Global brand Four Seasons wants to tighten its Bruneian client base

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This article was first published on January 19, 2019 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 20.

Waqiuddin Rajak
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Canadian-rooted franchise Four Seasons wants to tighten its client base from Brunei after opening a new luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur (KL), which is also Malaysia’s second tallest building since the famed Petronas Twin Towers.

The global brand decided to target Brunei after seeing visitors from the sultanate topping the hotel’s guest list together with Singapore, despite it being only operational in November last year.

KL General Manager Tom J Roelens also shared that there were Bruneians who frequented the hotel for an average of five times per visit, based on the database compiled since the franchise’s official launch.

Besides the strategic location and fine architecture, Roelens attributed the good reception to the packages it offered which made the hotel more affordable to the people despite it being a fully-throttled five-star establishment.

A person can stay at a hotel at the lowest rate of RM1,000, subject to the availabilities of the room.

“At the same time, Four Seasons is also well-known for its customer-centric services, which is fashioned accordingly to the feedback we compiled from our visitors,” Roelens said.

Like most guests, Roelens said most Bruneians who stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel came either for to stay at the hotel, shopping, dining or celebrate events.

For a staycation, the hotel is equipped with an infinity pool at its seventh floor, which was also structured to give the best view to its customers.  At the same time, the franchise also regularly offers discounts for people to get treatments from its premium spa.

“When we started operation in November, Malaysians were the first to adapt to our new hotel – the reception was quite positive.  But as a business, we should always look beyond that; that is why we compiled our market data and how we can move about from there,” Roelens said.

Based on such data, the hotel is now seeking Halal certification from Malaysian authorities; which could also mean added value to most visitors who came from Brunei and Malaysia itself.

“It is very important for us to do so because it shows respect to our guests,” he said.

“At the same time, it could also be one of the strongest features that distinguish ourselves from the competition that may not be offering Halal products,” he added.

After opening up the new hotel, Roelens is now looking to find untapped opportunities that could bring more business to the new franchise; but besides increasing client base in Brunei, the brand has no plans on building up another hotel in the sultanate.

“Four Seasons are growing substantially in terms of new destinations.  We are the 111th hotel to be opened last year and we have since then opened one in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  The franchise is now looking to open new hotels in Bangalore, India and Bangkok,” he said.

The global franchise had also recently signed a new project to build an establishment in Okinawa, Japan this week – a joint venture between the hotel and a Malaysian venture capitalist.

“There are no plans to build any hotels in Brunei at this time but we are always looking for the right opportunity and the right developer,” he said.

“We definitely welcome more guests who could be familiar with our brand and offering – while also receive their feedback,”

“You can build beautiful hotels but it is really that human element that determines your quality, which is what I think Four Seasons are the strongest at,” he added.

The Bruneian