KUALA LUMPUR (July 1): Five-star Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur is targeted to close on Sept 1 after about 30 years of operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic and prolonged lockdowns.

Located at Jalan Raja Chulan, the 23-storey, 486-roomed hotel will be offering a voluntary separation scheme to its affected employees.

"We have arrived at this decision after considering the present circumstances and all available options. We are left with little choice other than to proceed with this closure," said the hotel's general manager Noorazzudin Omar in a media statement on June 29.

He added that the hotel's competitive advantage had declined over a period of time amid "stringent competition from new and neighbouring hotels and serviced apartments" and which is further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"This has impacted our business, rates, returns and occupancy despite our best efforts. Even as a quarantine hotel, we are incurring monthly operational losses.

"As such, after a proper evaluation of the hotel and its viability, we have decided to cease operations," said Noorazzudin. 

Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur is owned by Tradewinds Corp Bhd which also owns and operates several other hotels such as The Danna Langkawi (its flagship), Mutiara Taman Negara, Hilton Petaling Jaya, and Hilton Kuching.

In addition to Hotel Istana, Tradewinds' Mutiara Johor Bahru also ceased operations in May this year.

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