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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dorsett Johor -- 3-star rating but 5-star service

DORSETT Johor Hotel may be a three-star property, but everything else, from its service culture to room facilities, would earn it an additional star or even two.

The hotel is in fact comparable to other five-star properties in Kuala Lumpur.

How so? For a start, the rooms are new and modern and its service standards impeccable.

This 252-room hotel has a very lean staff to room ratio of 0.35, which is an enviable one, as every employee not only executes his or her job efficiently but also multitasks.
Its 95 employees play their role in helping the hotel chalk-up a gross operating profit (GOP) of some 40-odd per cent.

GOP is gross revenue from rooms, food and beverage, laundry or business centre minus cost of operations like wages, electricity and amenities.

"We need quality staff and not an army," the hotel's, resident manager Tengku Ahmad Faizal Tengku Mohamed told Business Times when asked about its performance.

This two-and-a-half-year-old hotel located in Plentong, Johor, expects a GOP of 43 per cent in the year ending March 2011, as it hits an average occupancy of 75 per cent and an average room revenue (ARR) of RM130.

The jump in guest arrivals, from 65 per cent now, will be a result of an improving economy and the opening of the neighbouring Singapore casinos.

By March 31, the company's GOP is expected to touch 40 per cent.

"The economy has stabilised. Without a doubt, we can achieve 75 per cent occupancy," Tengku Ahmad said.

"We plan to tap into the opening of the casinos in Singapore from those who want to gamble but prefer to stay here," he said, quoting tourists from Thailand as an example.

He also expects Internet bookings to grow this year by up to a quarter of its bookings from about an eighth now.

Accordingly, Tengku Ahmad is hopeful that the hotel will be able see the return on investment within seven years.

The RM80 million hotel is owned by Hong Kong's Far East Consortium International Ltd. The hotel was originally part of an 11-block apartment called Prima Regency. One block comprising 47 units were converted into the hotel.

The hotel's guests are two-thirds corporate-based and predominantly from Malaysia and Singapore. It also gets a good response from the US, Europe and Australia.

It has some 50 rooms, which are on long-term lease and has a good 35 per cent of repeat guests.

Tengku Ahmad's winning formula also comes from his principle of "One should sell what the guests/customers want and not sell what the vendor or the hotel wants to sell".

Meanwhile, the hotel, which now shares the swimming pool with the apartment block, will have its own swimming pool within the next six months. It also plans to open a high-end spa.

Dorsett Johor had two weeks ago won the Gems Awards for Best Three-Star Hotel in Johor, which was awarded by the Johor state government.

By Business Times (By Vasantha Ganesan)

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