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Saturday, May 7, 2011

St Regis KL aims to be rates leader

KUALA LUMPUR: Luxury hotel St Regis Kuala Lumpur may very well be the rate leader in Kuala Lumpur when it opens its doors in 2014.

"We expect to see St Regis as a market leader from a rate stand point ... although not necessarily from an occupancy stand point," Starwood's regional vice-president Southeast Asia Chuck Abbott said.

"It would be great to see rates in KL reach RM1,000 (per night), which would be in line with other destinations for luxury hotels like St Regis," he told Business Times in an interview.

The St Regis here is expected to open in 2014. Currently, rate leaders in Kuala Lumpur rake in an average room rate (ARR) of between RM550 and RM650.

St Regis competitive set in countries across the region includes the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Park Hyatt, The Peninsula and The Raffles.

According to Abbott, who is also responsible for Singapore and Indonesia, the St Regis in Singapore and Bali are both leaders in their competitive set.

The St Regis here, located in KL Sentral, is a RM1.2 billion development that will include a 208-room hotel and 160 units of apartments. The lower floors of the 48-storey building would be the hotel portion.

St Regis hotel rooms are expected to be a minimum of 60 sq m and its largest suite will measure 300 sq m.

The residences, meanwhile, which is yet to be launched, will have one bedroom up to four bedroom units. There will also be two penthouses.

Starwood has a management contract with the owner One IFC Sdn Bhd. The shareholders of One IFC are CMY Capital (60 per cent), Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (30 per cent) and Jitra Kerkasa Sdn Bhd (10 per cent).

Meanwhile, when asked about Starwood's performance in Malaysia, Abbott said that year to date Malaysia continues to show solid growth in occupancy and a double-digit growth in revenue per available room (revpar).

Revpar multiplies the hotel's average daily rate with its occupancy.

Earlier this month, Starwood announced that it has signed up with Dijaya Corp Bhd to manage a W hotel in Jalan Ampang, KL.

The W Hotel will have 150 rooms and will be part of the 50-storey hotel-cum-residential block being built where the Bok House used to sit. It will open in 2016.

With this addition, Starwood will operate a total of 13 hotels in Malaysia in the next five years.

Starwood hotels in Kuala Lumpur now include Westin, Le Meridien and Sheraton Imperial. Starwood also has a 49 per cent stake in Sheraton Imperial.

In Langkawi, it operates the Sheraton Langkawi, The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, The Andaman Langkawi and a Luxury Collection. The Four Points by Sheraton Langkawi Resort is scheduled to open end-October 2011.

In East Malaysia, it has the Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu and Four Points by Sheraton Kuching, and will be opening later this year the Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan.

By Business Times

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