I asked Liew Yu-Wei the Executive Director of the soon-to-open WEIL Hotel whether in this age of mass production, anyone understands the meaning of the word ‘Bespoke’ which in the Oxford dictionary is defined as ‘made to order’. For that is what they are calling the newest hotel to come on the Ipoh scene in their advertising: ‘A bespoke hotel – fuelled by the desire to provide a unique experience for today’s traveller’.
“We plan to be the best hotel in Ipoh, not just in hardware as in our product but also in software as in our people,” he replied. “Hence the description of ‘Bespoke’. We are putting in the best of the best in decor, furnishings and fittings and we are recruiting and training the best service professionals in the hospitality industry,” he added.
Scheduled for a soft opening at the end of October, the WEIL
Hotel will be giving all other hotels in Ipoh some stiff competition when it opens. The WEIL hotel will be managed by WEIL Resources Sdn Bhd, a member of the Thong Fook Group under the chairmanship of Dato’ Liew Sew Yee, whose late father started the Thong Thye Groundnut Factory under the popular Pagoda brand in 1945. This will be the company’s first venture into the hospitality business and will serve as a flagship for other projects which the group hopes to grow into a chain.
Thong Fook whose historical roots are in the manufacturing of plastics and electronic components and best known for their Pagoda brand of peanuts and nuts, has been looking at diversification after the manufacturing arm was sold. Coincidentally at the same time, younger son of the family, Yu-Wei decided to leave his management consulting job at Accenture in Kuala Lumpur to return to the family business in Ipoh.
During their manufacturing days when their German partners came to Ipoh for meetings, they would have so many complaints about the hotels in Ipoh that many preferred to come in for the day and return to KL in the evening rather than to spend a night here. It was then that the seed for venturing into the hospitality business was sown in Dato Liew’s mind when he made a promise to his German friends of “in the future I’ll build an hotel where you’ll be happy to stay”. This promise accounts for the development of the WEIL Hotel and their branding of ‘A Bespoke Hotel’.
Yu-Wei’s decision to return to Ipoh came at an opportune time and the decision to develop the WEIL Hotel was made. A Mechanical Engineering graduate from Imperial College in London, Yu-Wei has been involved with the family business in various capacities. During his time as a Consultant with Accenture (Malaysia) he had been exposed to various consulting projects ranging from business process re-engineering, system integration and outsourcing. But hotel management expertise was missing. That was when Yu-Wei decided to take a year off to do his Masters in hospitality management at EHL in Lausanne,Switzerland. This he did with alacrity and returned to spearhead the group’s first hotel.
The name ‘WEIL’ is an ananym (real name written backwards) of the family name. The hotel will be the first ‘green’ hotel in Ipoh with sustainable and energy efficient features like double glazed windows and all carpeting, wallpaper and many other items will be ‘green’ certified. The 313 rooms with sizes ranging from 32sq m (344sq ft) to a maximum of 65sq m (699sq ft) will all have complimentary mini-bars, tea and coffee-making facilities and all bathrooms will have standalone shower stalls with handheld as well as rainforest showers as well as bathtubs. A Presidential Suite of 303sq m (3272sq ft) offers the epitome in accommodation.
Food and Beverage venues spanning two levels and the rooftop offers a tantalising selection of international and local cuisine. Eight wining and dining experiences await guests with a Chinese, Japanese, Western restaurant, rooftop Gastro Bar, All-Day Dining & Alfresco, Tea Lounge, Delicatessen and a Cuisine Academy take on an elevated experience where cooking demonstrations and Chef’s Table dining soirees will be held. The WEIL Ballroom on Level 6 will be the ideal venue for banquets and momentous occasions while their Conference Centre located at Level 2 compliments events catered towards industry leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The WEIL Hotel will be raising the bar on leisure and relaxation with extensive facilities which includes a gym, yoga & aerobics room, spa and rooftop infinity pool. The convenience of their strategic location with a dedicated connection to Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre makes WEIL Hotel a distinguished landmark, a preferred address – the quintessential destination for business and leisure. 296 dedicated parking bays plus the ones available for Ipoh Parade will make the WEIL Hotel a convenient and attractive magnet for leisure and pleasure.
Other enticing and exciting developments in the pipeline include a Members Town Club whose details are being finalised. Watch this space for more news about Ipoh’s latest ‘Bespoke’ hotel and its team of dedicated hospitality professionals.