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Monday, December 3, 2007

Nexus Resort to sport new look

KARAMBUNAI Corp Bhd (KCB), a property developer and resort operator, is planning to refurbish its five-star international resort in Sabah, the Nexus Resort Karambunai, next year.

It has allocated some RM40 million for the refurbishment, which will be carried out over 18 months from March, Nexus general manager Peter F. Sprenger told Business Times in an interview.

Sprenger said the resort wants to enhance the quality and appeal of Nexus Resort and build up its brand name.

"We want to be a destination for the leisure and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) markets," he said.

Nexus Resort offers 485 guestrooms, including six luxury villas (royal and presidential suites), eight restaurants and bars, three free-form swimming pools, the exclusive Borneo Spa, a grand ballroom and meeting rooms, the Lagoon Park, a 30ha nature park and an 18-hole golf course.

The resort, 30km northeast of Kota Kinabalu, lies on some 1,350ha of unrivalled natural and landscaped surroundings on the spectacular Karambunai peninsula.

According to Sprenger, all the guest rooms and Nexus Club rooms will be refurbished.

Beginning next year, KCB will also offer more rooms at its exclusive beachfront property development, the Nexus Residence Karambunai, for premium paying guests.

Nexus Residence, which covers 109ha, is being developed over eight years to offer 2,000 beachfront villas, which will be sold at more than RM1 million each, some of which will be leased back to KCB.

Guests are expected to pay between US$600 and US$1,000 (RM2,016 and RM3,360) a night for a stay at the villas.

Currently, 243 villas are being constructed and will be ready by next year.

"Our existing rooms on average are 80 per cent occupied, and we expect demand to rise as we have embarked on new plans to grow the MICE business. We are also targeting new markets to increase room sales," said Sprenger.

Nexus Resort's main markets are South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong. It also attracts big groups from Europe, Australia, Italy and Russia.

Sprenger said Nexus Resort is also expected to benefit from the tourism boom in Sabah and ongoing expansion at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, which will help meet the anticipated increase in arrivals from abroad.

Nexus Resort, which contributes substantially to KCB's earnings, has won 24 awards since it was set up in 1999.

The latest was the "Best Beach Resort - Excellence Award", which it won under Expatriate Lifestyle's "Best of Malaysia" awards.

By New Straits Times (By Sharen Kaur)

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