The long-awaited opening of a five-star heritage hotel on Strand Road under the Kempinski brand has been scrapped, with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts taking up the reins.
The Heritage Hotel Kempinski Yangon was five years in the making and set to open this spring opposite the riverside cruise terminal in the former police commissioner’s office, built in 1927.
But the plan faced controversy from the outset, with Myanmar lawyers who wanted to restore the building to its original function as a court opposing the hotel investors: Switzerland’s Kempinski Group, a Thai firm and a Myanmar conglomerate.
Although it is unclear what caused the venture to collapse earlier this month, Prime Residence, a partnership of Thailand’s Kanok Furniture and Decoration and Myanmar’s Jewellery Luck Group of Companies, announced it would now appoint Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to manage the property.
Luxury hotel Rosewood Yangon—the first Rosewood property in Myanmar—is set to open this winter. A Kempinski Group spokesperson confirmed the group was exiting operations of the hotel.
“Respective employees have been relocated from the hotel to new opportunities in the business. This decision is in line with our company values, as straightforward hoteliers with a passion for luxury. We wish the hotel much success in future,” added the spokesperson.
Originally constructed as the New Law Courts by architect Thomas Oliphant and Doorman Long UK, the engineers behind the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge, the property was in the final stages of renovation.
The property is the first building to receive approval from Yangon Heritage Trust, founded in 2012 by Myanmar historian and writer Dr Thant Myint-U for a conservation management plan that permitted restoration of the historic structure.
Much like Kempinski’s announcements for the project, Rosewood Yangon will feature 209 guestrooms, suites, one-and two-bedroom apartment units. The hotel will also offer five dining venues, a panoramic rooftop bar, spa, gym, yoga studio, and rooftop pool.
Prime Residence managing director Supalak Foong said in a press release, “We are thrilled to partner with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and bring this prestigious ultra-luxury brand to Myanmar. Our two companies share an unswerving dedication to detail that can be seen in this beautiful, one-of-a-kind property.”