Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 30 September 2005
Terrorists Strike Bali Again
Shangri-La Hotel, New Delhi Soft Opens
Hotelier Plans Four Seasons Project in Malaysia
InterContinental Makes a Resort Splash in Thailand
Challenger Exit All But Complete
Le Méridien Khao Lak to Reopen in October
Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 30 September 2005

Terrorists Strike Bali Again Return to Headlines

Three years since 12 October 2002, Bali was once again rocked by bombings on 1 October 2005, this time in both Kuta and Jimbaran Bay. The horrific bombs left 25 dead and more than 100 injured. The atmosphere in Bali this time round, have however not been as negative as before as people are unfortunately getting used to such incidences. Hotels have not recorded mass exodus of guests while Garuda has reported that all inbound flights will be maintained. Hotels are not seeing any cancellations in connection to the blasts but do expect to receive some cancellations over the coming days. Local hoteliers, however, remain optimistic that cancellation will be nothing like the magnitude experience during the previous tragedy in 2002.

Shangri-La Hotel, New Delhi Soft Opens Return to Headlines
Asia Pacific's luxury hotel group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, opens the Shangri-La Hotel, New Delhi in two phases beginning with a "soft opening" on 14 September 2005. Designed by the renowned Hong Kong-based Leese Robertson & Freeman Designers Limited, the US$70 million, 17-storey hotel is centrally located in landscaped gardens in the historic government district and is a 40-minute drive from the airport. The Shangri-La Hotel, New Delhi caters to business guests with high-speed internet access and wireless LAN throughout the hotel as well as a business centre, three meeting rooms and a 6,460 square-foot ballroom divisible into four.

Hotelier Plans Four Seasons Project in Malaysia Return to Headlines
Singaporean hotelier Ong Beng Seng and CapitaLand plan to enter a joint venture with a Malaysian sultan to build a US$265 million Four Seasons hotel and apartment complex in Kuala Lumpur, taking advantage of rising property prices and tourism arrivals. Venus Assets, controlled by Ong, will apply to Kuala Lumpur City Hall for permission to build the development next to the Petronas Twin Towers. The development will mark the fifth Four Seasons property for Ong, who also owns the franchise for Hard Rock Hotel in Asia. Ong, through his Singapore-listed Hotel Properties, is also building a Hard Rock hotel in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan, adding to the company's five other hotels including three Concorde properties in the country.

InterContinental Makes a Resort Splash in Thailand Return to Headlines
The announcement of not one, but three InterContinental resorts in three key Thai leisure playgrounds Samui, Pattaya and Phi Phi Island signals that the brand is at last making headways as a contender for the segment, with the last InterContinental resort in the region opening more than 10 years ago in Jimbaran Bay, Bali. The three new resorts will small in roomcount (100-120 villas and rooms) but large in space. They will aim to be "experiential" and "intimate". The three resorts will be priced between US$250 to US$350; opening between 2007 and 2008; and owned by Khun Jumreon Chittarasnee, owner of the Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island, also managed by IHG.

Challenger Exit All But Complete Return to Headlines
Challenger Financial Services has all but exited property syndication after agreeing to sell the management rights of its remaining funds to MFS Group. Challenger stands to pocket US$2.2 million if the deal is approved by its syndicate investors. It is a strategic transaction for MFS, delivering it control of two funds, including Challenger's high-profile Park Hyatt Sydney Hotel Trust. For Challenger, the deal would complete a significant shift in strategy for its wealth-management division. In recent months, the division has moved to wind up four of its property syndicates by selling, or agreeing to deals, on about US$170 million in assets. If the MFS deal is approved, it would give the Queensland-based group another foothold in the syndication sector, and expand its involvement in tourism property, following its joint purchase earlier this year of the Sheraton Mirage Resorts at the Gold Coast and Port Douglas.

Le Méridien Khao Lak to Reopen in October Return to Headlines
Le Méridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort in Thailand will reopen on 15 October, after closing in December 2004 due to tsunami-related damage. The re-opening of the Khao Lak property follows by two months the re-opening of Le Meridien in Phuket. Located just an hour from Phuket International Airport and 19 kilometres south of the market town Takua Pa, Le Méridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort is close to the Similan Islands, a marine national park world-famous for its scuba diving locations. The hotel offers a choice of restaurants and bar, many with al fresco dining, 243 bedrooms, 10 Lagoon villas and 15 Pool villas. The luxury pool villas feature private gardens, a 25-metre private pool, Jacuzzi and open air 'Sala'.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 30 September 2005
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