Jason Pang – Hotelier
Jason Pang, owners’ representative for Liu Men Malacca, speaks to The Yum List about his tricky situations and his perspective on the hotel industry.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
By chance, I’m a Project Manager for a property developer and one day my Directors showed me a beautiful heritage building and said: “We want to be the best boutique hotel in Malacca.” We went through countless hours of discussions and design prototypes to reach the final product. Being within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we took a single year to convince the city council and the National Heritage Department of what we’re planning to do. Finally deciding on the direction, we spent three years to deconstruct, construct and renovate the hotel to what you see today. Since launching, I now oversee the entire Operations of Liu Men Hotel and work closely with the General Manager.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
We had a 70-pax wedding reception just before opening day, the decorations and vendors had all been booked and guests had been invited. The only thing that wasn’t ready was that the hotel did not have electricity connected until a week before the event and the air conditioning was only operational two days before the event. I had to almost call the client to cancel the event. Fortunately, the wedding proceeded as planned and everyone went home happy. Thinking back, it was my greatest panic moment and now I just laugh at how the whole thing played out.
Running a hotel is like watching a swan swim. It looks so graceful, but under the water, its feet are working very hard to keep that façade of elegance.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
Best Part: When the team does everything impeccably and almost to perfection. When working on a strategy or a big client and it pays off.
Worst Part: When it’s time to pay the bills and deal with human problems.
What’s one must-try dish in Malacca?
Nyonya curry laksa
The perfect day off would be…
By the beach, sipping cocktails with music and being with good friends.
A day in the life of a hotelier is…
Making sure everyone plays their role well.
What do you do for fun?
Eat, drink & a few sports.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Liu Men Hotel?
Liu Men hotel is not just about Baba Nyonya design but an eclectic mix of Chinese and also Colonial Art Deco flavours. We believe in representing Malacca as a cultural melting pot and giving guests a whole different boutique hotel experience.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Nasi lemak with fried chicken and ice coffee or Milo.
What’s your view on the hospitality industry in Malaysia?
It still has a lot more potential to grow. Malaysia’s diversity and infrastructure are great as compared with its ASEAN neighbours. With the support and publicity campaigns from the Government such as in the days of “Malaysia, Truly Asia.”. There are a lot more types of hotels (i.e nature, heritage, business, luxury), which can be opened and tourists to welcome.
Find more interviews, similar to this one with Jason Pang, here.