THE dinner napkins were folded into rose blooms and the presence of four beauty queens from the Miss Cosmopolitan pageant added elegance to the event.
The company history was told through sand art and Merlin Award winners magicians Mark Yong and Pinky Loo were part of the night’s entertainment.
Long recognised as a landmark hotel along bustling Jalan Kelang Lama, it comes as no surprise that Pearl International Hotel would choose to celebrate its 20th anniversary in grand style.
The black-tie event saw the Phoenix Ballroom transformed into a romantic flower garden.
To commemorate the occasion, event manager Lawrence Khoh, who has been with the hotel for 20 years, was given the honour to be co-emcee for the night.
Incidentally, Khoh was also emcee when the hotel opened in 1997.
Knowing this prompted his co-host to remark that he remained the good-looking master of ceremonies that he was two decades ago.
A corporate video of the hotel was also shown to guests. Made to tug at heartstrings, the storyline featured a sales manager who had stayed at the hotel during an outstation assignment. He inevitably left his watch, a present from his wife, behind.
Two decades later, he returned to the hotel only to find that the staff had his watch in their safekeeping all this time. The characters in the video were acted by the hotel staff.
Aikbee group managing director Datuk Seri Tan Aik Kiong extended his appreciation to the staff for their creativity.
Touching on the hotel’s history, he said the site where the building now stood was where the Aikbee sawmill used to be.
Tan said it had been the vision of his late father, Sik Seng, to build a condominium, shopping mall and a hotel.
Tan then shared a photo of his father standing next to the then culture, arts and tourism minister Tan Sri Sabbaruddin Chik, when the latter had come to officiate at the hotel’s opening in 1997.
“We have proven our reputation through time. This is why I am proud to be part of the group. We are a close-knit unit and are united in facing challenges.
“All our staff know that our team spirit is strong and they will never walk alone,” said Tan.
Hotel general manager Dylen Gan said despite being a local hotel brand, it was commendable that Pearl International Hotel had survived the 2008 financial crisis and the airline tragedies in 2014.
Instead, it has garnered a reputation as a choice hotel for international sports events such as the SEA Games, Asian Games and Paralympic Games.
The hotel’s food and beverage outlets are also halal certified.