Charles Michio Turner
Sedona Hotel Yangon has officially opened their Inya Wing, a near 90 million USD investment that reflects the expectation of more high-income visitors to Yangon. Lots more. The 29 storey building, with 431 rooms and suites, underwent a grand opening ceremony on 18 May after a 7 month long soft-opening period.
Keppel Land Hospitality Management, the corporation which owns Sedonas in cities around Southeast Asia, sees their Yangon branch as the flagship hotel. Ng Ooi Hooi, President of Regional Investments for Keppel Land, admits that the Singaporean company, mainly focuses on projects in the more developed markets of China and Singapore, but sees great potential in Myanmar’s new government.
Business people are the primary clientele at Sedona Yangon since opening in 1996, a trend that will likely continue as Myanmar tourism is severely seasonal. Another Keppel spokesman believes, however, that Sedona has established an aesthetic and style that will attract tourists interested in seeing the newly opened country. He refers to Sedona’s approach to high-end hospitality as ‘contemporary indulgence’, which avoids the look of the hotel form becoming too traditional but still “infuse elements of local crafts and culture”.
This strategy may pay off as the Strand Hotel, which has built an identity on infusing elements of local crafts and culture, is under renovation until November 2016. With development shifting towards northern townships, which includes Yankin, the bigger Sedona may very well find itself in a the commercial center of Yangon.