The Royal Bintang Penang is strategically located in the heart of historic Georgetown, the city’s financial district with government offices including business, dining, retail and entertainment outlets just a short driving distance away.
The hotel offers its guests the charming history of days gone by combined with modern luxury and friendly service. Being situated at the Weld Quay area, it is only minutes by foot from the city’s famous banking and shopping districts and is within easy reach to all major historic sites along the Heritage Trail of Penang. Overlooking the Marina Bay, The Royale Bintang Penang creates history for being one of its kind on the island.
At the hotel’s doorstep lies the historic city of George Town, which was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage List of Cities and Sites in 2008. Part of the hotel is a beautifully restored heritage building built in 1892. Complemented by the existing British Colonial architecture, the hotel boasts a delightful feel of old world glamour perfectly in keeping with George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage status. Guests can also experience contemporary luxury and uncompromising service standards with its full range of services and amenities, from tastefully appointed restaurants to generous meeting facilities.
“We have been receiving tremendous response since it was launched. The guests seem to like its location. They like the ambience of the hotel, it’s partly heritage. We are also offering good facilities,” said Deputy Chairman / Managing Director of Boustead Holdings Bhd Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.
Lodin sees the hotel’s occupancy rate rising to between 80% and 90% in the next three to five years. “We will ensure that the hotel continues to offer excellent services and good food for its guests. These are the attractions for guests who would like to stay in a good part of Penang. It’s a heritage hotel where they can enjoy great service standards alongside the nice weather of Penang.
“Demand for hotels of this kind is quite strong in Penang. As a city hotel, we have to compete with the other city hotels. However, we believe we can offer excellent services and good food that can attract the guests. The hotel has 180 rooms. If we market it properly, I don’t think we have difficulty in achieving an occupancy rate of between 80% and 90% in the next two years or so,” he tells Gaya Travel in an interview.
According to Lodin, the hotel’s room rates are also competitive with the hotels of the same standard in this island city.
He says efforts to increase the hotel’s occupancy rate include promotional programmes and group marketing by the Boustead Hotel and Resort Group.
Emphasising on guests’ stay experience
According to Mazeta Hassan, the Marketing & Communications Manager of the Royale Bintang Penang, the hotel’s lobby is designed in a cosy and welcoming fashion, with attentive staff eager to serve guests with generous smile. The hotel has been receiving good ratings on TripAdvisor with regard to staff friendliness and attempts to offer more personalised service.
Royale Bintang Penang has 11 categories of rooms, from Superior right up to the Premiere Suite, which are all designed to give the feeling of being in a home away from home, besides also having Wi-Fi connectivity. The hotel also offers 24-hour in-room dining service should guests feel peckish during the wee hours of the night.
Five food and beverage outlets are also available at Royale Bintang Penang for guests to experience: Sri Tanjung Café (the all-day dining outlet located in a heritage building dates 1892); Tea Room (the appropriate venue to enjoy English afternoon tea); Blue Moon Bar (ideal for unwinding at the end of the day while imbibing favourite cocktail); Spice (a cosy bistro-style outlet that serves Asian Fusion and Western specialties); and the Poolside Bar. Guests are invited to try the hotel’s refreshing signature drink, The Royale Passion, which is the hotel’s special concoction comprising nutmeg juice and passion fruit.
Guests of Royale Bintang Penang will be able to enjoy Jacuzzi located at the poolside. This is also where the adult guests can access the large pool, while the children use the wading pool. For rejuvenation and pampering, guests can head to the Royale Spa to recharge themselves. Guests can also use the hotel’s well equipped Fitness Centre to stay fit during their travels.
To further enrich guests’ experience on the historical island, Royale Bintang Penang also make arrangements for guests who wish to go for Heritage trail or bicycle tours. Around the area, there are various businesses that rent out tricycles and bicycles for guests to use to explore and savour delights of George Town.
Expanding the hotel business
On the group’s hotel business, Lodin says that Boustead Holdings is in the midst of constructing its seventh hotel, The Royale Chulan Cherating. The resort hotel is targeted for completion by end of next year and is expected to start operations in early 2016. It is a five star category property with strong attractive standards, featuring 20 individual villas as well as 123 rooms. It is located alongside the tranquil beach of Kampung Cherating Lama.
Meanwhile, the group’s eighth hotel, The Royale Chulan Hyde Park London, is expected to start operations at the end of next year. This property is set to be in the four star segment.
Boustead Holdings has bought The Hyde Park Hotel from Pastel Estate Ltd (PEL) for RM138.98mil.To be renamed The Royale Chulan Hyde Park London, the hotel has 68 rooms and is strategically located in the Bayswater area of London. It has good accessibility to major shopping and tourist attractions as well as public transportation and amenities.
Strategically located in the central of London, Lodin says the hotel represents a viable opportunity for the Boustead Holdings Bhd to capitalise on the growing hotel market and hospitality industry in London. The hotel is currently leased to an operator and is purchased with the lease.
Aside from The Royale Bintang Penang and the upcoming properties The Royale Chulan Cherating and The Royale Chulan Hyde Park London, Boustead Holdings Bhd’s other five hotels are The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur, The Royale Chulan Damansara, The Royale Bintang Kuala Lumpur, The Royale Bintang The Curve and The Royale Bintang Resort & Spa Seremban.
Text by: Dalila Abu Bakar