BFORE the mushrooming of high-rise buildings, the Excelsior Hotel had already established a name for itself as one of the iconic landmarks in Ipoh.
Besides being recognised for its majestic architecture and excellent room services, the hotel also housed the city’s most celebrated club, where most of the partygoers gathered in the 80s.
After surviving in the hospitality industry for more than three decades, the Excelsior Hotel in Ipoh, which was established in 1983, will soon begin a new chapter, with a new management taking over the business.
A gathering for all former and present hotel employees will be held at the hotel at Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil (Clarke Street) this Saturday.
The new management is expected to bring changes to the hotel and some of its former employees took the opportunity to recount their fond memories of the hotel with The Star.
One of them was L.Y. Ho, one of the pioneers who joined the Excelsior Hotel shortly after a year it was established.
Ho said people would wait for a chance to party at the Excelsior Club during its heydays.
“The club was always crowded with partygoers every night.
“There would still be people lingering around at about 4am, even though the club closed at 2am,” she recalled.
She said that the Excelsior Hotel was famous for organising star-studded countdown parties annually.
“Singer-extraordinaire Datuk Sudirman Arshad, Elaine Kang and Noorkumalasari were among performers of the mega events,” she said.
Ho said she had a wonderful working experience at the hotel and she deeply cherished the comradeship between her and colleagues.
“We had our differences but we never held grudges against one another. This was how close we were,” she said.
Sharon Ho, who had worked with the hotel’s sales department for about 10 years, said she treated her colleagues as if they were her family members.
“As a team, we worked together to ensure the smooth running of the events we hosted,” she said.
One of the many events the hotel had organised, Sharon said, was the charity football match, which took place back in the early 80s.
“We had invited Hong Kong film stars to take part in a football match with local players, and to raise funds for a charitable organisation in Ipoh,” she said.
Among those who had participated in the meaningful event were Alan Tam Wing-lun, Simon Yam Tat-wah, Michael Miu Kiu-wai and Danny Lau Dan, she added.
A former front desk employee said they had always strived to provide the best service to their customers.
“We were known for our excellent room, food and beverage services.
“We never had to worry about occupancy rate of the rooms, even when more hotels came up in the 90s,” she said.
Even though the hotel underwent several facelifts over the years, the management has maintained the classic facade over the years.
“As a new team would be taking over the hotel management soon, I hope they could lead the hotel to greater heights,” she said.
Meanwhile, an insider from the hotel said they were uncertain whether the new management would retain the name “Excelsior Hotel”, but declined to elaborate further.