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Saturday, January 19, 2008

RM12m facelift for Grand Continental hotels

STAYING COMPETITIVE: The hotels will be installed with new upholstery, paintings and wi-fi services, among others

GRAND Hotels International Asia Pacific, which operates the Grand Continental chain of hotels in Malaysia, is spending close to RM12 million in a refurbishment exercise.

Work to install new upholstery, paintings, and lobby refurbishment at all nine of its hotels throughout the country is expected to start next month and will be completed in six months.

The group operates hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kuala Terengganu, Penang, Kuantan, Malacca, Alor Star, Langkawi and Kuantan.

Hotel Grand Continental Penang manager Dennis Cheng said the refurbishment exercise was to enhance its competitiveness and corporate image.

"The hotel industry is very competitive, so we need to better our image to remain competitive," he said yesterday after announcing that every Grand Continental Hotel in the country now had wireless-fidelity (wi-fi) service for guests.

Cheng said about RM1 million had been spent to install the infrastructure needed for the service. Work to install the equipment started in August last year and was completed in five months.

"Guests can now have access to the Internet anywhere within the hotel," he said, adding that the fee was RM10 per hour.

On the occupancy rate, Cheng said Grand Continental hotels nationwide enjoyed an average of 80 per cent occupancy rate last year, up from 60 to 70 per cent in 2006.

"We expect to maintain the current occupancy rate of 80 per cent this year," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Aaron Ngui)

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