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Monday, February 25, 2008

Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa to get RM100m annexe

IMPIANA KLCC: Halim (right) Choo eagerly await the completion of the hotel's second phase of development

KLCC Property Holdings (KLCCP) Bhd, which owns Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa at Jalan Pinang in Kuala Lumpur, plans to invest around RM100 million to build a 20-storey building adjacent to the property.

"This is the hotel's second phase of development. The L-shaped building will be constructed on the rooftop of the existing carpark, starting from level six.

"We hope it will be operational by 2010," said Impiana Hotels & Resorts Management Sdn Bhd (IHRM) group general manager Mohamad Halim Merican.

IHRM, founded by Datuk Seri Ismail Farouk Abdullah of the KAB Group, is managing the four-star 335-room hotel, which opened in December 2005.

Under the development plan for the new building, KLCCP is planning to include business suites and residential-type accommodation or service apartment facilities.

It will also add an additional 180 rooms, which will be larger in size, a club floor and double volume private lounge, and a specialty roof-top restaurant.

"We will provide the technical aspects and consultancy in terms of hotel design. The construction will be undertaken by KLCCP," Halim told Business Times in an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently.

"We feel it's the right time to expand with all the construction hypes in the vicinity.

"Room sales are growing and we are looking at opening up to new markets," he said.

The bulk of Impiana KLCC's business comes from the Petronas Group, and from business and leisure travellers from the US, Europe and Malaysia.

Halim said in terms of occupancy, the hotel closed at 75 per cent in 2007 generating income of RM23 million.

There was a gross operating profit of almost 30 per cent for KLCCP from the hotel last year, he said.

"We have seen growth in our average occupancy and room rate.

"Phase two will definitely complement the existing property, and also other assets under the company," he added.

Impiana KLCC general manager Sean S.L. Choo said the hotel aims to provide five-star services on par with international standards.

In doing this, it hopes to maintain consistency in service, security, food quality and product delivery.

"Phase two will create another market for us.

"We are targeting corporate travellers, the MICE market and demand created by the KLCC convention centre," Choo said.

Choo said to move up another notch, the hotel will need to have bigger rooms and better facilities, and more meeting rooms.

IHRM provides professional management and advisory services plus technical services for upgrading of hotels, resorts and recreational facilities including spas.

It owns and operates Impiana Cherating Resort in Kuantan, Pahang, and Impiana Phuket Cabana Resort and Impiana Samui Resort in Thailand.

Besides, Impiana KLCC, the company also manages Impiana Casuarina Ipoh, Perak, for the state government, and their own brand of spa, known as Swasana Spa.

By New Straits Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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