Hotel insights: Jeffrey Mong, leading The Majestic life

Jeffrey Mong, the general manager at YTL’s iconic Majestic Hotel (Kuala Lumpur’s answer to Singapore’s Raffles Hotel or Hong Kong’s Peninsula), has been running a good race within the group for the

Jeffrey Mong, the general manager at YTL’s iconic Majestic Hotel (Kuala Lumpur’s answer to Singapore’s Raffles Hotel or Hong Kong’s Peninsula), has been running a good race within the group for the past 16 years. Finding himself at the helm of one of Malaysia’s leading hotels is not a challenge he takes lightly.

Sitting down for an afternoon cup of tea, in the historic colonial wing of The Majestic, Jeffrey told me he had just returned from Bath in England where he was involved in the opening of another of the brand’s iconic hotels, The Gainsborough Bath Spa.

As we sipped our respective teas he reminisced about his earlier days, starting out with YTL at the Vistana in Penang and gradually becoming a sort of troubleshooter manager for the company. Gaining impressive knowledge and experience in a relatively short time, Jeffrey would be sent in to “open” a new hotel – a daunting task in its own right. While opening a hotel in Sabah-Borneo on Gaya Island, there were many obstacles and deadlines that were not being met along the way. Turing the negative in the positive, Mong, who had a little free time on his hands, was sent to Niseko Village in Hokkaido, Japan, to oversee the opening of a ski lodge hotel which had just been taken in under the YTL wing and was in need of a diplomatic, transitional manager to bridge a cultural gap. Jeffrey was the man and management decided it would be wise to send him while awaiting Gaya’s delayed opening. Jeffrey garnered immeasurable experience during his Japanese experience and brought it back to Malaysia.

“Dance with the best and partner with the best” is how Mong describes the relationship struck up with “Leading Hotels of the World.” With only two hotels in Malaysia, Mong is confident that the relationship with Leading Hotels can be beneficial to The Majestic and afford it a unique window on the world.

When asked about the advent of new hotel groups entering the Malaysian market, he took that to be a win-win situation all around. A new St. Regis is set to open its doors a few hundred meters away at KL Sentral alongside Hilton and Le Meridien that both have well-established properties inside the loop. “There is a market share for all concerned, and the new hotel will only serve to enhance the area,” mused Mong.

All told, Mong is at the helm of an iconic property – after all The Majestic is a Malaysian icon.


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Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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