Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Hotels Springing up near Shopping Centres due to Demand from Tourists

WHETHER the traveller is here on business or pleasure, the convenience of having a shopping mall just a brisk walk away cannot be denied offering easy access to just about everything, when compared to standalone hotels.

The trend started in 1997 in the Klang Valley when Sunway Pyramid and the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa sprang up.

The resort had everything under one roof with a fun theme park in the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park next door that ensured there was ample activities to do for the visiting tourist.

Irresistible package: The Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa (left) offers guests everything under one roof with a fun theme park in the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park next door.
Mid Valley Megamall followed suit in 1999 and proved to be popular with locals for shopping, and helped bring in the tourists when Cititel Mid Valley was opened the following year.

Pyramid Tower and the Boulevard Hotel opened their doors in 2005 to keep up with the demand from tourists at Sunway City and Mid Valley City respectively.

The latest shopping mall to have a hotel next to it is 1 Utama Shopping Centre, with the five-star One World Hotel coming up next-door and ready to open its doors to the public in mid 2007 (no specific date set yet).

Centre of attraction: An artist’s impression of Mid Valley City once The Gardens, Mid Valley City’s five-star component, is completed.
1 Utama’s 600 retail stores across 1.83mil sq ft are an attraction by itself, judging from the filled 7,000 parking bays on weekends.

In anticipation of even more visitors with the hotel opening, 1 Utama is also being developed into a transportation hub with terminals for buses from Aeroline and Rapid KL and a shuttle service to various destinations.

The shopping centre there has several unique attractions too, like Asia’s largest indoor rock climbing gym Camp5 and ‘It’s a Hit! Battling Cages’, a baseball cum softball centre at the open-air rooftop.

Easy travel: Mid Valley City is one of the best-connected malls in town with numerous public transport facilities like this KTM Komuter train station.
Guests staying at either the Sunway Resort or the Pyramid Tower meanwhile are automatically given a Sunway Pyramid Privilege Card, a discount card for over 100 outlets in the mall valid for one year.

On top of that, the mall boasts the only ice-skating rink in town while the nearby theme park offers everything from roller coasters to a surf beach.

Sunway Pyramid’s new expansion (with lots more retail space and attractions) will also be launching some time in September. Once completed, the mall and the surrounding area will be served with its own monorail track.

Popular spot: The Cititel Mid Valley (right) beside Mid Valley Megamall.
Mid Valley City is one of the most aggressive in promoting the destination as a one convenient stop for leisure and business.

With the Federal Highway and New Pantai Expressway connecting to Mid Valley City, a KTM Komuter (Rawang – Seremban line) train station servicing the place since August 2004, close proximity to KL Sentral and approximately RM400mil invested for infrastructure development to improve access and connectivity to Mid Valley City, the place is certainly earning its namesake where everyone meets.

Aside from the 430 retail outlets at Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City will have an additional 200 shops starting Sept 26 at The Gardens.

A RM1.5 bil mix-use development that is the five-star component of Mid Valley City, The Gardens will have an upscale shopping gallery; two landmark office towers; and a five-star Gardens Hotel and Residences.

The four-storey Gardens shopping gallery will focus on exclusive international fashion labels, complemented by a range of lifestyle and fine-dinning offers.

There are also plans to rope in an integrated public transport system such as the LRT, KTM (Sentral - Pelabuhan Klang line) and the KL Monorail, which will offer the public a choice of transportation to Mid Valley City.

Tourists will be spoilt for choice come mid 2007 when all the developments are opened to the public at the three major shopping destinations in the Klang Valley.

Source : STAR
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