Netizens Mourn News Of Iconic Hotel Istana's Impending Closure

"Even as a quarantine hotel, we are incurring monthly operational losses," said the hotel's general manager.

Cover image via Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur

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Five-star Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, which is nearly 30 years old, put out a notice of cessation to their staff yesterday, 30 June

The internal notice of cessation states that the 486-roomed hotel will officially close its doors on 1 September this year.

The hotel, which is located along Jalan Raja Chulan, has been operating since 1992 and is owned by Tradewinds Corp Berhad, which is one of the country's largest hotel owners and operators.

According to New Straits Times, Tradewinds Corp Berhad owns six other hospitality assets which are Hilton Petaling Jaya, Hilton Kuching, Mutiara Taman Negara, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa in Langkawi, The Danna Langkawi, and Mutiara Johor Bahru — which ceased its operations in May this year.

The hotel's general manager Noorazzudin Omar said that they have arrived at the decision to cease operations after considering the present circumstances and all available options

"We are left with little choice other than to proceed with this closure," he said in the internal notice of cessation.

Noorazzudin added the hotel's competitive advantage had declined over a period of time in the face of stringent competition from new and neighbouring hotels and serviced apartments.

"The situation has now been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has and continues to impact our industry and its ability to achieve normality," he said.

According to Noorazzudin, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their business, rates, returns, and occupancy despite their best efforts

"Even as a quarantine hotel, we are incurring monthly operational losses. As such, after a proper evaluation of the hotel and its viability, we have decided to cease operations," Noorazzudin said.

He added that they will be offering their employees a voluntary separation scheme and aided with other exit formalities in the next few days.

SAYS reached out to Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur for a comment, but has yet to receive a reply at the time of publishing.

Netizens are saddened by the sudden news of Hotel Istana closing its doors, with many of them sharing their fond memories of the iconic hotel

Famous local artiste Sasi The Don commented, "Oh my this is so sad... gonna miss all the awesome people there...."

An ex-employee commented, "Worked there in late 90s. It was there I met with grand old fox who I regard as brilliant and good leader. Hope the employees found a new job and [there goes another hotel down in] history."

"A grand hotel to patronise as a guest, and to work there in Sales. Some good times were spent there. Will surely miss the grand Lobby Lounge, the Ramadhan Buffet at Taman Sari, and attending massive events at the Mahkota Grand Ballroom," a user shared.

Another user said, "Hotel Istana, one of the oldest hotels in Malaysia... When I was a kid, I used to pass here everyday when dad sent me to school. From Jalan Raja Chulan to [Kampung] Baru... My brother also managed to work part time here and the salary is high to make money for pocket money and college fees..."

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Many businesses are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and are being forced to shut down:

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