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Thistle Hotels to Open Two Hotels in Malaysia

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In its first foray out of the United Kingdom, hospitality giant Thistle Hotels will be making its presence felt in Asia through two key hotel properties in Malaysia - Thistle Johor Bahru and Thistle Port Dickson Resort.

The Thistle brand is part of Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GuocoLeisure Limited. Both companies are members of the Hong Leong Group whose hospitality and leisure business is spread across the globe. In Malaysia, Thistle will be managing properties owned by GuocoLand Malaysia, also a member of the Hong Leong Group of companies. The two properties are slated to open mid-2009.

“Investing MYR 50 million in the refurbishment of both properties, Thistle’s expansion into Malaysia is part of the hospitality brand’s two-year strategy to expand its business to an international scale. The hotels will be the first properties opened under the Thistle name outside of the UK,” said Ian Jones, Regional Director of Guoman Hotels Asia.

For his part, GuocoLand Malaysia Managing Director Paul Poh said, “We are very pleased to welcome Thistle to Asia and are especially proud to have the first two properties right here on Malaysian shores. This endeavor demonstrates GuocoLand Malaysia’s commitment to the Malaysian hospitality industry. This partnership with Thistle proves our commitment to continue to enhance the value of our properties.”

Thistle Port Dickson Resort opening in June 2009 will have 251 bedrooms set upon 90 acres of green resort space. The beach hotel boasts a nine-hole golf course, two tennis courts, three restaurants, two bars and three outdoor swimming pools, with views out over the beach and sea.

In July 2009, Thistle Johor Bahru will open its doors as the second Asian Thistle property. Located in one of Malaysia’s most important commercial cities, just across the border from Singapore, this high end yet affordable hotel will cater primarily to business visitors. The hotel will offer 381 bedrooms including 125 luxury rooms, two restaurants, two bars, large events space with a capacity for 650 persons and an outdoor “resort style” swimming pool. For its long-term guests, the hotel also has 19 units of apartment for rent.

“The two hotels provide different offerings, but one thing is clear: both will contribute to the regeneration of the localities. Thistle Port Dickson which will be of international standard is sure to attract leisure and MICE audience from around the world. Thistle Johor Bahru, capitalizing on its prime location at the gateway to Singapore, will cater primarily to the business community supporting inward investment to the area and offering a hotel standard that the city of JB has never seen before,” Jones added.

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