Singapore – Travellers to Yangon can soon look forward to more quality hotel rooms when phase two of Sedona Hotel Yangon is fully completed in 2016.
Keppel Land broke ground for the new 29-storey hotel wing in a ceremony this morning in the presence of His Excellency U Hla Myint, Mayor of Yangon City. The event was witnessed by His Excellency Mr Robert Chua, Singapore Ambassador to Myanmar; His Excellency Dr Tin Shwe, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism; Mr Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land; officials of the Yangon Regional Government; and business associates.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Ang said, “The opening up of Myanmar has seen the number of visitors, both corporate and leisure travellers, to the country increase significantly in the last three years. The upgrading and extension of Sedona Hotel Yangon is timely to meet the corresponding rise in demand for quality hotel rooms, which is currently in short supply in Yangon.”
In the first eight months of 2013, local authorities reported that Myanmar has already received more than one million foreign visitors, about 60% higher than the same period last year. Tourist arrivals are forecasted to reach between 1.8 and 2 million by end-2013, almost double that for the whole of 2012.
Sedona Hotel Yangon is part of only a handful of international-grade five-star hotels in Myanmar. Phase one of the hotel was completed in 1997 and comprises 366 rooms. The hotel has established itself as the accommodation of choice for business and leisure travellers alike.
Phase two of the development will see an addition of about 420 rooms, bringing the hotel’s total room capacity to 786. At 29 storeys tall, the new tower block will be one of the tallest structures in Yangon when completed in end-2015. The total development cost for the new hotel wing is about US$80 million, and when completed, will be fully integrated with the existing Sedona Hotel Yangon.
At the same time, phase one of Sedona Hotel Yangon is undergoing refurbishment works to feature a modern look and feel, whilst maintaining the original heritage character of the hotel. Areas that will be upgraded include the rooms and common areas such as the lobby, main entrance and common corridors. The renovation works, which will cost about US$25 million, are expected to be completed by end-2013.
Keppel Land will also be commencing renovation works to Sedona Hotel Mandalay, its second hotel property in Myanmar, early next year. The works, which includes the upgrading of rooms and common facilities such as the ballroom and restaurants, is expected to cost about US$7 million.
Mr Ang added, “Through the operation of our hotel over the years, we have participated and contributed to the creation of jobs in the country’s economy. We are confident that the expansion of Sedona Hotel Yangon, as well as the refurbishment of both Sedona Hotel Yangon and Mandalay, will continue to have a positive impact on the country.”
The Keppel Group’s relationship with Myanmar began as early as the 1980s when Keppel FELS, the Group’s offshore division, supplied tin dredgers to the Ministry of Mines. Through its marine division, Keppel Shipyard has also upgraded and repaired a diverse range of vessels for the Ministry of Ports.
In property, Keppel Land entered Myanmar in 1993 and currently owns and manages two hotels – Sedona Hotel Yangon and Sedona Hotel Mandalay. Over the years, both hotels have established themselves as the choice accommodation provider in the country, garnering numerous awards, including the titles of Myanmar’s Leading Hotel 2013 (Sedona Hotel Yangon) and Myanmar’s Leading Resort 2013 (Sedona Hotel Mandalay) at the recent World Travel Awards.
Sitting majestically on eight acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, Sedona Hotel Yangon is a 15-minute drive away from the Yangon International Airport and the city centre. With commanding views of the Inya Lake, Sedona Hotel Yangon is also close to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.
In April 2013, Keppel Land co-funded the Water for Life (Yangon) project, a joint initiative between the Singapore International Foundation and non-profit organistion, Mingalar Myanmar. The three-year project will provide more than 7,000 villagers in the townships of Kaw Hmu and Kungyangon better access to clean drinking water. Beyond monetary contributions, Keppel Land employees will also volunteer time and effort to be part of this worthy cause.