PNB Darby Park Executive Suites is among the significant hotels in Kuala Lumpur. Known for its luxurious rooms, rooftop Malay fine dining restaurant overlooking the city view and Syariah-compliant practices; Destination Malaysia interviews General Manager, Ismail Hisham Ahmad Zamri to find out more.
“Most hotels are offering similar facilities such as a spa, Jacuzzi, coffee house, help centre and many more, but it’s really the people that make the difference. The warmth and friendliness are key to attracting more guests,” explains Ismail Hisham.
“That is what I always cultivate among the staff of PNB Darby Park Executive Suites. Adding a personal touch is very important. It is even more important among the front-liners. That is the key to our success; good service, good people and good food.”
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, people often find their way to PNB Darby Park Executive Suites for a luxurious experience. Ranging from Studio Apartments to the Lifestyle Residences with four rooms, it is not a wonder why this establishment is the hotel of choice for many travelers. “Our rooms are appealing for those who are looking for long-term tenancy. The Lifestyle Residence, is available from RM25,000 to RM30,000 per month. The Lifestyle Residence is suitable for families as it features a big hall, kitchenette and attached bathrooms. Staying here is just like being ‘at home, away from home’,” says Ismail.
According to Ismail, although their main clientele is from the corporate sector, he has seen an increase in families checking in for a short break during weekends. “Although we cannot deny the holiday tradition of going to the beach for a break,
I can see the younger families are spending time in the city. They check-in on Friday and check-out on Sunday, something like a sweet escape for those who want to be pampered once in a while,” he said.
The promotions that Tourism Malaysia has been campaigning since Visit Malaysia Year 2014 and the on-going MyFest 2015 contributed to the increase in Malaysian Tourism. People are travelling and spending more. At the same time, hotels are also offering competitive room rates and attractive plans for extended stays and dining options.
PNB Darby Park Executive Suites restaurants are known for their variety of local dishes like mee goreng Mamak (Mamak fried noodles), nasi ayam (chicken rice), sup belut (eel soup), belut salai masak kunyit (grilled eel), mee rebus keting (gravy noodles with Achilles tendon) and many more.
The hotel’s rooftop eatery, 39 Restaurant won the Best Malay Restaurant during the Malaysian Tourism Awards 2012/2013 on top of consecutive Best Restaurant Awards by Malaysia Tatler in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Chefs at PNB Darby Park Executive Suites take pride in serving the best authentic Malay cuisine that is rarely found in other places. Menus such as venison rendang, a variety of satay and, the Kelantan-style Ayam Kampung Panas (hot fried chicken) promotion received positive response from their regulars and walk-in guests. This delicious menu is served with a side of ulam (salad and herbs) that comes with a choice of local sauces to complement steaming hot rice and fried chicken straight from the wok. This set comes with a local kuih (dessert) and iced lemon tea at only RM30nett.
Winning the award for best restaurants is one thing, maintaining such a high standard is another. The real challenge comes after the award, more people will come here to try for themselves whether or not we are the best Malay restaurant in town,” said Ismail, smiling.
STRENGTHENING ISLAMIC PRACTICES
PNB Darby Park Executive Suites is among the key players in Malaysian Halal Tourism, having been certified as a Syariah- compliant establishment by JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) and SIRIM (Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia). “We have an in-house Ustaz (religious teacher) who helps us with the religious aspects of the business. Every morning we start our briefing with the doa (prayers) followed by a 10-minute tazkirah (reminder) which we share among the heads of department. I believe, our hotel is the first to have such practice,” Ismail said.
He explains that Islamic practices do not only apply to getting recognition and certificates but is a complete transformation. Halal tourism is not just about halal food, but everything must comply to the requirements from the halal authority including the source of materials, the recipes of cuisine, the cleanliness of the place, the honesty and sincerity in doing business and many more.
“We had a recent visit from Japan and we took them on a tour to inspect our property with our in-house Ustaz giving explanation about the procedures of halal practices in hotels. It’s an honour to have Japanese hotels using PNB Darby Park Executive Suites as a benchmark as they move towards halal tourism,” said Ismail, ending the interview.
BACK TO BASICS
As glamorous as it sounds, being a hotelier requires passion to provide the best service to guests. “At PNB Darby Park Executive Suites, we work together as a team. Whenever there are some loose screws, we will tighten them up with teamwork. If you have a colourful personality, you can make everything that you do colourful,” explains Ismail.