To accommodate varied tastes, hotel diversifies

WITH visitors from all over the world coming to Singapore’s shores, the hotel industry here has been diversifying to accommodate different tastes and various budgets, with offerings ranging from business travel to boutique hotels.

Enter The Porcelain Hotel – a boutique hotel in the Chinatown precinct with Oriental-themed spa treatments by beauty veteran Mary Chia Holdings.

The Porcelain Hotel is Catalist-listed Mary Chia’s venture into the hotel industry.

Costing S$26 million, it is the brainchild of its chief executive officer Ms Wendy Ho.

“Normally, we have a lot of overseas customers from Brunei and Indonesia. They used to stay in Singapore for about two weeks to a month,” said Ms Ho. “So they said that if we had a hotel with a spa, it will be good,”

Opening in May this year, The Porcelain Hotel concept was “a few years” in the making, said Ms Ho, who has more than 20 years of experience in the lifestyle and wellness industry.

Through Mary Chia, she set up a joint venture firm called Hotel Culture with Mr Jason Lee – manager of the successful karaoke brand K Box Entertainment Group – to open The Porcelain Hotel. Mr Lee and Ms Ho acquired three shophouses in Mosque Street in January last year through S$16 million of initial public offerings and some funding from shareholder debt.

The shophouses were then converted into The Porcelain Hotel within eight months, said Ms Ho.

JLL Asia, a hotel management firm owned by Mr Lee, came on board to manage the hotel’s operations.

With the hotel complete, its spa offerings were introduced and the 3,000 sq ft Oriental Spa Chamber or Huang Ah Ma was born.

Huang Ah Ma, which is the Manchurian traditional expression for Royal Father, offers Oriental-themed signature treatments such as the Red Dates Body Herbal Spa and the Ginger Infusion Exfoliating Massage.

It also offers new mothers a seven-day post-natal treatment programme, which includes slimming, detoxifying and relaxing therapies, as well as a hotel stay for S$4,888.

The Porcelain Hotel has a total area of 21,399 sq ft, and 84 Oriental-themed rooms ranging from 75 sq ft for a standard room to 270 sq ft for a premier room.

Since its soft opening in February, the hotel has been 85 per cent occupied, with most guests coming from Singapore, the Asia-Pacific, with some arriving from Europe and the United States.

In fact, demand at the hotel has been so great that its manager JLL Asia will be adding another 50 rooms by August.

But right now, Ms Ho has no plans to open another branch of The Porcelain Hotel. “So far, the comments for the hotel have been good and I am confident that this will be doing well,” she said.

Source : Today – 9 Jun 2011

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