Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1993
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Reception Manager at The Regent Hong Kong, (formerly a Four Seasons hotel)
- Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto; Four Seasons Resort Seychelles; Four Seasons Hotel Singapore; Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui; The Regent Singapore (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Toronto; The Regent Hong Kong (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); Hotel Okura, Tokyo, Japan; The Savoy Group of Hotels and Restaurants, London, United Kingdom
- London, United Kingdom
- Hotel Catering and International Management Association Professional Diploma at Westminster Hotel School, London, United Kingdom; Five-year Management Training Program in Front of House Food and Beverage Management at The Savoy Group of Hotels and Restaurants, London, United Kingdom
A seasoned hotelier, Alex Porteous comes to his current role with nearly 30 years of Four Seasons experience – a tenure that’s spanned seven properties, three hotel openings and several industry accolades. With his eye firmly on the future, he is now leading Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur through its second phase of operations.
Surrounded by the multicultural energy of Malaysia’s capital, this vibrant urban resort features an array of expansive accommodations and five dining-and-drinking destinations, including the award-winning Bar Trigona. There is also a scenic outdoor pool, a spa that combines advanced beauty science with royal Malaysian rituals and, of course, trademark Four Seasons hospitality. As Alex notes, “We offer our guests a home away from home – a place of comfort, care and safety. You can return to us after having exciting adventures out in the city, or you can stay in all day and still have a memorable time.”
Alex first visited Kuala Lumpur back in 1995, while journeying on the legendary Eastern & Oriental Express. “I’ve had an unbreakable connection with the country ever since,” he smiles, recalling the numerous Tan Sri’s, Pehin Sri’s, Dato’, Datin and Malaysian business partners he has worked with closely over the years.
At the heart of Alex’s leadership is authenticity, which plays out in two distinct ways. First, unlocking the true essence of Kuala Lumpur through curated, in-the-know experiences, so Four Seasons guests can immerse in the destination on their own terms. And second, authenticity as a vital ingredient for high-performing teams. “When we as colleagues connect with each other meaningfully, that’s when we are able to connect with our guests as well. It’s about doing the right thing – rather than simply doing things right,” he says, reaffirming his belief in what he calls the “decency quotient.”
Alex fell hard for hotels as a young man, when his father introduced him to the manager of a property in northern England. “I got the bug right away,” he says, recalling that the manager showed him around the heart of the house – kitchens, finance and purchasing. It was love at first exposure: “I figured, if I’m going to work in the business, I might as well aim for the top.”
He fell in love three more times: first with Four Seasons, which he joined in Hong Kong in 1993; then with his Japanese wife Satoko and their three daughters; and finally with “all of Asia.” His career has taken him to Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore and Thailand, as well as to Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, which earned numerous accolades and awards under his leadership. Most recently, he served as General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, where he led the team to winning many accolades including Hotel Spa of the Year (Asia & Australasia) by 2019 World Spa & Wellness Awards, ranked top 10 hotels in Japan by Conde Nast Traveler's Reader’s Choice Awards since opening in 2017 and lots more.
When he’s not at work, you’re likely to find Alex spending time with his family or in pursuit of the next clickable moment. With a passion for street photography and shooting in monochrome, he bought himself a Leica Q camera for a milestone birthday a few years ago. Being able to glimpse the realities of everyday life, through the lens, is priceless for someone like Alex, who draws ongoing inspiration from these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”