In October last year, the Sunway Group announced a US$60 million (RM247 million) transformation of its flagship hotel property Sunway Resort.
“The reason why we say transformation and not revamp or refurbishment [is since] this is our most expensive and extensive facelift in history and the only thing a previous guest might recognise is the façade — everything else is completely transformed,” Alex Castaldi, senior general manager at Sunway City Kuala Lumpur Hotels told Travel Weekly Asia.
He explained that when a guest steps into the lobby, the previous long reception counter will be gone, replaced with separate desks where guests can sit down to check‐in, emphasising the human touch and top‐notch service.
A new-look lobby encourages personalised check-in at separate desks.
Returning guests can also expect to see a more contemporary look filled with opulence and glamour thanks to the use of marble, gold, soft fabrics and crystal chandeliers, with styling courtesy of designer, Nelson Yong.
On top of refreshed room categories, new to the resort are dedicated business suites — featuring a large executive area that has all the amenities of an office — and a wellness suite that comes with a techno gym and other tools.
Sunway will also add two new floors for more family-friendly experiences, with family suites fitted with entertainment units. Additionally, there's also an Aquaventure Playland, Wonderland Kids Club, and a dedicated Family Leisure Lounge.
The theme park, said Castaldi, is always evolving. There are plans to introduce the night park experience, which will reopen in the evening after the park closes at 6pm to catch new customer streams.
Another drawcard will be the new Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill — the first in Malaysia — ideal for an integrated destination that includes two other hotels, Sunway Clio and Sunway Pyramid Hotel, Sunway Lagoon theme park, lifestyle mall Sunway Pyramid, and Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre located in the mall.
The new Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill.
Some of the transformation budget will be spent on new technology, which Castaldi concedes is an area where the hospitality industry tends to lag behind. For instance, there will be a dedicated app that allows guests to make a booking, check‐in and access the room. The app will also transform a guest's mobile phone into a remote for the TV, and a control panel for the lighting and air‐con, which can all be adjusted while lounging at the pool.
Solar panels, motion‐sensor LED lighting, advanced water technologies are some other additions.
MICE business is important to the resort and, following a renovation of the convention centre in 2018, it has now added a high‐tech sound studio to cater for virtual and hybrid events. Meeting spaces in the resort will be upgraded as well.
Castaldi added that such changes are geared towards providing more for guests, alluding to reports that indicate a 15% increase in average room rate over the current price.
“We hope to reopen gradually from 15 August, with at least five floors of rooms and open in stages until our full opening in October,” he said.
He also said the hospitality and travel industry is very resilient and would bounce back.
“We shouldn’t only look at Covid-19 and plan for the next two years, we have to think far ahead. That’s what this transformation has been planned for and we need to use this down time constructively to evolve and to make ourselves better,” Castaldi concluded.
Source: M&C Asia