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Monday, June 30, 2008

Piccolo Hotel KL hitting all the right notes

STRATEGIC LOCATION: An artist's impression of the Hotel Piccolo building on Bintang Walk

PICCOLO Hotel Kuala Lumpur may have set a new benchmark for new four-star hotels in the city centre by filling up half of its available rooms and achieving RM255 in average room rate (ARR) in just a month after its opening.

At the current pace its business is going, the hotel expects to break even within two years.

The hotel, formerly Wisma Peladang, is owned and managed by Absolute Prestige Sdn Bhd, which has taken a 60-year lease on the building beginning 2002. Berjaya Land recently acquired a 51 per cent stake in Absolute Prestige.

The leased structure includes the hotel and a commercial component. An annexe tower comprising 70 rooms will be ready next year. The cost of all the components is RM70 million and RM45 million for the lease.

"We have achieved RM255 in ARR and 50 per cent occupancy based on available rooms. A huge portion are walk-in guests," Absolute Prestige executive director Suzianna Wong-Svrcula told Business Times in an interview.

MARINE INSPIRED: Wong-Svrcula in one of the rooms. The hotel strives to be as environmentally friendly and energy-efficient as possible

The hotel opened in mid-April with 60 rooms and was supposed to open the remaining 108 rooms in June.

"In the first year of operations, we are targeting RM250++ (in ARR) and an average occupancy of 50 per cent," Wong-Svrcula said.

"We target to break even in the second year with 70 per cent average occupancy and an ARR of RM280 to RM300 per night," she added.

The projections are achievable, given Piccolo Hotel's strategic location on Bintang Walk and its focus on room operations only. The retail space, spa and restaurants of the building are not operated by the hotel.

The hotel's tagline is "Dive Into Pleasure", based on its theme of marine life.

The carpeting in the hotel carries the anemone design, while the curtains has a shimmer which look like moving water.

Each room displays pictures of the underwater world and photographs are hung on the walls along the corridors, creating the the impression of walking through an art gallery.

This marine-inspired hotel strives to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

Hot water is produced through heat exchange generated from the air-conditioners and the hotel's power supply uses high-tension power which helps save up to 28 per cent in rates.

In fact, the hotel has no swimming pool as it considers that a waste of resources.

Whatever is saved on laundry - sheets not changed for those who stay more than one day - is donated to the "Safe Our Seahorses" and "Reef Check Malaysia" programmes.

Piccolo Hotel is also planning to make its working environment as paperless as possible.

By New Straits Times - Business Times - (by Vasantha Ganesan)

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