The Master’s Masterpiece
BY YVONNE YOONG
A work of art best epitomises Manhattan Business Hotel which received the “Best Business Hotel” title at Property Insight Prestigious Developer Awards (PIPDA) 2018 with its blueprint for inspiration being Manhattan city
Leo Chong, Executive Director of Manhattan Business Hotel
The unmistakable Manhattan feel makes its distinctive presence felt in the heart of Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya and Glomac Damansara in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail in Kuala Lumpur via the Manhattan Business Hotel. Inspired by the magnetic appeal of the charms of this beautiful city with its pristine setting promising guests a unique home-away-from-home stay, the hotel has built up its niche corporate clientele and has a distinct charm all of its own.
Indeed, the Manhattan Business Hotel makes its entry as the latest and newest kid on the hotel block – drawing inspirational magic from Manhattan where almost every blockbuster Hollywood movie was shot.
“Manhattan Business Hotel is themed with the beautiful Manhattan city settings which offers guests a unique experience of staying within a homely away-from-home feel. Every effort is made to ensure our guests feel comfortable and welcome,” shares Kenneth Chin, General Manager of Corporate Affairs and Marketing of the Manhattan Business Hotel.
“Manhattan is a beautiful city in the US. It represents an exciting and bustling district in New York City. The name is famous and easy to remember. To us, Manhattan is the financial market of the world. Its name also represents ‘Beauty’ and ‘Business’ which are apt descriptions of the hotel,” relates Chin further.
The hotel is owned by 3M Bintang Sdn Bhd’s Datuk Michael Lim who is the designated chairman of the group who shares that initially, the name Manhattan was chosen because it is a city full of life and teeming with various businesses.
“Everyone knows Manhattan. The city is built on strong metamorphic rock known also as Manhattan Schist. The same foundation is used to build the underlying principle of the Manhattan Business Hotel business. A group of very good friends from church had this idea of employing people at the hotel in order to prosper them and also as a way to serve others,” shares Lim.
According to him, the idea started in 2012 and at that time, this idea came up to do a business hotel. After two years of planning, the first Manhattan Business Hotel was opened in Damansara Perdana on May 1, 2014. This was due to their researching findings showing there is a shortage of simple business hotels for people travelling from Kuala Lumpur for corporate meetings.
(From left) Kenneth Chin, Datuk Micheal Lim and Joshua Ang
Manhattan Business Hotel, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
The business which was started in 2013 under the name 3M Bintang saw seven shareholders joining forces in converting a six-storey shop lot in Damansara Perdana into the first Manhattan Business Hotel.
In all, around RM3.3 million to RM3.5 million alone was spent on renovations alone for the first hotel in Damansara Perdana.
Established with an aim to please, the Manhattan Business Hotel Group’s objective was to set a new high standard for corporate guests. Relying on the good design taste of the like-minded seven shareholders proved to be a resounding success – judging from the classy interior and exterior of the Manhattan Business Hotel.
“Some – in fact most – of the shareholders are in the construction business so they came up with this idea of a nice Manhattan feel just like that in New York. The hotel’s ambience is comfortable and looks simple but grand,” enthuses Lim stressing on the importance of adhering to this concept.
“We started with seven shareholders and we are lean and mean – with most of us having our own businesses. We appointed Joshua to run the show while we are the ones who support from behind,” says Lim crediting Joshua Ang who is the General Manager of Operations at Manhattan Business Hotel with running the show.
No stranger to real estate, Ang, armed with his property agent background, adds that most of the people who patronise the hotel are corporate folks representing businessmen from outstation including those from Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.
In fact, accordingly to him, out of the filtered corporate crowd, approximately 70 per cent of guests here constitute locals while 30 per cent are foreigners from Germany, Europe and Japan who appreciate the nice, comfortable and clean ambience at both hotels.
“Our mission here is to serve our guests. We chose this location as it is a business centre with lots of businesses operating here. The location here is well-centred as many people go to The Curve and Kota Damansara,” he elaborates at the interview with Property Insight conducted at the hotel’s premise in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.
Emerging As Best Business Hotel
The Manhattan Business Hotel incidentally emerged as the “Best Business Hotel” at the Property Insight Prestigious Developer Awards (PIPDA) 2018 much to the pleasant surprise of the owners.
“Being a new player to the hospitality business, we are indeed surprised and honoured with this recognition. From our humble opening back in 2014, we are certainly blessed to enjoy repeat returns of good guests who continue to support us until now even though we are the new hotel kids on the block. We are thankful and today, we focus more on learning about our guests experiences,” reiterates Chin.
“Winning an award is really an honour and we’ve gotten a few awards already including from the Online Travel Experiences (OTAs) such as Booking.com and Traveloka. We are very honoured because we are relatively new to the business and industry. We have a lot to learn from our customers,” adds Chin.
“They come in sometimes stressed, with anger or disappointment and we try and make their day better. Now, it’s about customer experience, so from that, we learn from the customers to give them better service to make their stay here positive,” he shares.
According to Chin, testimony to the attractiveness of the business hotel lies with its 70% to 80% occupancy rate at anyone point in time.
Due to the brisk business, plans are underway for another two hotels – with a next door expansion in the pipeline that will double up the room count.
“Business has been very profitable and is growing very fast,” continues Chin.
And indeed, business has grown by leaps and bounds since the hotel was established whereby the whole concept was to give a comfortable place for people to come and stay as well as conduct their business dealings and launch off to go to work.
Expansion Plans For The Future
Manhattan Business Hotel which is currently represented in Damansara Perdana and Glomac Damansara in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail is seeing another expansion with the owners looking into opening a new hotel in the very heart of Kuala Lumpur itself.
“We are planning to expand to as many as five to eight hotels within Malaysia in the next five years.
Manhattan Business Hotel, Damansara Perdana
“In fact, we are on the lookout for investors who are interested to joint venture (JV) with us to be part of our expansion plans as we want to establish a hotel chain business using the Manhattan Business Hotel signage. Location is very important so if you have properties or a building at strategic locations, we can consider to do a JV,” he adds.
The Manhattan Business Hotel in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail has 58 rooms whereas Damansara Perdana will house 49 rooms. Price reasonably ranging from RM140 to RM200 and is equipped with seven levels of rooms and a mezzanine level complemented by a compreshensive set of room amenities.
“Manhattan Business Hotel maintains a certain clientele – mainly corporate and travelling businessmen and business women. We are premium but affordable as a luxurious, comfortable and reasonably priced boutique business hotel,” enthuses Chin further.
“Our target market are business travellers belonging to the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) sectors. In the 2016 Economic Census Report, SME businesses made up 36.6 per cent of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
SMEs is the main driving force that is promoting the national economy. Although the scale and turnover of the SMEs are not big – it is recorded that 650,000 or 96 per cent of the business registration in this country are SMEs,” he states adding that the hotel location is chosen based on market study the owners have conducted on these SMEs in terms of demographics and location.
Bed & Breakfast At Its Best
According to him, although Manhattan Business hotel doesn’t offer extravagant facilities of most other resorts or star-rated hotels – but only the necessary facilities, services, comfort and secure environment of a business hotel – the stay represents a “practical extension of our guests daily life” during their stay with the hotel.
Manhattan Business Hotel
– At Your Service
Manhattan Business Hotel’s mission is guided by the following three pillars including:-
- To serve our GUESTS by providing them with the highest standards of comfort and convenience. We seek to deliver on our promise of value and quality above all else.
- To serve our EMPLOYEES as we strive to create a better workplace for them to develop themselves in an environment of trust, loyalty and encouragement.
- To serve our COMMUNITY. We value our place in the community and will work to develop those relationships and also to respect and protect our environment.
Manhattan Business Hotel aims to be the Business Hotel of choice and hopes to grow into a reputable hotel chain in Malaysia within the next five years.
For bookings and enquiries on Manhattan Business Hotel,
kindly contact Kenneth Chin at 012 2090 268 or Joshua Ang 012 233 1616.
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