Le Meridien Sentosa hotel put up for sale again

Apr 10, 2018

Second sale attempt in two years; five-star hotel now under management of PwC Singapore

Grace Leong

Le Meridien Singapore on Sentosa, formerly known as Movenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa, has been put on the market for the second time in two years.

The Straits Times understands that the five-star hotel came under management of professional services firm PwC Singapore about a month ago.

According to a newspaper advertisement published yesterday, interested parties are invited to bid for the five-star hotel's business and assets on Sentosa.

All bids will be kept private and confidential, said the ad. The closing date for submission is 5pm on June 4.

When contacted yesterday, PwC did not respond to queries on why it is managing the property.

It also did not respond to queries on how much the sellers hope to get from the current sale.

Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa is owned by Treasure Resort, which is majority-owned by Mr Rodney Tan, group chairman and chief executive of Cairnhill Group Holdings, and his family.

Mr Tan and his family are understood to have acquired, in June 2007, the majority stake in Treasure Resort, which owned the heritage block and an attached piece of land.

The property comprises a three-storey heritage building and a six-storey new block.

The Tans used to own the former Cairnhill Hotel, which they sold in 1996 to a Wing Tai-led consortium that redeveloped the site into a condo, The Light at Cairnhill.

Mr Tan did not respond to calls from The Straits Times yesterday.

In 2010, Mr Tan and his wife Chris started Movenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa. Mrs Chris Tan, founder of well-known spa The Luxe House, oversaw the interior design concept and execution for the hotel.

In October 2014, she opened The Luxe House, a 6,000 plus sq ft spa within the hip Dempsey Hill enclave.

The hotel was rebranded from Movenpick to Le Meridien, a brand of Starwood that took over management of the hotel, in June 2016. Shortly after, the hotel was put on the market for $300 million.

Colliers International was the marketing agent for the property in 2016. When asked yesterday, it said it is "unable to share details relating to the proposed sale in 2016 due to confidentiality".

According to media reports, it was hoped that with the completion in September 2016 of Marriott International's acquisition of Starwood, the rebranding of the Sentosa hotel would allow it to leverage the membership rewards programmes and reservation systems to drive occupancies and revenue per available room.

That was to have been a key selling point to potential investors, which included Genting Singapore, which owns Resorts World Sentosa, and the Kwee family of Pontiac Land Group, who own the Capella.

Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014, Le Meridien is in a conservation area with hotel use. It has a land area of nearly 101,600 sq ft, and its gross floor area is nearly 144,000 sq ft.

Located next to the Merlion Tower on Sentosa, the 191-room property is on a site with a balance lease term of about 57 years.