KUALA LUMPUR: The Chateau — located in Berjaya Hill Resort, Pahang — is set to attract wealthy overseas spa clients and increase the resort's prestige.
Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun said the opening of The Chateau was in line with the trend in the global spa industry which has moved into spa resort and destination spa.
"We are definitely poised to be in the forefront, especially in Asia. We are the first European-concept spa in the region which has moved away from the Baliness, Thai and other Asian spa concepts," he told Bernama in an interview.
The Chateau, which is a wholly-owned by Berjaya Hills Bhd, a unit of BCorp, was modelled after the 18th century medieval Haut Koenigsbourg castle in Alsace, France.
It has 200 rooms and offers a complete organic luxurious experience.
Tan said The Chateau has received four awards from the Seven Stars and Stripes, the global authority on award-winning establishments based on a seven-star scale last Saturday, Oct 8.
The four awards are overall hotel concept, spa and wellness, fine dining and the first organic award.
"These awards will put us on the world map and I believe many top high-paying customers will come from all over the world.
"In fact, our focus will always be on high-income foreign tourists. I believe wealthy Malaysians will also come here too," he said.
Tan said the company expected to get reasonable returns in the third year as it had spent alot on advertising and promotion, adding that The Chateau may not be dramatically affected by the global economic slowdown.
"The high-end market won't be affected so much by recession. Since, we are the first in the world to offer this kind of product, we think many wealthy people will come from around the world," he said.
He said the introduction of the organic wellness spa resort concept would enable the company to charge higher room rates as the previous concept was not really profitable amid challenging industry environment.
He said although the wellness industry in Malaysia was not as big as in Thailand and Indonesia, it was experiencing significant growth.
Tan said the industry was in dire need of aid from the government to attract more tourists into the country.
"The Tourism Ministry should work together with all industry players and help us market tourism product. We should have done more things together," he said.
On another development, he said, BCorp planned to develop more high-end villas.
He, however, declined to give a specific timeframe.
"We have a lot of planning, maybe one day Berjaya Hill will be as famous as Beverly Hill," he said.
Tan said to date, BCorp has invested close to RM1.2 billion to develop Berjaya Hills, since the purchase of the land in the mid-1990s. — Bernama