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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

RHG no longer part of Taragon Puteri project?

The opening of Rendezvous Hospitality Group (RHG)'s new 445-room business hotel within the Taragon Puteri Kuala Lumpur integrated development remains uncertain.

The reason is that Singapore-based RHG will no longer be involved in the project.

RHG chief executive officer Iqbal Jumabhoy when contacted by Business Times said: "The management contract for Rendezvous Hotel Kuala Lumpur has not been activated because conditions for the lease and operations have not been met."

The hotel was scheduled to open this month.

"As a consequence, we have closed the hotel pre-opening office in Kuala Lumpur and have ceased marketing activities at this stage," Jumabhoy said via e-mail.

A question on the likelihood that Rendezvous could return to Taragon, located on Changkat Thambi Dollah off Jalan Pudu, was unanswered.

A check on RHG's official website still stated that "under the brands of Rendezvous Hotels and The Marque Hotels, the group comprises 15 hotels with 3,350 rooms across Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and China, including a hotel under development in Malaysia".

A press release dated March 1 2010 on the appointment of Freddy Sim as the general manager for the hotel, is also available on the website.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Taragon when asked about these developments said: "Work on the site is on schedule and the hotel will open by January 2011."

In an interview with Business Times in March this year, Sim had said that Rendezvous was leasing the hotel portion and will also manage it. The duration for the lease was for 12 years plus six option years.

This leasing agreement in itself is unique in the Malaysian market, as most hotel operators here either own and manage or solely manage hotels.

RHG, a subsidiary of Straits Trading Co Ltd, is a relatively new but growing Singapore hotel brand. It plans to have 12,000 rooms by 2020.

RHG manages hotels under the Rendezvous and Marque brand through Rendezvous Hotels & Resorts International.

Asked about future openings for RHG in Malaysia, Jumabhoy said: "While we have no definite plans for Malaysia at this point in time, we are always on the lookout for any opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region."

By Business Times

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