PROPERTY developer KIP Group has expanded into the hospitality segment with the opening of its first KIP Hotel in Jalan Kuching, Kuala Lumpur.
KIP director Valerie Ong is excited about the prospects of its new venture into the hotel business, noting the need for such a product in the Sri Utara area where, it so happens, the group has a sizeable land bank.
“We are ready for the market,” said Ong.
“I believe this three-star business hotel will work because of the class of tourists that we have here. It’s important to understand the market and to know where our tourists come from,” Ong said.
The KIP Group has been actively involved in property development and retail management with its KIP Mart chain.
Situated in the commercial district of Sri Utara in Jalan Kuching, KIP Hotel KL is just 15 minutes’ drive to the city centre.
The hotel is managed by the Lexis Group of Hotels and Resorts and boasts 199 rooms, including 12 executive rooms and three suites.
All rooms are equipped with a selection of amenities, LED screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Facilities at the hotel include four function rooms, 1,969sq ft of banquet hall space, an infinity pool, a sky bar and a gym.
“With its strategic location, KIP Hotel KL is ready to deliver quality, personalised service for both leisure and business travellers on this side of KL,” said KIP Hotel KL general manager Anthony Wee.
The hotel, which Ong claimed had changed the hospitality landscape in the Selayang area, will be officially launched in mid-November.
Ong, who oversees the group’s hotel operations, including planning, branding and marketing and sales, said it was important for niche hotel operators to understand its target market in order to be able to plan the spaces and details of a hotel to appeal to customers.
Ong believes in over-delivering, describing KIP Hotel as offering four-star services but at three-star pricing.
“It is not just about offering your guests the basic services because this is a given.
“You need to think of the facilities you are offering and the retail component surrounding your hotel. And you need to understand people to offer them what they want.
“We expect this elegantly minimalist modernity design to become a magnet for corporate travellers due to its proximity to local businesses and government offices for accommodations and events,” she said.
She hopes to include more social spaces and improve on its F&B offerings in future hotels.
According Ong, these are increasingly becoming important factors in ensuring the success of niche hotels like KIP Hotel.
Plans are already afoot for subsequent KIP hotels to be established at strategic locations within Malaysia, with the next two being in Sepang and Malacca.
“KIP Hotel KL is a pilot project for us,” Ong pointed out.
“I think we can learn a lot from it. It is already a good hotel but it can be better,” she promised.
“As a niche hotel operator, we are not just thinking out of the box anymore. We have to be the creator of the box,” she added.
“You have to be good at reading what your customers want and what the trends are and going one step beyond customers’ expectations to succeed,” concluded Ong.
Many moons ago, a story was told of a beautiful goddess whose forbidden consumption of the elixir of life lifted her from Earth to the moon. If you are unaware, it is actually the tale of Mid-Autumn festival that is based on the story between hero Hou Yi who was an excellent archer, and his wife, Chang’e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality.
One year, ten suns rose to the sky and caused great disaster. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light to Earth. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. There are two versions of the story. One is that Yi became a tyrant and his wife, the princess, grabbed the elixir from him because she did not want a tyrant to rule Earth forever. So she consumed the elixir, and started floating toward the sky. She chose the moon as her residence with her jade rabbit.
The other story is that an apprentice found out about the elixir and tried to steal it. She stopped the apprentice and during the struggle she took the elixir herself. When Yi came back and learned about the incident, he felt so sad that he displayed fruits and cakes (that’s the moon cake) that Chang’e liked in the yard every year.
Based on this interesting mythology, Mira Moon Hotel has reinterpreted the story and crafted a very interesting design for the hotel.
This hotel is the result of a creative partnership between international designer Marcel Wanders – dubbed “the Lady Gaga of the design world” by the New York Times – and international property design company, yoo. Together, they have injected an abundance of colour, texture and style into the hotel.
yoo managing director Andrew Pang explained, “It’s like you are in a dream world. That’s why it’s like the Alice in Wonderland experience. You go through a “rabbit hole” and came out the other side.”
The hotel is the animation of a much-loved myth, injected with Wanders’ subtle humour and vibrant sense of life – in a space where his own branded playful furnishings seamlessly intertwine with Chinese artifacts and traditionally crafted ceramics, carved timber and cut crystal. The hotel’s colour scheme is a bold surge of lacquered whites and rich China reds, whilst the symbol of the peony is ever-present, embodied in ornately-carved wood paneling, vivid tiled mosaics and sheer curtains that tint the skyscrapers of the city beyond.
Safe to say, there are many interesting details, with a story behind it. The poetic Moon Festival tale is echoed in every aspect of the hotel, with the Jade Rabbit’s discreet presence on each floor.
Mira Moon Hotel also provides a handy smartphone to all its stylishly designed 91 guestrooms. This unique service includes free unlimited international and local calls, an informative city guide, as well as 3G data and Wi-Fi tethering capabilities. So, wherever you are in Hong Kong, you’ll always be connected.
Penang’s hotel industry is set to see a rise in the number of rooms
SOME 10 hotel projects, involving over RM1.5bil in gross development value, are set to open in Penang between 2015 to 2017, adding another 1,937 rooms to the local hotel sector.
The present inventory of hotel rooms in Penang stands at 11,935.
Besides the Angsana Teluk Bahang and Jazz Hotel, which are planned along the Tanjung Tokong and Teluk Bahang tourism belt, the other hotels will be located in George Town.
This is not surprising as the George Town inner city has become a hive of tourism activity since it received its World Heritage Site status from Unesco in July 2008.
This trend differs from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s when the beach-front tourism belt stretching from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang was the choice location for new hotels.
The other new trend is the development of serviced suites alongside the hotel component.
The Rice Miller Hotel & Godowns, Angsana Teluk Bahang, and Courtyard by Marriott are some of the projects that have been designed to accommodate serviced suites.
The hotels scheduled for opening next year include the RM200mil G Hotel Kelawai (208 rooms) on Kelawai Road; the RM250mil Wembley comprising St Giles Premier Hotel (415 rooms); and the Cititel Express Penang (234 rooms) on Magazine Road; the RM300mil Rice Miller Hotel & Godowns (46 rooms and 99 city residences) at Weld Quay; and the Jazz Hotel (259 rooms) in Tanjung Tokong.
Next year, The G Hotel Kelawai is scheduled for opening near the end of January, the St Giles Premier Hotel and the Cititel Express Penang in the first quarter, The Rice Miller Hotel & Godowns in June, and the Jazz Hotel at the end of 2015, delivering another 1,162 rooms to the hotel industry.
The other five hotels — the RM350mil Angsana Teluk Bahang in Teluk Bahang; the RM300mil Courtyard by Marriott in Macalister Road; the RM25mil Victoria Street Hotel on Victoria Street; the RMRM33.8mil OZO Hotel at Argyll Road; and an unnamed RM80mil hotel project in Magazine Road — are expected to be ready within three to four years.
These five hotels will deliver another 775 rooms to the hotel industry.
The Angsana Teluk Bahang, which is being developed by Senja Aman for the Banyan Tree Group to manage; and Courtyard by Marriott, to be developed by Tropicana Corp Bhd; will provide 102 and 211 hotel rooms, respectively.
Besides the guest rooms, there are 150 serviced suites for the Angsana Teluk Bahang and 88 serviced-residences and retail outlets for the Courtyard by Marriott.
The Victoria Street Hotel, the OZO Hotel, and the unnamed hotel will provide another 462 rooms.
Meanwhile, the 318-room Copthorne Orchid Hotel in Tanjung Bungah maybe be redevelop as a hotel cum serviced-suite project.
Located on a two-acre site facing the sea, the current hotel is known for the private balconies of its rooms which offer stunning views of the sea.
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, the operator and owner of the Copthorne, Millennium, and Kingsgate hotels worldwide, is now engaging consultants and architects to explore innovative plans and design for the redevelopment.
One of the hotel brand names under the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels may be used for the new scheme in Tanjung Bungah.
The brands under the group include the Grand Millennium, Grand Copthorne, and M Hotels.
The Millennium and Grand Millennium hotels form the largest part of the group’s portfolio, with 44 hotels around the world with 16,000 rooms.
The Singapore-based City Developments Ltd owns a stake in Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.
Khoo Boo Lim, president of the Penang chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, says the new rooms coming in should be sufficient in the short and medium term.
“We don’t anticipate a big jump in the demand for hotel rooms unless there are more direct flights to Penang,” he said.
From January to October this year, the occupancy rate of hotels in Penang dropped slightly to 66% from 66.35%.
“The hotels in Batu Ferringhi and Seberang Prai registered slight drop, while the hotels in George Town performed well,” he said.
For the whole of this year, the increase in hotel occupancy should not be more than 6% from last year’s achievement of 66.5%, according to Lim.
Meanwhile Penang Global Tourism chief executive officer Ooi Chok Yan said from January to November this year, the international arrivals topped out at 651,981, an increase of 8.32% from the 601,920 in the same period last year.
“The top three arrivals are from Indonesia (268,408), Singapore (127,390), and China (63,385).
“There was, however, a slight decline in arrivals from Taiwan, and a slight increase in arrivals from the US, and Australia.
“For the 11 months of this year, 19,762 tourists from Taiwan visited Penang, compared to 20,431 in the same period last year.
“In the same period, the arrivals from the US and Australia increased slightly to 20,289 and 18,282, respectively, from 19,917 and 18,016 in the corresponding period of 2013,” he said.