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Friday, June 13, 2008

St. Regis luxury hotel coming up at KL Sentral

The six-star St. Regis hotel chain is coming to Malaysia, and owner One IFC Sdn Bhd believes Kuala Lumpur is ready for the luxury brand.

The 200-room St. Regis Kuala Lumpur and 200 freehold residences are slated to open in 2014. The development will be sited at KL Sentral.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc was appointed as the management operator at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

One IFC chief executive officer Carmen Chua said the company is committed to the project even though construction costs are rising.

"We are monitoring the situation very closely due to the scale of this project, but we are committed as we have confidence in Malaysia's economy and the country," Chua told a press conference yesterday.

CMY Capital Sdn Bhd holds 60 per cent of One IFC, while Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) - KL Sentral's developer - owns 30 per cent. The rest is held by Jitra Perkasa Sdn Bhd.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2010. One of the world's top three architectural firms - Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) - will be the hotel's main architect.

SOM designed the Freedom Tower in New York in the US and the world's tallest tower, the Burj Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

The hotel's development cost has yet to be determined as it is pending the design approval.

Chua said the design is likely to be unveiled late next year or early 2010.

The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur will be built on 0.88ha.

According to Chua, 1.4 million sq ft of development has been approved.

It will feature the famed hallmarks of St. Regis hotels, including luxury accommodation and the iconic butler service.

"When it is open for business, 95 per cent of the staff will be locals, and we plan to recruit local graduates and train them," Chua said.

By New Straits Times (by Roziana Hamsawi)


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