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Phnom Penh attracts big-name hotel brand

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The Courtyard by Marriott is a new hotel offering business visitors and tourists to Phnom Penh can look forward to staying at in 2017. Photo supplied

Phnom Penh attracts big-name hotel brand

International hotel brands are fast identifying Phnom Penh as a city with favourable growth in the hospitality sector, with the Marriott emerging as the latest global hotel chain to make inroads in the Kingdom.

The American diversified hospitality company has announced plans to open its Courtyard by Marriott brand in Phnom Penh in 2017, in line with its Asian growth expansion strategy.

The Courtyard by Marriott is marketed by the firm as an “upper midscale offering” in Marriott’s brand portfolio, with more than 1,000 hotels in 46 countries.

Representing Marriott’s first foray into Phnom Penh, the hotel will have 189 rooms with all-day dining, a dynamic lobby cafe and a sky bar. The development, currently under construction, is expected to be ready to welcome guests in 2017.

Earlier this week, Phnom Penh-based real estate development company Khou Investment officially signed a hotel management agreement (HMA) with parent company Marriott International to operate the property.

Hotel and resort consultancy firm, Alternaty Real Estate, which counts Khou Investment as one of its clients, could not disclose the commercial terms of the Marriott deal to Post Property but stated that these types of contracts can run anywhere from ten to 25 years depending on the operator and brand.

Speaking on Marriott’s move to Cambodia, Mauro Gasparotti, executive director at Alternaty, said there was a shortage of midscale hotels in Phnom Penh, enabling Marriott to take advantage of a gap in the market.

“Despite several projects in the upper upscale segment that have opened in the past few years, including Sofitel and Sokha, there remains a shortage of quality midscale products that offer value for money accommodation,” he said.

“International midscale hotels have lower operating and construction costs compared to upscale hotels, allowing developers to increase investment margins and reduce volatility risks typical of the hospitality industry.”

Cambodia Hotel Association president Din Somethearith said it was good to see more notable hotel chains establishing a presence in the Kingdom.

“It provides a new option for the customers,” he said.

“I don’t think [the Marriott opening] will have a negative impact, I think it will provide an alternative for the customer to have more variety and more selection.”

Furthermore, Din said the Marriott’s entrance could encourage other big-name hotel chains to set up shop in the Kingdom.

“It would be nice to have all the big-brand hotels in Cambodia,” he said.

Marriott Courtyard currently has 48 hotels in Asia. Cambodia has been on the cards for Marriott for some time, indicating back in 2011 that their Courtyard brand was seeking to gain a bigger footprint in Asia.

In recent years, Cambodia has witnessed a number of distinguished hospitality brands enter the hotel market, notably the Park Hyatt in Siem Reap.

With competition in Cambodia’s hotel market heating up, hospitality providers are going to have to get creative to lure in a loyal, returning customer base.

In addition to the Marriott, the high-end Rosewood hotel is scheduled to open later this year. The 148-room hotel will occupy the top 14 floors of Vattanac Capital Tower One, providing a panoramic view of the city.

Marriott International did not respond to further questions at press time.

A previous version of this article stated that the Courtyard by Marriott marked the company's first foray into Cambodia. In fact, it is their first hotel in Phnom Penh.

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