Starwood hotels in Kuala Lumpur are teaming up in a joint effort to raise much needed funds to financially support local children born with congenital heart defects. The initiative first mooted by Lé Meridien Kuala Lumpur saw great success in its first year in 2013. Since then, the hotel group decided to expand on the support and hence this year for the first time, four Starwood hotels in Kuala Lumpur: Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, The Westin Kuala Lumpur, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur and Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur will coordinate efforts to raise funds for this worthy cause this Christmas.
Founded in 1996, the ‘A heart for a heart’ charity program was set up by Gleneagles Hospital to help needy children with critical congenital heart defects undergo corrective surgery at the Gleneagles Cardiac centre. This also enables children in critical condition from being on the waiting list.
Each hotel is selling “Bintang” the Bear soft toys, priced at RM50 each. The bears all feature four distinctive T-shirt designs reflecting the unique characteristics of the four brands and hotels. This collection has been created exclusively for Starwood by Penang based artist Tiffany Choong of Bulanlifestyle.com.
Tiffany’s philosophy is to go beyond the aesthetics of art to showcase ethical living and social responsibility. “When this project presented itself, I was so happy to be a part of it. It is my passion to use my art for positive social change and to create awareness for the community,” Tiffany said.
“For this project, my starting point was to create 4 inspiring designs that not only reflected the 4r different hotel brands but also bring in elements of a tropical Christmas and all 4 designs are tied together by motivational and positive words to live by: Discover, Dream, Play and Love,” she explained.
Tiffany Choong with the bear collection
“In the true spirit of giving back, Starwood welcomes opportunities to contribute to the communities and the alliance in which the partnership with Gleneagles Hospital was built. We have always strived to engage with the community and hope to share our success with a meaningful cause and this time, the children are our core focus as they are the next generation of the future. All proceeds from our “Bintang the Bear” Christmas Charity effort will be channeled to Gleneagles Hospital”, says Chuck Abbott, Regional Vice President – South East Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Inc
About Bintang, The Bear
Like Starwood’s esteemed guests, “Bintang” the Bear has all the traits of a cultured traveller. He constantly seeks out refreshing new experiences in art, culture, music and wellness. The design of the bear represents the brand elements of each hotel through Tiffany’s creative touch.
Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur
The brand Le Méridien draws on its roots in global travel, a strong interest in the arts, and a passion for coffee and wine culture that leads to unlocking the creative- minded traveler to the most unexpected and engaging experiences. Tiffany’s design for Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur incorporates elements of Peranakan heritage, symbolized by the traditional peony flower and fashioned with intricate Islamic geometric patterns.
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur
At its heart, Sheraton is about people, and about bringing people together around the world. Through this, Love and hibiscus puzzle are the inspirations behind the design for Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur, representing its core values of “Warm, Connected and Community”, which display Malaysia’s warm hospitality and genuine community spirit. A bauble with a candy and star depicts the warmth of Christmas.
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
The Westin Kuala Lumpur bear features a crescent moon and stars expressing a luxuriant sleep, alongside a leaf which represents holistic wellness and health. These are the exact values which reinforce the Westin brand as a haven for authentic well-being.
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
The Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral design is perfectly attuned to the hotel’s bold urban philosophy and fun social vibe. Wearing a headset with a Christmas drink in hand, the Aloft bear embodies the essence of a fun-loving free spirit.
Chuck Abbott, Regional Vice President – South East Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc
“Bintang” the Bear charity program was officially launched on 22 November 2014 with a simple officiating ceremony at the HUB of Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, by Chuck Abbott, together with all the General Managers of each of the four Starwood KL hotels. Children from the ‘heart for a heart’ programme, along with their parents and family members as well as Tiffany Choong of Bulanlifestyle.com were also invited to the mid-morning event.
In addition to the officiating ceremony, the event also showcased a range of fun-filled and engaging activities, reflective of each individual brand, via several activity booths/corners. For example, the little ones could choose to express their creativity in a gingerbread making session under the guidance of The Westin KL’s pastry chefs; or had their faces painted in various designs at Le Méridien KL’s art corner. Over at the Sheraton Imperial KL’s section, kids got the chance to win exciting prizes from the “Sheraton Wheel of Fun” by just answering simple questions. Alternatively, the young ones indulged in what they loved best – simply PLAY and had a jolly good time at the Aloft KL Sentral’s Camp Aloft area.
As Christmas is fast approaching, a bear makes an ideal gift for loved ones (young and old alike). Alternatively, guests can choose to purchase the bear for a child in the program. All they have to do is simply pick a name from the ‘Christmas Wishing Tree’ located at the hotel lobbies. Payment and gift service are organized at the front desk of each respective hotel.
To learn more about the “Bintang the Bear” Christmas charity campaign, please approach the hotel associates at the respective hotels’ front desks or call the hotels directly at:
- Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral: +603-2723-1188
- Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur: +603-2263-7888
- Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur: +603-2717-9900
- The Westin Kuala Lumpur: +603-2731-8333
Enjoy a cuddly Christmas with Bintang the Bear and support a worthwhile cause!