This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on November 21, 2022 - November 27, 2022
Designer senior living residence Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur aims to appeal to mature citizens with its fresh, contemporary look, ideal location and extensive amenities and services.
The project is a collaboration between diversified Singaporean real estate group Ascott Ltd and French senior services residences brand Domitys Group.
Over coffee at Ascott Kuala Lumpur, one of the group’s most recognised suites in the city centre, Ascott’s country general manager for Malaysia, Mondi Mecja, shares, “This idea [to bring Domitys into Malaysia] came about a couple of years back.”
He points out that designer retirement residences have been popular in Europe and other parts of the world. “Domitys is one of the biggest brands for senior living in Europe. In fact, it has managed quite a few [of such] properties in France, Italy, Belgium and Mauritius as well.
“We have partnered with Domitys Group to bring this concept to Asia, and Malaysia will be the first to have Domitys properties in the region. We unveiled it on Oct 24 this year and the response has been encouraging with quite a number of bookings,” he tells City & Country.
“Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur is the first flagship property in Malaysia. We do feel the timing is right.
“We see the potential for serviced residences catering to active and independent seniors in Malaysia given the growing ageing population in the country. By 2030, Malaysia will be in the category of ageing nations, with older persons constituting more than 15% of the population,” says Mecja, adding that the average life expectancy here is 72.3 years for males and 77.2 for females.
Ascott is targeting independent seniors who want to live in a safe, secure community, says Mecja. “Specifically, we are eyeing local seniors who are empty nesters, singles and seniors who are looking to downsize from their [larger] homes.
“We are also aiming for foreigners and Malaysian seniors who are living abroad and are looking to retire in Malaysia. The property will also be suitable for silver-generation holidaymakers and those who are looking for temporary stays and vacation stays, and even for post-hospitalisation recuperation.”
He says the project leverages Ascott’s 23 years of experience operating award-winning serviced residences in Malaysia and Domitys’ more than two decades of operating senior living properties in Europe.
Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur — the original apartments were built in the 1990s — is managed by Ascott and owned by Plenitude Bhd, a public listed company with core interests in property investment, development and management.
“Plenitude invested more than RM15 million in a complete redesign of the apartments and a newly renovated clubhouse. The residence is thoughtfully designed with senior-friendly features, facilities and activities that enable them to stay engaged,” Mecja says. Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur comprises a total of 100 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
He adds that the newly refurbished residences will strengthen Ascott’s position as the largest international serviced-residence owner-operator in Malaysia with over 6,000 apartment units in 26 properties.
“We are looking to expand in key locations like Penang, Sabah, Kuching and Johor in the long term,” Mecja says. “Our other property under development is in Ningbo Hangzhou Bay, China, slated to open in 2024.”
Clubhouse and amenities, rethinking wellness Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur strives to enable seniors to live independently and maintain an active lifestyle in a comfortable and safe environment.
“We will offer residents a range of fully furnished apartments and unfurnished apartments, which they can decorate according to their preferences. The property is a safe and secure residence with round-the-clock care team,” says Mecja.
Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur is modern and comfortable, characteristics synonymous with the Ascott and Domitys Group brands “It is important for us to offer something that is [not only] comfortable, but also current, trendy and that mature residents would like to be part of,” he adds.
The property will offer one- to three-bedroom residences for both short- and long-term stays. “Residents can choose from the five types of rooms — one-bedroom deluxe, one-bedroom premier, two-bedroom deluxe, two-bedroom premier, and three-bedroom premier,” he says. Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur is currently offering an opening promotion of RM6,899 for a one-month stay in a one-bedroom residence. The price includes meals and activities.
“All the premier-category apartments are equipped with a fully furnished kitchenette, air conditioning with individual controls, a refrigerator, satellite TV and other electronic devices, catering to the residents’ daily needs. Deluxe-category apartments are non-furnished but can be fitted out with the residents’ own furniture or decorative items.”
In addition, Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur will provide daily housekeeping, maintenance and concierge services. Facilities will include a clubhouse with an activity lounge, a residents’ lounge, a salon, a wellness room and a karaoke room, in addition to a swimming pool, an aqua-gym pool, a yoga deck and a restaurant.
“Our team provides a wide range of services to cater to residents’ needs, including engineering support, grocery delivery, guest and concierge services, housekeeping, IT support, laundry, dry cleaning, ironing, mail management and medicine delivery support. They are also trained to perform basic first aid.
“We are in the midst of exploring a collaboration with various partners to provide personalised and prioritised medical, health and wellness services for our residents,” Mecja says.
He adds that residents can opt to participate in more than 50 activities organised at the residences every month such as yoga, spa and massage, meditation, dance classes and games.
To cater to the local market, the group intends to include activities such as mahjong, gardening and karaoke. “These additional, localised activities are designed for the market DNA and communities here,” says Mecja.
He also highlights the advantages of the location. “Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur is easily accessible from anywhere in the city centre. Bangsar is indeed a lively, cosmopolitan area boasting private neighbourhoods, popular cafés, restaurants and bars, cocktail lounges and shopping malls such as Bangsar Shopping Centre, Bangsar Village I and Bangsar Village II. The residents will discover a host of attractions and trendy spots in this neighbourhood.
“Ultimately, our goal is to ramp-up Domitys Bangsar Kuala Lumpur and to achieve at least 80% occupancy consistently in the coming year,” states Mecja.
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