YTL Hotels to expand AC Hotels by Marriott brand

From left: Marriott International Asia Pacific president and managing director Craig Smith, YTL Hotels executive director Datuk Mark Yeoh and Marriott International chief operating officer Raj Menon.

KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Hotels is looking to aggressively expand the AC Hotels by Marriott brand in Malaysia after inking to convert its three Vistana Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kuantan to AC Hotels by Dec 1,2019.

The inking of the signed franchise agreements to convert its three properties, namely, Vistana Kuala Lumpur Titiwangsa, Vistana Penang Bukit Jambul and Vistana Kuantan City Centre to AC Hotels mark the first AC Hotels in the Asia-Pacific region.

YTL Hotels executive director Datuk Mark Yeoh said the group is looking to either construct new hotel buildings or convert its existing established properties to AC Hotels in every state of the country, as the branded hotel is popular among Millennials due to its modern and sleek design, notably in Europe and the United States.

“We would want to grow this brand as much as we can. We believe the brand should be in every state in Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak, as it caters to different segments of the market.

“The prime hotels in Penang and Kuantan would be Marriott International’s debut in the two cities, targeting business and leisure travellers, ” he told reporters after inking a master development agreement with Marriott International yesterday.

AC Hotels by Marriott embraces a European design and style cross its international portfolio of properties in Europe, as well as in North and Latin America.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said the group would leverage on its core business of construction to build AC Hotels cost-effectively and efficiently with Marriott International as its partner, adding that a substantial amount has been invested for the refurbishment of its three Vistana hotels.

“The most important thing is that there would be a capital gain injected into the YTL Hospitality REIT, which makes both the investors and owners happy, ” he added.

Currently, YTL Hotels operates 12 Marriott International hotels across Asia and Europe such as The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, and Autograph Collection in its portfolio of 36 hospitality assets.

Marriott International Asia Pacific president and managing director Craig Smith is confident that AC Hotels would represent a wonderful new addition to YTL Hotels’ portfolio of Marriott International hotels, as it would be able to leverage on Marriott’s strong customer base of 140 million.

“The partnership between the Marriott and YTL is about adding value to YTL hotels by branding them with Marriott. Hotels can get refurbished and shareholders of both YTL and Marriott also benefit, ” he added.

Marriott International, based in Maryland in the US, encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,000 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 132 countries and territories.

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