Room for more luxury in Kuala Lumpur

A new crop of high-end hotel openings has transformed Kuala Lumpur into a strong contendor as a luxury destination

W Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Three new luxury properties have opened in Kuala Lumpur to add 441 rooms in recent months, but surplus in the luxury tier is not a concern for tourism stakeholders.

The new properties, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur and W Kuala Lumpur join existing international luxury brands such as The St Regis Kuala Lumpur, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur and InterContinental Kuala Lumpur.

W Hotel Kuala Lumpur

InterContinental Kuala Lumpur area director of sales & marketing, Peter Turner-Smith, said: “There may be some short-term pressure on occupancy and rates with the increased availability, but in the long term these new hotels will help to stimulate demand for the city as well as raise the hospitality standards.”

Likewise, Aariana Hospitality International president & CEO, Reginald Pereira, said: “The additional inventory enhances the image of the destination and (shows) investors are confident of the destination.

“This is long overdue. We need these international brands to attract more high-yield tourists to the city.”

Moreover, the new openings are in tandem with developments in Kuala Lumpur’s overall luxury scene.

Arokia Das, director, Luxury Tours Malaysia, said new high-end brands serve to complement the new product developments the city has seen in recent years.

“It is now possible to hire a Ferrari car or a stretch limousine for clients, which we could not do four years back. (These developments have made it) so much easier to sell the city to the luxury segment.”

Manfred Kurz, managing director at Diethelm Travel Malaysia, further pointed out that the new inventory could ease the bottlenecks the city experiences when hosting big conventions or exhibitions.

Tom Roelens, general manager, Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, agreed: “When there are large conferences and events, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is always in need of additional supply of rooms and hotels of different tiers.”

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