Australian-born Robert Geneid, Managing Director of the Royal Mulu Resort in Sarawak, is bullish on Mulu. He is currently involved in a major renovation of the resort as it prepares to become a five-star member of the Marriott group. The Mulu Marriott Resort and Spa will offer discerning travelers a winning combination of luxurious amenities and services, unique style and an ideal location adjacent to Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Area.
Mr. Geneid, who lives in Kuching, has long been a supporter of Malaysia’s sustainable development. He participates in various tourism-related organizations and is Managing Director of the Kumpulan Construction Company. Launching the Royal Mulu Resort 20 years ago represented a major challenge. He says, “The only way to get to Mulu was to fly there by helicopter or take a day-long river journey. When you land in Mulu you feel like you have landed in Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs. When I first brought investors here, they were all captivated by the area’s beauty, but then we had to start getting infrastructure built.” Today, Royal Mulu Resort is served by daily Maswings flights.
Renovations almost complete
After successfully bringing a hotel in Miri up to Marriott’s standards, Mr. Geneid decided to do the same thing in Mulu. The resort has been undergoing renovations since 2011 while remaining open. The first phase of the renovations, to be completed by March 2013, will include new public areas and upgrading half of the guestrooms; the remaining rooms will be renovated by late 2013. The resort makes the most of its location. Mr. Geneid explains, “We always knew Mulu was special, but having UNESCO World Heritage confirm its uniqueness has been a big boost for us. We are hiring locally and training park rangers. In five years, Mulu will be one of the leading eco-tourism destinations in Southeast Asia.”