Tuesday, 2 November 2010


Savvy travelers head to Malaysia for a sophisticated sojourn

 2 November, 2010: Malaysia Tourism is set to capitalise on Australians' increasing propensity for boutique accommodation experiences, with a range unique, high end properties opening throughout the country. 

Shahrin Mokhtar director of Tourism Malaysia in Sydney says that Malaysia is keen to attract upscale travellers. In particular, a market Tourism Malaysia calls the 'Golden Third Age'.

"Tourism Malaysia is not alone in recognising the potential of couples who no longer have dependent children and have the resources to embark on new adventures.

With a new range of unique, luxurious accommodation and attractions that really appeal to this market, including three UNESCO World Heritage sites, 19 national parks, beautiful beaches, luxury spas, pristine golf courses and a multitude of fascinating cultures, Malaysia undoubtedly has the product to attract these travellers.

Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi as well as the island states of Sarawak and Sabah are proving most popular," he said. 

Penang, in particular, is emerging as a fascinating heritage destination with an increasing inventory of boutique accommodation. Heritage properties in UNESCO World Heritage George Town are being acquired by savvy property developers to create stunning boutique hotels.

Lone Pine is the latest addition to Penang's ever increasing boutique collection. The colonial house dating back to 1948 was the first ever built on the picturesque beach of Batu Ferringhi. It is scheduled to re-open on November 1, 2010 after a $16.3 million dollar refurbishment and extension.

Nearby, Clove Hall has also been restored by Christopher Ong to create a charming boutique hotel, or more aptly, a heritage home with six luxurious rooms.

Australian developers, Narelle McMurtrie and Alison Fraser who make up the Bon Ton group have revamped a row of five heritage houses along Stuart Lane in George Town to create the Straits Collection.  

The Bon Ton group have also created a fascinating eight villa boutique property, in Lankawi restoring antique buildings with Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian origin, each with a 70 – 100 year history to create Temple Tree Resort.

In Kuala Lumpur, the iconic colonial mansion the Carcosa Seri Negara has reopened after an extensive refurbishment. The heritage building, set within four hectares of lush lawns overlooking the Lake Gardens was once the official residence of the Federated Malay States' first Resident General and has played host to numerous heads of state including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

In 2010, no less than five new luxury resort developments have opened with a total of 270 rooms and an additional 14 new resorts are planned before 2014.  

Other larger developments in the pipeline for Malaysia include, a new ultra luxury island resort on Gaya Island which YTL will open before the end of 2011 and a new Grand Hyatt in Kuala Lumpur.

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