Cover Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur boasts the only Peter Burwash International tennis centre in the city

Not many may realise this but the luxury hotel boasts a Peter Burwash International-certified tennis centre and coach

As a premier luxury hotel in the heart of the business district, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur (MOKL) has the distinction of being one of only two venues in all of Malaysia to boast the internationally renowned Peter Burwash International (PBI) tennis centre. A world leader in tennis management at some of the world's leading hotels, including Four Seasons Bora Bora and Park Hyatt Dubai, the MOKL outpost is helmed by Gianluca Sidhu, 31, who is of Malaysian-Italian heritage. 

Armed with the Lawn Tennis Association Level 3 Accreditation, Sidhu was coaching at Blackheath Lawn Tennis Club in London before uprooting to Kuala Lumpur in January this year. He oversees all tennis activities at the centre, located on a rooftop just off the infinity pool. The site is rather spectacular for it's surrounded by modern towers.

"For me, it's fantastic to be surrounded by some of the best buildings in the world," Sidhu enthuses. "It makes playing tennis more enjoyable."

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PBI adopts a simplified yet effective approach to coaching tennis, making it suitable for players of all ages and skill levels. Indeed, the centre offers a variety of tennis activities from cardio tennis to junior programmes, available to both hotel and outside guests. In pre-pandemic days, there was even Tennis Social Friday held every last Friday of the month for those who want catch up with friends over drinks but with a game of tennis thrown into the mix. It's not all fun and games; serious players can book private sessions that include detailed post-match analysis. 

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"What's great about the Peter Burwash approach is that it's clear, makes and versatile to adapt to individual needs. It can be the same issue but there are different solutions depending on the person," notes Sidhu.

With room to manoeuvre and ability to customise to your expectations, not even a novice will feel intimidated stepping onto the court. "We can cater to what you want to achieve or want to do."

Growing up in London, Sidhu was one of the top players in his region, representing Kent throughout his high school years. At University of Nottingham, where he graduated with First Class Honours in Classical Civilisation, he was one of the top 32 players and the number one player in his college. And to think tennis wasn't necessarily his top choice in sports.

"I did not stick to one sport; I was also playing hockey and football. I tried everything but I was quite good in tennis," he says. 

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Despite the pandemic and seemingly endless lockdown, life in Kuala Lumpur suits him well. "I needed new motivation so it's nice to be able to challenge myself again," referring to his new job. "Plus, I like the city, the weather, and the lifestyle here."

Best of all, Sidhu, who tries to fit in an hour of tennis on his day off, enjoys his work. He's focused on making tennis an important part of the hotel. "It's great to see someone improve their play even if they are just guests. They are here because they want to be here, and if they want to be here, it’s more fun."

The tennis centre is open for private one-on-one session. To book, call +603 2179 8733 or email mokul-fitness@mohg.com. As per Covid-19 SOPs, only bookings from fully vaccinated individuals, with proof of digital certification, are accepted. For more information, visit Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur's website.

  • ImagesCourtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
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