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Monday, February 11, 2008

Casa Del Mar plans RM300m expansion

The Casa Del Mar Group plans to invest some RM300 million to build four to five new boutique hotels and to buy more land to develop resorts in Malaysia.

"We are looking at something in Penang, Terengganu and Port Dickson. In Sabah, we are eyeing several sites. We have identified one and are in discussions with the land owner," group managing director Tan Sri Syed Yusof Tun Syed Nasir told Business Times in an interview recently.

Casa Del Mar, owned by Syed Yusof and Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the Selangor state ruler, owns the 34-room Casa Del Mar boutique hotel in Langkawi.

The hotel is managed by Singapore's HPL Hotel & Resorts Pte Ltd, which is controlled by Ong Beng Seng, a close associate of Syed Yusof and the Sultan.

Casa Del Mar is building its second property, dubbed Casa Del Rio boutique hotel and serviced apartments, in Malacca, for RM85 million. It is due to be ready by September 2009.

It also plans to develop 40 hectares at Terengganu's Perhentian Island. The land is owned by the Sultan.

"We will build boutique hotels, resorts and villas at the site for some RM100 million," Syed Yusof said.

Also in Terengganu, the group will revive an abandoned project in the city centre and convert the property into a five-star boutique hotel this year.

"Boutique hotels peg good rates. Looking at trends these days, people want to stay in a more personalised environment, making them feel closer to home when they travel," Syed Yusof said.

"Demand for such rooms are rising and there are not that many boutique hotels here," he added.

Boutique hotels are small luxury hotels with limited rooms, often priced at more than US$150 (RM484.5) a room per night.

Typically, the hotels are unique in architectural style, have sophisticated interior design, and offer services and food at par with international standards.

Other properties owned by Syed Yusof are the 570-room Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the 381-room Concorde Shah Alam, the 338-room Concorde Inn KLIA and the 18-room Lakehouse in Cameron Highlands.

He also owns speciality restaurants like Saloma Theatre Restaurant, the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Genki Sushi in Malaysia and Capital FM88.9, a new radio station.

By New Strait Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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