed a strong hotel presence with positive reviews from “most”. As a mangement team we pride ourselves with simple achievements recently such as a Club Lounge, Club Rooms, a new Deli, a new German Chef, a new meeting venue and new rooms. My next immediate move is to renovate the ballroom, re furbish our landscape and refresh the Coffee House. As a premier venue in Ipoh this task is very daunting for my team and me and we hope that more constructive criticisms such as yours come our way, without comments like these we cannot identify our next positive move. We look forward to welcoming you to Impiana Hotel Ipoh Mr.Deen. Please call me personaly at 05-2555555 ext 8888 and i will be more than happy to show you around our property, maybe even a nice Latte in our new Deli.

  6. Carl,
    Congratulations on the new job. I am sure you will be able to take the Impiana to greater heights and elevate not just the hotel but Ipoh as a tourist destination. There are so much to be offered in Ipoh but no one really capitalised on it.
    Maybe you should bring Michelle Yeoh back for a grand do at the Impiana.. 😉

  7. A nice article on Impiana Hotel Ipoh, however the people in Ipoh still prefered Casuarina as it was well known and well established back then..even today the locals still recognise it as Casuarina…however there are few who prefer other hotels than “Impiana” as they comment on the quality and services provided here. Definitely these two issues need to be addressed and looked into by Impiana Management.I have been to Impiana before a few times, no doubt i did not get the feel of being in a hotel but rather in a typical restaurant with poor air-conditioning and old rusty look.

    I hope the management of Impiana will look into this issues…however comments like this is always and will always be neglected and ignores…as how the saying goes..”ROTTEN MANGO HAS A CLEAN EXTERIOR”

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