Mustika Ratu to open spa
in Malaysia

JAKARTA (JP): Traditional cosmetics company PT Mustika Ratu will open one of its Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spas in Kijal in the nothern part of Malaysia in July this year in cooperation with Awana Hotels and Resorts Management Sdn Bhd.

Mustika Ratu president Mooryati Soedibyo said that the spa in Malaysia would be managed by the Malaysian company under a franchising contract.

""The Malaysian spa will be the first of the company's spas to operate outside of Indonesia,"" Mooryati said.

She said that the expansion to Malaysia was a logical move after successfully opening two spas locally -- at the Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta in 1997 and in Jakarta last year.

""We also expect to open another branch in Melbourne, Australia sometime this year,"" Mooryati told reporters after the ceremony marking the signing of the agreement here.

Awana senior vice president Rosli Kamili said that the Taman Sari spa would be the first of its kind in Malaysia.

""We in Malaysia have western oriented spas, but this is different. The moment you walk through its doors you are immediately treated with aromatherapy. This is not just treatment, but also culture,"" he said.

Mustika Ratu also plans to open two more spas with Awana, at Awana Genting Hotels and Resorts, and Awana Langkawi Hotels and Resorts.

""We are hoping to open a spa at Genting within six to eight months after the one in Kijal opens,"" Rosli said.

Investment for the spa in Kijal amounted to one million ringgit (about US$250,000), he said, including the cost for redecoration of the hotel's facilities, and training expenses.

Rosli said that the spa in Malaysia would employ trained beauticians from Mustika Ratu's staff.

Mooryati said the company hoped its sales would increase significantly with the opening of the spa in Malaysia.

""We expect earnings for spa products to reach at least Rp 5 billion (about US$500,000) a year,"" she added.

Mustika Ratu has been exporting its cosmetics and jamu products to Malaysia for 15 years, Mooryati said, adding that exports were valued at between 15 billion ringgit ($3.7 billion) and 20 billion ringgit per year.

Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa offers body treatments such as massage, aquatic massage, body mask using herbs or mud, aromatherapy treatment, spa bath, foot and hand spa, fitness center and gym.

The spa is designed in a classical Javanese court style, and most of the treatments and materials used in the spa are those actually employed by Javanese royalty. (tnt)

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