MALAYSIA. Container Hotel Group (CHG) has its sights set on expansion in airports and other travel locations.
The Kuala Lumpur-based company was founded by two young entrepreneurs, Ryan Loo and Vincent Tan, in 2012. Their mission was to inspire Millennials to “see the world and dare to dream”. They wanted to build hotels; to “build something that can last long and be appreciated by all – a piece of art that can be enjoyed by everyone”.
As a budding company, however, the pair realised that land was expensive. They decided to rent instead and “discovered the beauty” of shipping containers.
“When you rent a piece of land you are at the mercy of the owner,” Loo said. “But by using containers to construct the hotel, there is the possibility of moving our product in the event the owner wants to claim back the land.”
With shipping containers as a design base, CHG opened its first Container Hotel in Kuala Lumpur in 2013. The company was quick to see the potential for similar accommodation for travellers. It opened a Capsule by Container Hotel at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) one year later.
Its compact sleeping chambers are designed for transit travellers and backpackers. Female, male, mixed single and mixed queen capsules are available, along with Capsule Suites for three guests. The pods are rented out for between six and 12 hours. Lockers are available for luggage and guests have access to a shared lounge area, a shower room and free Wi-Fi. A shower-on-the go service is also available for those wishing to just freshen up.
With a floor space of 8,000sq ft, the Capsule Transit offers 204 pods and serves over 5,000 travellers every month.
Loo said the development of further capsule hotels is CHG’s main focus. “We felt that an airport offers a very interesting market; it has a strong captive market and yet is underserved.
“Traveller patterns have changed a lot, especially in recent years. Budget airlines are growing and more Millennials are travelling now. We see a need for a napping facility like Capsule Transit and we believe that our company can bring a fresh idea to serve this newly-explored and growing market.”
Loo noted that the KLIA2 hotel had increased its accommodation from 79 to 204 beds in just four years. “We are continually exploring potential in Southeast Asian airports and looking for suitable opportunities to expand within the region.”
He said discussions were underway with airports in Thailand and Jakarta. CHG is also eyeing development possibilities in Taiwan and Vietnam.
CHG’s innovative hotel concepts have also been extended to pet hospitality. Cocomomo, in Kuala Lumpur’s Klang Valley, is one of the company’s latest projects which aims to raise the standard of pet hotels. Described as the “ultimate pet destination” for urban dogs and cats, the five-storey building offers a variety of accommodation. Its services range from boarding, grooming, spa, massage and therapy to indoor park facilities and a swimming pool.
“The vision is to provide a happy place for pets and allow our hospitality to not only serve humans but also humans’ best friends,” Loo said.
Loo said CHG’s business philosophy is to remain innovative and to provide fresh ideas and solutions in the hospitality industry. “We embrace technology and always strive to find a simple solution, remaining mindful of a personal touch to our customers.”