GuocoLand inks pact with AccorHotels to manage two hotels

GuocoLand Limited has inked a pact with AccorHotels to manage the two new hotels in its mixed-use developments in Singapore and Malaysia.

The 222-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre will be part of the group’s upcoming Tanjong Pagar Centre while the 312-room Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara will be part of the group’s Damansara City in Kuala Lumpur.

The Singapore-listed developer had originally named Clermont Hotels, a hotel and private residences brand launched by London-based glh. in 2013, as the operator of the two new hotels. The reason for the switch is believed to be the latter’s relative lack of hotel management experience and brand recognition in Asia.

In response to BT queries, GuocoLand Singapore managing director Cheng Hsing Yao said GuocoLand and Clermont Hotel “have decided to pursue different strategic paths”, so the group went through a request for proposal process before deciding on AccorHotels’ luxury brand Sofitel.

“AccorHotels impressed us with their strong hotel management capabilities, global distribution platforms, strong loyalty programmes and strong brand recognition for the luxury Sofitel brand,” he said.

Along with the switch in hotel operator, Clermont Residence at Tanjong Pagar Centre will be renamed “Wallich Residence”, derived from the property’s address. It will enjoy specialised services from GuocoLand’s own concierge team and from Sofitel Singapore City Centre.

Tanjong Pagar Centre will be Singapore’s tallest building at 290m when completed around mid-2016, with a spacious green lung in the form of a 150,000 sq ft landscaped Urban Park and direct MRT station access. It has secured gym operator Virgin Active to take up a 31,000 sq ft fitness centre and will have close to 45 per cent of the total 100,000 sq ft of retail space designated for F&B.

At Damansara City in Kuala Lumpur, the 312-room Sofitel hotel will be the first internationally branded luxury hotel in the upmarket enclave of Damansara Heights, which is located close to the KL Sentral transportation hub.

The 8.5-acre integrated development will also feature two Grade-A office towers, two luxury high-rise residences, and an F&B-centric lifestyle mall. A new MRT station next to the Damansara City development will enhance its accessibility to the rest of Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley. GuocoLand said the hotel will target corporate clients in the surrounding area, leisure travellers and the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) market.

Raymond Choong, president and CEO of GuocoLand, said the group sees strong synergies with the Sofitel luxury brand and services that will cater to the differing needs and demands of office tenants, residents, visitors and guests.

“The hotels’ business and dining facilities will be easily accessible to office tenants and residents within both developments, providing them with quality working and living experiences in a cosmopolitan setting.”

BT – 6 Jan 2016

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