Fraser Place Kuala Lumpur, Fraser Hospitality’s newest addition and first foray into Malaysia, promotes the brand’s promise of a city-centre location.
The 215-unit property, occupying levels 9 to 30 of a retail-office complex, is situated in the “Golden Triangle”, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most commercially vibrant precincts. From its Jalan Perak address, it’s a short walk or taxi ride to the landmark Petronas Tower, housing several oil and gas companies; banks and office towers hosting financial consultancies; Bintan Walk studded with restaurants; and The Pavilion mall, whose designer boutiques has added international cache to local shopping.
“Our locations are in ‘happening places’,” Choe Peng Sum, Fraser Hospitality’s CEO, told Business Traveller. “And that’s where our guests – a lot of them, senior bank vice-presidents who are actually quite young – like to be.”
In Singapore, birthplace of Frasers, Fraser Place is in Robertson Quay, known for its restaurants and pubs and within easy reach of the CBD. In London, Fraser Place is found in Canary Wharf, Kensington, Chelsea and Queensgate. Other Fraser Place properties in various gateway cities around the world, noted Choe, are likewise “in the heart of the entertainment district”.
Fraser Place KL will be joined in 2012 by Fraser Residence KL, just a few streets away and now under construction.
These developments are helping consolidate a fast-growing group portfolio that covers Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific see news. Frasers currently manages 35 properties – a total of 5,000 individual units – in 21 cities worldwide.
Choe, however, did not underestimate the hotel chains’ ability to capitalise on increasing demand for serviced residence stays. “The gap [between serviced apartment operators and hotel managers] is starting to close, and once they really come in, it’ll get crowded. But now, it’s our time to grow.”
Frasers is attracting several sign ups, especially in the Middle East, according to Choe. A week before Frasers Place KL was formally launched on June 24, Frasers Suites Dubai opened along the prominent Sheikh Zayed Road with 180 suites. Doha is coming online shortly, while Oman and Saudi Arabian Frasers are starting works. The company is looking to plant other Fraser brands in new sites in cities where they already have existing properties.
Existing serviced residences are also coming under renovation such as Fraser Place Manila with more planned.
Besides the much valued space factor and fast connectivity – “We have to consistently provide guests this USP, if not they’ll go elsewhere,” said Choe – Fraser is finding ways to incorporate more business conveniences such as meeting facilities and spas.
The meeting spaces in the Sydney and Paris properties are always booked, which has encouraged management to invest in similar infrastructure elsewhere. Said Choe: “Spas are not our business but our guests have indicated that need ways to relieve stress, so we are studying entering a strategic alliance to be able to offer this service.”
Margie T Logarta