One of the city’s most prominent and most beautiful landmark, a hotel near the Kuching International Airport, is set to open as Raia Hotel Kuching.
Known fully as Raia Hotel & Convention Centre Kuching, the massive hotel in grey sits just one minute from the Kuching International Airport and is hard to miss due to it’s unique design and size.
The hotel was supposed to be operational in 2018.
For the past years, the hotel has not seen any ‘action’ as its owner then, Lembaga Tabung Haji, has been dealing with internal matters pertaining to funding and the running of its hotel chain, known as Tabung Haji Hotels, or popularly known as TH Hotels.
Taken over from Lembaga Tabung Haji
TH Hotels is owned by Lembaga Tabung Haji.
According to a report by The Star in February 2020, hotels under Lembaga Tabung Haji were part of a mixture of listed equity holdings.
There were 29 properties and one unlisted asset under this list, which was then transferred to a new company called Urusharta Jamaah.
The report further states that Urusharta Jamaah was set up to rescue Lembaga Tabung Haji after the liabilities exceeded its assets following a review of its financial position.
Urusharta Jamaah is a unit of the MoF Inc, which is an incorporation under the Ministry of Finance. Under Urusharta Jamaah, these hotels will be managed by UJ Property Management Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the company.
The take over also saw Urusharta Jamaah absorbing all of the staff working under the hotel brand which will now be called Raia Hotel.
Other TH Hotels taken over by Urusharta Jamaah include TH Hotels in Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Terengganu and Alor Setar.
Award winning hotel even before it began operation
Raia Hotel Kuching is set to open with an award already fixed to its belt.
In 2017, the hotel design won Best New Hotel Construction & Design Asia Pacific for the International Property Awards.
Then, it was known as TH Hotel and Convention Centre Kuching (THHCC Kuching).
It beat over 1000 entries from over 300 companies across 27 countries worldwide, hence stamping it’s potential as an icon and landmark to Kuching itself.
The hotel design features a distinctive Pua Kumbu (indigenous fabric) roof design which is hard to miss when arriving at the Kuching International Airport.
One of Kuching’s biggest hotel
Raia Hotel Kuching is also massive in terms of land size, making it one of the biggest in the city.
Valued at RM 204.7 million by TH Properties, it sits on a 6.16 acre land just 10 minutes to the Kuching City centre.
When opened, the hotel is set to add 237 hotel rooms to Kuching and it will also add a 1090-seat convention hall to Kuching’s MICE industry.
According to earlier reports, it will also have restaurants, banks and a swimming pool.
A photo posted by Abang Houdini below showed that the hotel is also renting out office spaces to those interested.
To be a Quarantine hotel for Covid19?
With the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia on-going, there’s questions if Raia Hotel Kuching can survive if it opens now.
This is due to the lack of tourist coming into Kuching at the moment.
However, major hotels in Kuching have quickly been asked by the government to become quarantine hotels for those arriving to Kuching and it looks like these hotels are enjoying full capacity at the moment.
With those being quarantined required to pay for full board during their stay, it is likely that Raia Hotel may also be able to sustain itself if it was added into the quarantine hotel list.
Its location just beside Kuching International makes it a perfect fit to cut travel cost when transporting arrivals requiring quarantine. The current trend is to bring those quarantined to the Kuching City Centre where most major hotels are located.
On top of that, Kuching also needs the extra rooms as the availability of additional quarantine facilities will increase flight frequencies to the city.
This is in line with the government’s directive that flight numbers will be match with hotel quarantine facility availability during this pandemic.
Booking a room at Raia Hotel Kuching
But of course it is just my speculation that Raia Hotel Kuching will be a quarantine centre.
The hotel is currently promoting its coming opening at its Facebook Page, and is dropping hints of its coming opening.
There maybe specials for those staying in the new hotel once it finally opens.
At the time of writing, you can’t book a room at the hotel just yet because I tried, and I went up to December 2021 to look for a room.
However, with the hotel now seeking employees and staff, I bet it will only be a matter of time before it opens its doors.
Meanwhile, if you are planning to book a room near Kuching Airport, check out hotel near Kucing Airport listings for options.
Else, you can also be like me to wait for the day when Raia Hotel opens its doors officially.