KUALA LUMPUR: YTL Corp Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd has acquired Niseko Village (pictured), a winter and summer destination located in Hokkaido, Japan for ¥6 billion (RM224 million).

YTL’s group managing director, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping said the acquisition of Niseko is a strategic opportunity to acquire real estate that “fully complements the group’s existing properties”.

“Our vision for Niseko Village is to realise the resort’s untapped potential by creating a unique, sophisticated village atmosphere offering private houses and ski-in ski-out estates, and featuring all the hallmarks of the YTL brand that continue to draw our guests back to our properties,” he said at a signing ceremony on Thursday, April 15.

Yeoh said despite the recent global financial crisis, YTL was “blessed” to be in a strong financial position that allows it to seek new growth and investment opportunities for YTL Hotels.

“The locations of these new hotels and resorts have been meticulously selected, with a view to integrate the local environment and unique culture of each of these assets seamlessly into our existing collection of luxury hotels, spas and resort properties,” Yeoh said.

He said YTL Hotels has embarked on a number of international developments over the last year such as the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China; the MUSE Hotel De Luxe in Saint-Tropez in the south of France; and The Chedi in Phuket, Thailand.

He added that despite its seemingly aggressive overseas venture, domestic growth remains a priority as YTL is currently developing resorts on Pulau Gaya and Pulau Tiga in East Malaysia, scheduled to commence operations in 2011.

Plans for the Niseko Village resort includes an extensive refurbishment to enhance guestrooms, recreation and leisure facilities and the launch of an International Food Festival that would attract chefs from around the world.

Niseko Village occupies approximately 617ha, comprising the 506-room Hilton Niseko Village, 200-room Green Leaf Hotel, two 18-hole gold courses as well as a 155ha tranche of land featuring seven ski lifts and 15 ski trails with a scenic view of Mt Yotei.

There are also several onsen (Japanese hot springs) and an equestrian centre at Niseko Village, which is readily accessible by road and train services, with connections to the New Chitose Airport and Sapporo.