We’ve spent two full years WFH now, and every now and then, we try to find ways that we can work together in person.
This time, our WFH (work from hotels) experience has brought us to The Westin KL, where we’d be having a 3D2N workcation in an apartment-style residence.
The Westin KL prides themselves on their wellness niche, whereby they aim to serve guests based on their six pillars: Eat Well, Sleep Well, Move Well, Work Well, Play Well, and Feel Well, and we were eager to experience them for ourselves.
Disclaimer: Our whole team is fully vaccinated, boosted, and have tested negative on the first and last day of our trip. The Westin KL also had their strict set of safety measures which we’ll elaborate on further in the piece.
Getting down to business
Our 120 square metre suite comes with a spacious living room, dining area, and kitchenette (equipped with essentials like cutleries, a kettle, microwave, and full-sized fridge). The latter would be beneficial for teams opting to cook their own meals inside the suite itself.
Finding space to work as a group was easy, and we ended up sitting at the large marble dining table with enough room to spare (for social distancing, if you will). Next to it was a smaller table close to the room’s floor-to-ceiling windows that supplied a scenic view of KL.
There weren’t enough plug points at the dining area, but help was just a call away and extension cords were speedily delivered to us. This was the same for any other request that we had, like for more bottled water, housekeeping to clear away dishes, or when getting our luggage to check out. It was clear that The Westin KL’s service was extremely efficient.
To be fair, Vithya, the hotel’s Marketing Communications Manager, did share that the hotel is not yet at full capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. So the real test of service would likely be when the hotel hosts more guests in the future.
For those who prefer more privacy when working or making calls, you could utilise the study room next to the master bedroom that comes complete with sockets nearby.
Our 2-bedroom apartment had a king-sized bed and two twin beds. Both rooms also came with en-suite bathrooms and their own dressing tables (another private nook for work!).
Smaller teams who’d favour a less elaborate space could also opt for the hotel’s 1-bedroom apartment which is essentially a scaled-down version of our suite. It comes with a living room, kitchenette, master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, and a dedicated study room for one.
Those staying in the hotel’s apartment-style residences or Westin Suites will be provided Club Lounge access at The Westin Club. This luxurious location with meeting rooms for business travellers was our chosen backdrop for a video shoot, since the location was unused during the day due to the hotel’s safety SOPs.
Exemplary hospitality was displayed by the hotel’s staff in accommodating our impromptu request to use the space.
Considering the layout of the suites, the amenities of the Club Lounge, and even the availability of a sunken lounge area near the hotel lobby, workcation teams are spoilt for choice on where they’d like to work or have meetings for the day.
Unexpectedly, the biggest issue we faced was with the hotel’s WiFi speeds and stability. Most of us experienced some spotty connection in our hotel room and at the poolside bar, which disrupted our workflow at times, but didn’t completely bring our tasks to a standstill.
We later brought this up to The Westin KL’s team, and they reported that their tech department will be looking into it. It’s good that this issue was caught now, before more guests fill the hotel’s 443 rooms (380 hotel rooms and 63 residential suites).
Getting well-nourished by various cuisines
Over the three days we were there, we had all our meals at, and from The Living Room, the hotel’s main restaurant. Its name may be simple, but the restaurant team’s ability to churn out a variety and quantity of food is not to be underestimated.
There, we had its high tea set, lunch and dinner items, and our favourite, the breakfast buffet.
Safety SOPs are taken very seriously at The Westin KL, and every set of metal cutlery is pre-packaged in individual plastic wraps. Plastic gloves are required to be worn whenever we were piling up our plates at the buffet’s extensive spread of local cuisines, pastries, cereals, and a unique Kid’s Treat Corner.
It’s an additional cost and work-intensive for the hotel to provide these safety precautions on a daily basis. But The Westin KL team is adamant about not taking any risks with the virus, and wants to ensure that guests feel safe throughout their stays.
In true workcation fashion, we lugged around our laptops while snacking at Splash, the hotel’s poolside bar, and drinking at 443 Bar Lounge (the bar’s name pays homage to the hotel’s number of rooms).
Getting personalised service and attention
Despite the seemingly endless stream of food and beverages we enjoyed, the one that really stole our hearts was our first welcome meal. It comprised refreshing drinks and a pie tee set that had smoked salmon, finely diced veggies, and refreshing guacamole. Throughout our trip, our minds just kept going back to it.
We found out later that the pie tee was served to us as a welcome dish because the hotel was fulfilling the likes and dislikes we’d previously shared with them before our stay. Turns out, one of us mentioned “Japanese cuisine” as a favourite food and thus we had salmon with our pie tee set.
This is a treat The Westin KL is planning to extend to the hotel’s frequent guests so that they would be served with a personalised 5-star experience.
The attention to detail and personal touches by The Westin KL team was scattered all throughout their service, including the hotel’s staff.
If you look closely at their name tags, there’s a small section noting each employee’s “My Passion”, meant to help you get to know each hotel staff a little better. From the staff we met, we learnt that Vithya likes movies, Ezen (Restaurant Manager) likes shopping, Zack (Bar Manager) likes wines, and Firdaus (the head chef’s right-hand man) likes fishing.
Thanks to that trivia, anyone (especially lone digital nomads keen for some human interaction) can expect to start a genuine conversation with them.
Getting some much-needed rest
After long days of socialising and working, the hotel’s “Sleep Well” pillar definitely came into play. Their beds and pillows were soft and supportive, and each bedroom was provided with a lavender essential oil roller to relax our stressed minds before sleep.
Though its “Feel Well” pillar originally implied to us that an in-room spa service would be something we could expect, The Westin KL has put this amenity on hold due to the pandemic.
By the end of the trip, it’s safe to say we felt fulfilled, socially, gastronomically, and work-wise.
The Westin KL’s service went beyond our expectations, and if you’re able to plan your tasks and time management well, the hotel provides a healthy balance of work and play.
|What workcation crowd is The Westin KL fit for?||Pro tip|
|Small to medium-sized teams||Use the suite’s large dining tables and living room for team discussions, and get some privacy using the study room or bedroom tables.|
|Chatty digital nomads||Socialise with the staff by striking up a conversation with them about their passions.|
|Expats/long-term business travellers||Stay at the apartment-style residences where there are kitchenettes to cook your own meals.|
|Working parents taking families on staycations||A Kid’s Treat Corner at the breakfast buffet will keep children entertained and well-fed.|