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Hard Rock in Malaysia Set to Be Asia’s Largest

Alan Woinski
October 16th, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Efforts to attract Chinese tourists to Southeast Asia are falling short, with drops in arrivals to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam; Thailand’s visa exemption offers a temporary boost.
  • Numerous hotel developments across Asia include expansions by Amora Group, partnerships in Malaysia and Indonesia, and potential property transformations in Singapore and Australia.
  • DigiPlus Interactive Corp. aims to resurrect a $500 million casino resort on Boracay Island, hoping for favorable response from the Marcos administration.

There was yet another article on how efforts to entice Chinese travelers back to Southeast Asian countries are not yielding the expected results, posing a threat to the tourism-dependent economies of some nations. Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodiahave 12% of their foreign visitors from China from January to August. In 2019, it was 27% to Thailand, Nikkei Asia reported. The good news is Thailand’s decision to introduce visa exemptions for Chinese tourists from September 25 resulted in a 72.49% increase during the September 25 to October 1 period from the previous week. The shooting of a Chinese visitor in Bangkok who was there under the visa-free program appears to have been a setback. In Cambodia, the proportion of Chinese travelers dropped from 36% to 10%, while Vietnam decreased from 32% to 12%. 

Amora Group has a plan to expand its portfolio, starting with four new hotels over the next three to five years in key cities across Australia and Bangkok Amora Beach Resort Phuket will get a 500 million baht lavish renovation to solidify its status as a 5-star resort. The group currently manages six hotels in Thailand and Australia with 1,350 rooms. They are targeting Adelaide, Perth, and Melbourne in Australia with a focus on the CBD. They also plan to acquire and renovate a hotel in Bangkok. While optimistic about the future, Amora Group acknowledges the challenge of labor shortages in Thailand and Australia.

HR Resort & Residences Sdn Bhd signed an agreement with the Hard Rock brand to bring the chain to King’s Park, transforming Hard Rock Genting Highlands in Malaysia into the largest in Asia. The development will include an integrated entertainment hub and the first Central Business District at 1,000 meters above sea level in the tropical jungle on the mid-hills of Genting Highlands. Genting Highlands will have 1,001 of the most luxuriously appointed hotel rooms and suites. The Hard Rock Genting Highlands is expected to open in 2027 with 371 hotel rooms and 630 suites, 200 square meters of retail space, a heated swimming pool, diverse dining options, Rock Spa, and a stylish lounge and bar.

IHG Hotels & Resorts partnered with MMS Land, MMS Group Indonesia’s property and hospitality arm. The new-build Crowne Plaza Labuan Bajo will be IHG’s premium brand third property in Indonesia and mark IHG’s entry into an exciting new destination next to Komodo International Airport. The hotel will offer 199 WorkLife rooms and suites across seven stories. There will be more than 600 square meters of meeting space, the Plaza Workspace, three restaurants and bars, a fitness center, and a swimming pool. IHG has 24 hotels across six brands in Indonesia, a key market for them. Crowne Plaza Labuan Bajo will be the third Crowne Plaza hotel to open in Indonesia.

IHG’s InterContinental Hotel Double Bay in Sydney, Australia, is set for a dramatic change as a powerful consortium led by developer Allen Linz and Eduard Litver as well as United Cinemas CEO Sam Mustaca are believed to be in due diligence to buy the hotel at a price of more than A$210 million. The hotel is being sold after the owners, Melbourne developer Paul Fridman, who was recently bankrupted, and Sydney-based Bilal El-Cheikh, of Piety Group, became embroiled in a legal dispute over their stalled efforts to redevelop the property. After years of battles, the hotel is likely to be overhauled to include apartments. The five-star property has 140 hotel rooms.

Singapore property developer Tuan Sing Holdings plans to turn its headquarters at The Oxley into a hotel or serviced residence. It is also considering turning its key asset, Link@896, and the freehold site next to it into a hotel or serviced residence. Currently, Tuan Sing has two hospitality assets in its portfolio, the Grand Hyatt Melbourne and Hyatt Regency Perth in Australia. 

Radisson Hotel Group announced the opening of Palchan Hotel & Spa, a member of Radisson Individual Retreats in Manali, nestled amidst the Himalayan range in India. The hotel is around 1.5 hours away from Kullu-Manali Airport in Bhuntar. The rooms and suites are positioned to offer panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks. The hotel includes an outdoor heated pool, fitness center and spa, dining options, and more. Whispering Rock Hotels own the hotel.

Indian Hotels Company announced the opening of Ginger Noida at Paras One33 Noida, Sector 133. This is the fourth Ginger hotel in the micro market of the National Capital Region. The hotel is strategically located at ParasOne33 by Paras Buildtech in the heart of Noida. The hotel has 111 keys, the brand’s signature all-day diner, Qmin, a fitness center, and 750 square feet of meeting space.

Mahindra Group has come forward to invest Rs 750 to construct three-star hotels in Visakhapatnam and two other places in Andhra Pradesh. Mahindra Group is preparing to lay the foundation stone in the next two months.

Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels announced the opening of its fourth property in Mysore, including Regenta Central Javaji. The expansion aims to cater to the needs of travelers in Mysore, known for its cultural heritage and attractions. The property features 48 rooms, a fitness center, a salon and spa, a swimming pool and a banquet hall. The dining options at the property include a multi-cuisine restaurant, lobby level bar and a rooftop restobar.

DigiPlus Interactive Corp., which used to be Leisure and Resorts World Corporation, is trying to convince Galaxy Entertainment to make another go of a $500 million casino resort on Boracay Island in the Philippines. They planned this project without getting the blessing of then Philippines President Duterte, who wound up making it quite clear if they built it, they would be toast. He literally said he would burn any new casinos to the ground. The Duterte Administration wound up closing the island in 2019 for rehabilitation. DigiPlus Interactive feels the Marcos administration will be more receptive to the venture, and instead of just calling up Galaxy Entertainment and seeing if they are still interested, the founder of DigiPlus, Alfredo Benitez, believes it is better to do it through the media.

Alan Woinski
October 16th, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT

Companies: Amora Group, Crowne Plaza, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Genting Group, Ginger, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, IHG Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, Radisson Hotel Group, Radisson Individuals, Royal Orchid Hotels Limited, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd

Locations: Boracay Island, Cambodia, Malaysia, Manali, Melbourne, Mysore, Perth, Phuket, Singapore, Sydney, Thailand, Vietnam

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