GRAND OPENING OF ARMENIAN STREET HERITAGE HOTEL
13 JANUARY 2014
Today is a very special day for Penang and all of us here as we witness another addition that will further strengthen George Town’s position as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
I am very pleased to note that the Armenian Street Heritage Hotel that is officially open today, presents tourists and visitors to Penang an exciting choice for accommodation.
The 92 rooms offered by the hotel add up to the much needed hotel room inventory for Penang, suitable for families, couples and even solo travelers. I was told that for the rate they are charging guests really get a good deal as the rooms are very spacious and fitted out very nicely. I will check and verify this myself soon…
I am personally very proud of this project and would like to congratulate the owners Giat Suria Sdn Bhd, led by Dato’ Yong, for reviving and turning around a building that had been abandoned for more than 10 years into something elegant and classy that you see today.
Even though it is not really a heritage building so to say, as it was built quite recently in the 1980’s, Giat Suria worked closely with GTWHI or the George Town World Heritage Incorporated, sought our advice and followed our guidelines in ensuring that the Armenian Street Heritage Hotel complies with requirements to be a heritage zone building. I would like to thank Dato’ Yong and his team at Giat Suria.
I am also very pleased to note that the Malaysian home-grown international hotel brand, Tune Hotels, has come in to manage the operations of Armenian Street Heritage Hotel. We know Tune Hotels has very been successful in the value accommodation business, as can be seen from their iconic red-wave designed Tune Hotel Downtown Penang in Jalan Burmah. I am sure this is a new challenge for Tune Hotels but as we can see, they too has done a great job. Congratulations.
The hotel is strategically located within the World Heritage zone of George Town, which together with the historical city of Melaka were declared world heritage sites by UNESCO in 2008.
To be listed a Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO is a very meaningful achievement for Penang in particular as it is a recognition for our unique status as multicultural heritage communities, fostering and benefiting from the rich cultural exchanges between East and West.
The true value of George Town’s historic aura is simply too unique to define – there is no other site quite like it anywhere else in the world.
The Armenian Street Heritage Hotel is one of more than 1,700 buildings that stand within the Core Area of the World Heritage Site.
Recently, George Town as Unesco heritage site has been listed the eighth holiday hotspot out of top 40 destinations worldwide for 2014 by British daily, Guardian. Though George Town is the only Southeast Asian destination to have made the list Penang have much room to improve to raise Penang’s tourism potential to reach Bali's level.
I am pleased to announce that the George Town World Heritage Incorporated will have the largest model of the heritage area to be displayed on the second floor of the Armenian Street Heritage Hotel. This will be open to tourists, members of the public and anyone who would like to learn more about George Town World Heritage Site.
With a built up area of 1,500 square feet allocated to GTWHI I shall say that the hotel is not just another neighbour but is in fact an extension of the GTWHI office, which is just next door.
The Armenian Street Heritage Hotel is a project undertaken with much love and passion especially for George Town’s heritage values.
Just steps away from the heritage trails of museums, temples, eateries and the world famous street paintings by Ernest Zacharevic, this is undoubtedly a perfect accommodation choice for any visitor to Penang.
I would like to encourage everyone to try it out and support our heritage efforts.