Luxury yet edgy; only way to describe W, a stunning hotel in Malaysia’s cosmopolitan capital of Kuala Lumpur – gives you the best of Malaysia all under one roof.

Fab! Luxe spoke with General Manager, Christian Metzner and his team to talk about anything and everything W,  Whatever/Whenever®

Christian Metzner, General Manager

Christian, let’s get to know you.

Hello and a Happy New Year to all of you. I am originally from a small town near Frankfurt in Germany, however have spent the last 16 years in Asia. In 2006 I moved after 3 years in Munich to Beijing where I had the opportunity to be part of a hotel opening for Marriott International, just right before the Olympic Games. After 3 years in Beijing and 6 years in Tianjin I transferred to Langkawi and in 2017, to Kuala Lumpur -to open the W Kuala Lumpur.  I have all along been with Marriott. Together with my wife, Sasha we enjoy every moment here in Kuala Lumpur, but as I am sure as most of you, can’t wait for 2021 to begin so we all can travel again to visit our families and friends in Germany and Russia. 

Tell us all we need to know about W Hotel, Kuala Lumpur 

Marking the iconic W brands first-ever hotel in Malaysia, W Kuala Lumpur opened doors on August 2018 in the heart of the capital, steps from the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers. W Kuala Lumpur features 150 stylish guest rooms and suites and five diverse beverage and food venues, bringing a flawless synergy to Kuala Lumpur’s booming, multicultural food and drink scene. YEN, our Chinese restaurant, offers a contemporary take on traditional Cantonese recipes and weekend Dim Sum brunches while FLOCK, our all day dining venue showcases dishes featuring organic and local produce and a focus on sustainable eats. If you haven’t been at W Kuala Lumpur and our dining venues so far, I can absolutely suggest you one of our famous brunches either in Yen or in Flock. For inventive bar bites and meticulously crafted cocktails, WOOBAR is a chic all-day social space which is great for Afternoon Tea with cocktails while WET® Deck pool bar features creative concoctions, with breath taking views of Petronas Twin Towers as its stunning backdrop.  And if you haven’t been convinced to visit us so far, stop by and visit the latest addition to our B&F venues called Willow. After a hard day at work in the office or exploring the city, and when it’s time to take the tempo down a notch, our Away Spa will hit the spot for you to unwind and rejuvenate.  With over 1500 square meters of event space to work with, we have the means to take on the big conferences, weddings, product launches or a glam breakfast meeting. 

An edge W Kuala Lumpur has…

We are bringing guests closer to passion points we believe in : Music, Design, Fashion and Fuel (the brand’s take on fitness and healthy lifestyle) scenes in Kuala Lumpur while providing insider access to what’s new/next and our signature Whatever/Whenever® service, delivering whatever guests what they want, whenever they want it, in this incredible city. 

The people that run it, is most definitely the heart of the hotel.  Tell us about W Kuala Lumpur crew.

Our team members are called Talents in the W terminology that really sets us apart.  I remember having to do auditions for ‘talent casting’, basically job applications for those interested to explore a career with W brand. I recall the sparkle in their eye, and until today, I still see them as our talents because they have an affinity with the brand. For me, I think experiences matter, but what is more important is their attitude towards work. I love to see the drive when we are working on exciting projects together, especially since the hotel’s pre-opening stages. 

We also have unique roles in the hotel such as the W Insider and the W Music Curator. 

A W Insider is a unique role compared to traditional hotel settings, a role that creates both valuable and memorable experiences for our guests. The aim is to drive loyalty to the brand and providing hotels a way to differentiate themselves in the ever-growing lifestyle hotel marketplace. The position ensures that there is someone available at key times to focus entirely on providing guests with insider tips and information on the city they are in, as well as bringing WOW moments to life for guests to experience at W – truly living up to the Whatever/Whenever® culture. 

The W Music Curator on the other hand is someone with excellent in-depth knowledge of both local music scene and the biggest international sounds – in order to create the perfect sound-track for guests staying at our hotel. Apart from ensuring the music at W is on point, the W Music Curator should also have excellent connections and a strong network with local tastemakers, along with a genuine interest to deliver the best experience for our guests. 

Playful and dreamy comes to mind walking into W Kuala Lumpur.  Let’s talk interiors..

I would say the design is edgy and modern. The design narrative of the hotel is based on old and modern KL, the main narrative being confluence of old and new and a tribute to the greeneries within the city – Jungle City. 

W Kuala Lumpur combines an inexhaustible mix of old and new colors, aromas and sounds that blend effortlessly together in a cultural festival for the senses. A distinct design feature at W Kuala Lumpur is the pixel – or dots. It is cleverly integrated throughout the hotel and is used to create a bigger picture inspired by a broader multicultural Malaysia, made up of many ethnicities. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by larger-than-life traditional batik motifs, a nod to ancient artwork of the region, blended with sleek metal accents. 

The city’s abundant plant life is pulled into the space via bamboo-inspired chandeliers set against an ever-changing wall of lights, a representation of the new technology that is enhancing the cityscape. At the welcome area (Front Desk in W terminology), guests check-in amongst modern nods to the jungle. Streaming LED lights hang from above, playfully mimicking falling rain drops, spotlights alternate along the floor like a flowing river while the ceiling patterns depict an artistic interpretation of water ripples and chandeliers show off the shapes of spinning Malay toys known throughout the country.

Extending from the Living Room, the hotel’s grand staircase plays with light and space in a towering geometric cascade of steel-mirrored panels. Reflecting the vibrant colors and native designs found throughout the room and floors above, the staircase shifts each guests’ view of both color and spacial dynamics as they move through the creatively extroverted mirroring.

W Kuala Lumpur features 150 stylish guest rooms and suites, including two WOW suites and the lavish Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional presidential suite). With a living space of over 520 square meters, the Extreme WOW Suite brings a new level of eclectic luxury to the city. All W Kuala Lumpur rooms and suites embody both the traditional and modern elements of the Jungle City, teaming W essentials like signature W beds with traditional accents like indigenous “Wau” tassels commonly featured on Malaysian kites and pixelated versions of batik designs.

Best thing about your vocation.

Every day is different from the day before and you never know what’s going to happen the moment you step into the hotel. We aim to provide every guest the best and most fabulous experience you can have.

Whatever/Whenever is W’s way and service approach of pampering you. We aim to fulfill your request.  Whatever/Whenever.  24/7. 

Besides our guests, of course, our crew here at W keeps me going every single day.

One single trait all hoteliers need to have.

You have to be passionate with what you do. We work when everyone goes for holiday. We smile even in stressful situations. You have to be passionate and love our trade.

A typical day for you.

My typical day normally starts with a quick run in KLCC Park followed by a cup of coffee while reading and answering emails. The moment I step into the hotel, it’s all about taking care of our guests with the team, planning the next weeks and months as well looking after the needs and requests from the team. After a last round in the evening I love to wind down with a glass of wine at home on our balcony.

The last music you downloaded.

I recently was listing to a German band called Fury in the Slaughterhouse which is one of my favorites.  Coldplay, Live or Lifehouse are also bands I would listen to from time-to-time. Depending on the situation, I also enjoy listing to our W music channel which you can find on Spotify.

Best book you’ve read this year.

Do audiobooks count as well?   I was listening to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I read the book many years ago and thought it would be nice to listen to it as well.

The moment you realized hospitality is for you.

After I finishing school I started to work in a cocktail bar as a mixologist and later bar manager. One day, I met a family friend, herself being a hotel General Manager and afterwards I knew that this is what I would like to do in the future.

Country you can’t wait to go back to? 

It’s definitely Germany and Russia to visit our families and friends as we haven’t been back home for nearly 2 years!

Things you’ll always have in your fridge.

Eggs, I love eggs and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

Best hotel you’ve stayed in.

I get that question quite a lot and to be honest I had the opportunity to stay in amazing hotels and resorts over the last years around the world due to my profession. I believe it’s all about the person you are with and the experiences you make while staying in those places. Our most memorable experience,  possibly would be  St. Regis and W Maldives and at The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Langkawi which we can’t wait to visit again.

Favorite country / city to visit.

It’s a bit like the question with the best hotel as it’s all about the experiences you make.

I loved being in Moscow, for example which I would have never thought that it is so beautiful until I visit it the first time.

Favorite airlines.

We are not very picky and as long as we arrive safe from A to B – I am fine. In Asia, we would normally fly Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia or Malindo while when going back to Germany its either with Emirates or Etihad Airways. But having said, it’s also about the right flight connection – there are many other fabulous airlines around as well.

Wisest purchase you made in 2020.

I bought myself a road cycle during the first MCO lockdown, which I sincerely enjoy now when going for weekend rides.

What have you come to appreciate of late.

Time with my family and friends. This year was for sure hard on all of us and being away from the family was not making it easier.

Where some of your biggest inspirations come from.

I am very thankful for the way my parents brought my brother and myself up, which allows me to be who I am today. I also had some amazing mentors over the last years and from time to time I think back and let myself get inspired.

One gadget you can’t do without.

Unfortunately my mobile phone. Whatever/Whenever 24/7.

Favorite podcast(s).

I have not had the chance to really get into the world of podcasts so far.

Perhaps this could be something for 2021.

Your 2021’s wishlist.

Of course, that we are all staying healthy. Opened borders to be able to travel again as well as to welcome guests from all over the world at W Kuala Lumpur.

What can we expect from W Kuala Lumpur in 2021?

As soon as the MCO is lifted, we have big plans! We are planning out a myriad of activities under our umbrella of passion points : Music, Fashion, Fuel, Design. 

We are planning an Urban Fuel Weekend, a staycation program focusing on physical and mental wellbeing in March 2020, exciting line up of live band performances including comedy shows, collaborations with local artists, restaurants and many more! Watch this space! 

Volker Burth

Executive Assistant Manager, B&F

Tell us about your role, Volker.

Being the EAM B&F for W Kuala Lumpur, I truly believe it is key that we question constantly, the ins and outs of our offerings and review relevance, quality and execution of our service. This is a key part of my role to review and check the products we offer, check on guest satisfaction and listen to the feedback to adjust our promotional activities and guest services to remain the talk-of-town for What’s New/Next in Kuala Lumpur.  One factor that makes W Kuala Lumpur stand out amongst the rest.

At W Kuala Lumpur, we do not follow the norms of traditional hospitality; in fact, we curate events to offer guests a variety of things to do at our venues, which makes us stand out compared to what our competitors offer. The moment you step in to W KL, you are entering a journey for a memorable stay and social experience where we aim to provide a platform to be yourself and live life to the fullest.

Best part about being with W Kuala Lumpur.

Being part of a young, motivated and energetic team. Here at W, we are all somehow ‘disruptors’. Energetic and always thriving to push ourselves to the best of what we can be. The team is the heart of what makes W KL a great place to work.

A typical day for you.

A typical day starts with a coffee, checking what has occurred the day before and what is ahead. As you know, in hospitality no day is the same and typical is not in our vocabulary. If I would have to sum it up, hitting the To Do’s which are never stopping. A vital part is also the so-called on stage time, where I aim to spend 4 to 6 hours out of the office on the floor, talking to guests, talents and spreading the energy across the spaces. To unwind, I either hit the gym for a run or check out one of the local places for a meal and drinks before the next day.

Your personal style.

I’d like to think I am casual, fun and never resting.  Always aiming to try and think of something new, I push myself and my fellow colleagues whilst looking ahead.

Something you rediscovered in 2020.

In 2020, I discovered a lot about myself. Having so much time on hands, I started new hobbies and took the opportunity to do sports on a more constant basis. Not being able to travel this year is a bummer (which has always been a big thing in my life), but it has brought me closer to friends and family near and far through our constant catch-ups (thank God for technology!)

Best book you’ve read this year.

I took the opportunity to revisit books I have read in the past. I used to love reading books by the author Umberto Eco and caught up with some of his greatest reads. 

What have you come to appreciate in 2020.

The fact that travelling is a gift, not a privilege, we should be so thankful for and remain humble that we live in a world where we have all the opportunities we could dream of, even during difficult times.

One gadget you can’t do without.

It would be my iPad, I been using it to connect with people, reading on updates, play my favourite tunes, all in one great gadget!

Your new year’s wishlist.

Follow your dreams and don’t give up!

Meliha Faisal

W Insider

Tell us about your role, Meliha.

Being a W Insider is a fun job like no other. My role is to connect guests to What’s New/Next in this jungle city. I spend a lot of time communicating with guests and getting to know what gets them going so I can WOW them with a more personalized stay which in return rewards it as a memorable one. Another side to this role to also be active in the social scenes of Kuala Lumpur, to know what’s the newest off the beaten path gems so truly, I never clock out on being an Insider. 

One factor that makes W Kuala Lumpur stands out amongst the rest.

It’s the lust for life and driven mindset to remix traditional luxury.

Best part about being an Insider for W.

Is meeting all the amazing and unique personalities that I do – helps me grow as a person in so many ways. 

A typical day for you..

A typical day would start off with our daily morning ‘What’s Up’meetings where we set daily goals and go over arrivals and happenings for the day. 

Then making sure the rooms are ready for our guests arrival and ensure the ones who are celebrating something special has a little something to kick start their celebrations with. From then on, it’s all about engagement and meeting as many guests as I possibly can and making sure they are having a fabulous W stay.

Your personal style

My personal style and the style I rock at W KL, I must say do not conflict much – as I love things that stand out, I love bright colors and I have no problem being over the top. 

The last music you downloaded.

Would have to be the Martinez Brother’s latest track with Louie Vega titled ‘Let Go’ 

Best book you’ve read this year.

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson 

The moment you realized hospitality is for you.

This is funny because as a DJ/Singer-songwriter, I never saw myself doing hospitality and on top of that, growing to like it so much but here I am, sewn into this role of the W Insider and getting better by day at it – which makes me feel like I might have a knack or even a soft spot for hospitality. 

What have you come to appreciate in 2020 

That no matter how bad things get, it is more so what you make of it.

One gadget you can’t do without .

My phone. I’m terrible! 

Your new year’s wishlist.

To keep on persevering, to keep on growing and to learn how to be myself better.

Victor Goh

Music Curator

Victor, tell us about yourself.

Hi I’m Victor Goh, the Music Curator for the W Kuala Lumpur. I basically overlook all music and entertainment aspects for the property. I’m also responsible for creating and enforcing the identity of one of the best W Hotels in the region music and events wise. Apart from work, I love competitive sports like football and motorsports and when I can, I go scuba diving!

Being a Music Curator for W Kuala Lumpur.

As music is a passion point for W Hotels, I play an integral role in developing a long-term sustainable approach to music for the property. Apart from programming all music you hear the moment someone steps in the hotel, I am also in charge of curating and booking all entertainment ranging from DJ’s, performers to conceptualizing event setup.

One factor that makes W Kuala Lumpur stand out amongst the rest.

We are the only hotel in the city which has the best and loudest events all year round!

Best part about being with W Kuala Lumpur.

A strong team who fully trusts and supports you to put your dreams to reality. When I joined W KL, before we opened, I had the goal to put us on the map when it comes to music and events experience for KL and it eventually happened! I believe the synergy between all departments really contribute to the success. 

A typical day for you.

A morning walk with my dogs, gym, work, catch up with friends then home and TV. If I have extra time then spending time working on music. That’s as typical as it gets!

Your personal style.

I’m pretty casual and simple. I like sneakers especially Air Jordans.

The last music you downloaded.

Dee Montero – Meridian (Patrice Baumel Remix) on Futurescope records.

Best album / single released this year.

Best single – Frigid Armadillo – Roam in a Day. An amazing production from 2 young talented kids from South Africa.  

A song I’ve recently rediscovered – Hybrid – Finished Symphony. Classical Orchestra meets electronic breaks at its best!

What have you come to appreciate in 2020.

The people closest to me, my girlfriend and family, my dogs, my good friends. 2020 has definitely been a challenging year for all of us. We just got to brave through the storm and keep it together. 

One gadget you can’t do without.

Apart from my mobile phone, I’d say my laptop!

Your new year’s wishlist.

For this pandemic to end so we can get on with our events! Oh yea, World Peace!