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American multinational hotel chain operator Marriott International, Inc is set to open Fairfield Kuala Lumpur Jalan Pahang and Four Points by Sheraton Desaru (Johor) in the fourth quarter of this year, amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Fairfield Kuala Lumpur is the second property under the Fairfield by Marriott brand to open in Malaysia, the first being Fairfield by Marriott Bintulu Paragon, which opened in December 2019.

For Fairfield Kuala Lumpur, Marriott International’s development partner is Johawaki Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Johawaki’s wholly-owned subsidiary JH Hospitality Sdn Bhd is developing the 14-storey hotel at a cost of RM85 million. The hotel sits on an 8,000 sq ft land next to Grand Seasons Hotel.

JH Hospitality signed a hotel management agreement with Marriott International for the 186-room business hotel in January 2018.

The opening of Four Points by Sheraton Desaru is in a partnership with SKS Group and the hotel’s location is close to major attractions in Desaru, including a 45-hole championship golf course.

Marriott International signed an agreement with Continental Management Sdn Bhd, a member of the SKS Group in February 2020 to set up the 311-room hotel by this year.

Under the agreement, SKS will refurbish and convert its existing 311-room Amansari Residence Desaru property to Four Points by Sheraton hotel.

Marriott International will continue to embark on hotel expansion in Malaysia despite mobility restrictions caused by the pandemic, which disallowed the properties to operate at full capacity, reported Bernama recently.

The hotel group’s vice-president for Singapore, Malaysia, and the Maldives, Rivero Delgado said the pandemic has impacted the hotel business but it has not stopped the group from adapting, innovating, or expanding its business.

“In a year unlike any other, our ability to remain nimble has been crucial as we navigate through an unprecedented time in history. Amidst a global pandemic, we are driven to continually challenge the status quo and anticipate our customers’ changing needs with new brands, new global locations, and new guest experiences.

“We needed to readjust our business strategies and evolve our business priorities. People will want options that are closer to home, more affordable, and health and safety are and will be paramount,” said Delgado in the Bernama interview.

Delgado added that the expansion plans in Malaysia are mapped out in anticipation of these needs.

Marriott International in May this year inked an agreement with IOI Properties Group(IOIPG) Bhd to manage two of the latter’s signature hotels in IOI Resort City, Putrajaya, namely Putrajaya Marriott Hotel and Palm Garden Hotel.

Putrajaya Marriott Hotel will be converted from its existing franchise arrangement to a managed contract under the Premium brand, while the Palm Garden Hotel will be converted to the management of Marriott International under the Tribute Portfolio brand.

IOIPG executive vice-chairman Lee Yeow Seng said in a statement that the group’s hospitality and leisure segment leverages its stable of world-class brand hotels in providing excellent customer experience, augmented by the distinctive company’s brand offerings.

Currently, Marriott International manages Le Méridien Putrajaya in IOI Resort City, and Four Points by Sheraton Puchong, both of which are part of the hotel portfolio of IOIPG.

The hotelier will also manage Moxy Putrajaya in IOI Resort City, and the Sheraton Grand within the IOI Palm City mixed development in Xiamen, China.

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the US, Marriott International operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts around the world. It has a portfolio of more than 7,300 properties under 30 leading brands, spanning 134 countries and territories.

The hotel operator is expecting to open a total of 100 properties in the Asia Pacific this year, after celebrating its 800th milestone hotel opening in the region with 75 properties added to its portfolio last year.

Nearly 27,000 rooms were added to the region’s development pipeline in 2020 alone.

News Source: New Straits Times/ Sharen Kaur, 21 July 2021.

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