InsideTalk: Interview mit Michael Delargy, GM Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur


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Heute starten wir mit InsideTalk ein neues Format auf InsideFlyer. Während unseren Reisen treffen wir auf viele interessante Personen, die in ihrer beruflichen Laufbahn viele verschiedene Länder der Welt bereisen und auch dort Leben. An dieser Stelle sind natürlich vor allem auch Manager von Hotels zu nennen, die nicht selten einen Großteil ihres Lebens abseits ihres Heimatlandes verbringen. Diese Geschichten und Erlebnisse möchten wir auf InsideFlyer teilen. Im InsideTalk erfahrt Ihr mehr über die Personen, die hinter den Hotels, Airlines & Co stehen, ihren Lebenslauf und ihre Tipps für ihre Destination.

InsideTalk mit Michael Delargy


Bei meinem letzten Besuch im Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur kam ich mit dem General Manager des Hotels, Michael Delargy ins Gespräch, der sich sehr gerne zu diesem Interview bereiterklärt hat.

Ich habe Michael als einen sehr offenen General Manager kennengelernt, der sehr an der Meinung seiner Gäste interessiert ist und sich aktiv mit ihnen unterhält. So ist er regelmäßig abends in der Le Méridien Club Lounge anzutreffen wo er das Feedback seiner Gäste sucht. Er ist stetig offen für neue Ideen. Michael ist seit Januar 2017 General Manager im Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, nachdem sein Vorgänger im Herbst 2016 nach Taipeh gewechselt ist. Vor Kuala Lumpur war Michael für Starwood Hotels & Resorts in China tätig.

Michael kommt ursprünglich aus Irland und kann daher kein Deutsch. Insofern fand das Interview auf Englisch statt.




InsideTalk – Auf einen Espresso mit Michael Delargy, General Manager Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur

Michael, when did you start working in the hotel business? 

If clearing dirty beer glasses at a hotel nightclub in a small Irish town when I was 16 counts, then in the 1980s!  It was through talking to the manager of this hotel that I realised their passion for what they were doing, and was struck by it.  I don’t think I knew what I wanted to do, but I was starting to realise in which industry I wanted to be. 

After you finished school, did you immediately know that the hotel business is your preferred industry?

While finishing school exams, I had listed my top 5 university choices as engineering related degrees.  My number 6 choice was hotel management, but this course required an interview.  I moved my number one choice to Hotel Management, after being told this would be a question in the interview.  Thankfully I left it at number one, and was successful in being accepted for the Hotel management course!  After university, I started as an assistant IT manager for the  Langham Hilton in London, and stayed with IT for about 13 years until moving over to operations in 2008.

Where did you live in the past thanks to your job? 

I was lucky that a few years after moving from Dublin to London for my first job, I was asked to manage IT for an opening hotel project in China.  After this project the travel bug got me, and I started as a Starwood IT project manager for Africa and the Middle East, spending about a month at a time at hotels across the region from Algeria to South Africa and Egypt to Yemen.  I then moved from Dubai to Singapore to head up Starwood IT for Asia Pacific where I remained for almost 8 years until the move to operations in 2008.  I am fascinated by Asia and am very fortunate to call this part of the world home now.  My operations roles have taken me from Macau to Thailand and China, before arriving back in KL, one of my favourite cities!

What do you like about Kuala Lumpur and what do you recommend to your guests?

I love the mix in KL between different cultures, and the way that this influences every part of the city whether it is in language, customs, architecture and of course most importantly in Malaysia, cuisine! Kuala Lumpur is a city that reveals itself little by little, and has so many gems dotted around.  For visitors on a limited time schedule, some of the recommendations must include KLCC and the Twin Towers, Batu Caves, Chinatown and Central Market.

Some of the braver travellers may wish to try deep fried Durian on Jalan Alor, and of course everyone should try Nasi Lemak for breakfast!  It is always a good to check for ongoing events in the city during a trip here, and there is als the KL Car Free Morning twice a month on Sunday mornings when many of the streets in central KL are closed to cars, and opened exclusively to bikes, runners and walkers.  It is a great way to experience the city as it wakes up on a Sunday morning. 

When you have some leisure time, whats your favorite location in KL?

There are so many to choose from, but I think my favourite place in the city is Lake Gardens, just beside the Le Meridien.  In a city filled with hustle bustle, this is a perfect place to escape for a short time, enjoy nature and relax. 

InsideTalk Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens
Blick auf die Lake Gardens vom Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur aus

As you know, I am a huge fan of the Le Méridien KL. What do you find special about this hotel?

We are fortunate that the hotel has just completed a major top to bottom refurbishment, and so is like a new hotel in KL.  Great care was taken in design and in trying to create experiences that go above & beyond what our guests expect.  I think a great example of this is in our amazing Club Lounge, sitting high above the city and with a wonderful culinary offering, our guests regularly tell us how much thye enjoy it.  As well as the very special team of people at the hotel, I believe our cuisine sets us apart in Kuala Lumpur, from our award winning Prime steakhouse and Favola Italian restaurant to Latest Recipe and the catering in our events spaces. 

InsideTalk mit Michael Delargy
Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur Club Lounge

You mentioned that you worked in China before. Whats the main difference between working here in KL and working in your previous hotel?

Culturally there are many differences between working in Nanjing and in Kuala Lumpur, but I think the main day to day difference I have found is in my ability to directly communicate with everyone on the team in KL.  As I don’t speak Mandarin, it definitely made things more complicated and time consuming in China.  Here in Kuala Lumpur I think it allows me to be much closer with the team, allowing us together to be totally aligned in trying to exceed our guest expectations!

Thank you for your time Michael!

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