On 16 June 2015, Hilton Worldwide announced the signing of a management agreement with Pinnacle Nexus Sdn. Bhd. (a member of Cornerstone Partners) to open DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang. Located in the northern beach area of Penang near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, DoubleTree by Hilton Penang Resort will add to the existing pipeline of five hotels in Malaysia where Hilton Worldwide currently operates six hotels under the Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton brands.
The announcement was held in Penang during a gala dinner attended by Chief Minister Yang Amat Berhormat Lim Guan Eng. Also in attendance were YBhg. Dato’ Daljit Singh Dalliwal, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, YB Danny Law Heng Kiang, EXCO member of the Penang State Tourism Development and Culture Board, and Dato’ Seri Nazir Ariff, Vice President of the Majlis Dato‘ Dato‘ Pulau Pinang, among others.
“Penang’s rich heritage and strong cultural presence has also earned it the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the listing, Penang Global Tourism (PGT) estimates that hotel occupancy rates within the city have increased from four to five percent annually. I am confident that DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang will certainly contribute further towards this growth rate,” said YAB Lim Guan Eng in his speech.
Penang is one of the top three economic centers amongst the states of Malaysia, as the country’s manufacturing hub for major international high-tech electronics companies. Well known for being a tourist destination, Penang has tremendous potential as it continues to develop its MICE infrastructure and medical tourism offerings.
Built with an estimated Gross Development Value of RM230 million, the introduction of DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang also marks the first Hilton branded resort in Malaysia and the first Hilton branded hotel in northern Malaysia.
Set into a hillside, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang will feature 318 rooms and suites, each with its own balcony. Most of the rooms and suites will offer impressive views of the sea. The resort will have three restaurant and bar options including an all-day dining outlet, a lobby bar and a café. DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang will have meetings and events facilities including a ballroom and four function spaces covering an area of more than 1,300 square meters. Other facilities include a gym, an outdoor pool and children’s recreational area.
The existing hotel building will undergo an extensive refurbishment of its public areas, including rooms and suites before joining DoubleTree by Hilton’s fast-growing global collection of more than 415 hotels and resorts in gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations around the world. DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang will become the brand’s third property in Malaysia when it opens in 2016, joining DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur and DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru.
The theme and design for DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang is the result of a rare collaboration between locally renowned design house, IDS and internationally renowned design house, Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to device an international branded resort streaked with local cultural influences.
One of the primary attractions of the hotel will be the introduction of Malaysia’s first teddy bear themed museum and gallery – TeddyVille – which will be located within the hotel itself and is set to be another landmark for Penang. The museum will feature the rich history of Malaysia told in a fun way told through the adorable teddy bears.
Speaking about the project, Jason Chong, CEO of Cornerstone Partners said, “Given all that Penang has going for it, not least being its international appeal, we truly believe that there could not be a better place for the next DoubleTree Resort by Hilton than right here in Penang.”
“It is, in this regard, truly an honour for us at Cornerstone Partners to be associated with such an esteemed name in international hospitality, with our offering of DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang,” he added.
Guy Phillips, Vice President of Development, Asia, Hilton Worldwide said, “We are very pleased to be working with a well-respected partner such as Cornerstone Partners to introduce the DoubleTree by Hilton brand to Penang. The signing of this agreement underscores our commitment to developing Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of brands in Malaysia. DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang will be a tremendous addition to the brand’s rapidly-expanding global portfolio across six continents and at the same time, bolster the country’s tourism agenda to attract more travellers to destination Malaysia.”
Conveniently situated along Jalan Batu Ferringhi, a popular beach destination in Penang , DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang is approximately 15 kilometres from George Town, which is renowned for its old world charm due to the rich historical architectural and cultural townscape. The resort has easy access to Batu Ferringhi’s recreational, dining and nightlife offerings, while its immediate vicinity features the 420-metre coastline of Miami Beach.