US$50M Royal International Hotel & Mall under construction

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As Guyana pushes forward in the direction of constant development to accommodate its ever-growing economy due to the boost of its oil sector, many business owners have recognised the need for a sustainable, state-of-the-art hospitality sector as Guyana’s economic growth would inevitably transcend its tourism sector.

One business enterprise that recognises this is R&S Investment Inc, an investment company comprising both local and international shareholders.

R&S Investment Inc will soon open doors to its 248-room and 60 retail stores Royal International Hotel & Mall, a state-of-the-art facility currently under construction at Sheriff Street, Georgetown.

The facility when completed will cost in excess of US$50 million. Spokesperson of R&S Investment Inc, Jason Chan told this publication in an interview that the multimillion-dollar hotel and shopping facility took many years to become a reality.

The idea for the massive investment was first brought to light in 2008 after the shareholders of R&S Investment Inc realised that Guyana was in a need of a world-class shopping centre and a high-standard economic hotel.

“The idea was first birthed in 2008; when it was realised that Guyana was in need of a world-class retail shopping facility that provided multiple stores under one roof; similar to those in first western and larger countries. Also, at the time, there were not many options in relation to high-standard economic (boutique form) hotels in Guyana.

From this, the ideas meshed and the vision for Royal International Hotel & Mall was birthed.”
However, finding a suitable name for the business was tricky.

“Initially, we were set on the name Royal Orchid International Hotel & Mall as the establishment was located next to the Gardens and the relationship between gardens and flowers such as orchids. However, because of the length of the name; we decided to shorten the original format, making it Royal International Hotel & Mall.”

Chan said that the multimillion-dollar hotel and mall will seek to provide a different experience for both tourists and locals alike as it would be the only hotel and mall under one roof in Guyana.

“We’ll be the only hotel and mall under one roof in Guyana. Convenience, relaxation, entertainment, shopping, stay, good for tourism – everything in one place,” Chan explained.

The dual complex, when fully opened, will have a 248-room hotel, 3 major restaurants, an approximately 15-stall food court, a gym facility, an adult gaming facility, 3 bars/clubs, 2 movie theatres, a children’s fun park, and approximately 60 retail business stores – an attractive royal palace.

Chan revealed that every customer who will walk the halls of the complex will be treated as royalty.

“Why Royal – well simply because we seek to provide service with a different experience. Every customer of our hotel and mall will be treated like royalty and experience customer service par excellence and second to none.”

R&S Investment Inc has pumped US$25 million into the new venture, but Chan has said that with various clients who will invest in their individual stores, investments in the hotel and mall complex might exceed US$50 million.

“R&S Investment Inc has carried out the main layout for the hotel and mall with an initial cost of US$25 million. We will collaborate with various clients who will invest in their individual stores which would run to another approximately US$25 million,” he said.

Though still under major construction, a gym and a few other parts of the facility have been opened. Before the end of the year, one restaurant and three bars will be opened, and by May next year, the mall will begin a staged opening. By the end of 2023 “we do hope for a complete opening and full launch”.

Once operational, the new facility is expected to directly create 150 jobs, employing persons to work in the hotel and mall, inclusive of the restaurants. Indirectly, through the stores and other businesses at the mall, approximately 250 more jobs will be created.

Chan explained that since the commencing of construction, they have faced similar challenges as all other businesses at the preparation stage, including, but not limited to the access to finance.

However, Chan expressed that there were also Human Resource (HR) challenges which included having a steady and stable workforce in the construction.

He added, “Moreover, this is the first time that we experienced some of the challenges we did in the sector we operate in so it has been a progressive learning experience.”

Nevertheless, he expressed how grateful everyone involved in the investment is for the “advice from older more seasoned businessmen in Guyana and from the private sector and local chamber”.