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IHG Opens First East Malaysia Property Ahead of Further Expansion
26 December 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

Kicking off a bid to triple its nationwide portfolio by 2025, the IHG brand is set to open its first property in East Malaysia this month. The group is also setting out to restore confidence among travellers with its IHG Clean Promise programme. As the Covid-19 situation continues to improve, IHG group is taking a positive and proactive approach to recovery, demonstrating confidence in the Malaysian market. 

“There is still plenty of reason for optimism,” explains Rajit Sukumaran, who is IHG’s managing director for Southeast Asia & Korea. “History tells us that travel will return and, as demand comes back, we’ll be well-positioned to welcome guests to our hotels – and continue to grow,” he added. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) currently has four properties in Malaysia and recently announced plans to expand their Malaysian portfolio to a total of 14, operating across six brands within the next four years.  

Part of IHG’s growth strategy will be the introduction of new luxury and lifestyle brands such as Kimpton and Hotel Indigo, both of which are set to launch in Kuala Lumpur in 2023. Next year, IHG will also introduce its upscale brand Crowne Plaza in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. The group will also debut its Regent brand in Malaysia, with the opening of Regent Kuala Lumpur slated for 2022. 

The expansion begins in East Malaysia; an area that’s new to IHG. Located in the heart of Sabah’s bustling capital city, the Holiday Inn Express Kota Kinabalu City Centre is scheduled to open for business this month, becoming the group’s first business venture in the region. The new hotel will provide clean, comfortable and convenient accommodation, combining excellent value with an outstanding location. 

The hotel is just a short drive from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal; the point of embarkation for Kinabalu’s famous scuba diving and island-hopping experiences in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Culturally and historically rich sites such as Mari Mari Culture Village and the world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinabalu National Park are also located nearby, all in the shadow of the region’s highest peak: Mount Kinabalu. 

Back at the hotel, guests will be able to begin their day with the trademark Express Start breakfast, or just Grab & Go if they are looking for a quick bite on the move. With views overlooking Kota Kinabalu City Waterfront, the hotel is also the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or two at sunset. To ensure the health and safety of returning travellers, IHG has implemented a detailed set of Covid-19 protocols, called IHG Clean Promise. This set of standards and procedures includes rigorous cleaning schedules in partnership with third party hygiene experts Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey. 

Whether looking for adventure, relaxation, wildlife encounters or cultural exploration, visitors to East Malaysia in the New Year we be able to find it all at Holiday Inn Express Kota Kinabalu City Centre.