The new room at AC Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul. - NSTP/Pic source AC Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul

The AC Hotels by Marriott brand debuts in Malaysia with the opening of three properties in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Pahang, which also marked the design-led lifestyle brand's entry in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first opening was AC Hotel Kuala Lumpur Titiwangsa, followed by AC Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul, and AC Hotel Kuantan City Centre.

These hotels were previously known as Vistana Kuala Lumpur Titiwangsa, Vistana Penang Bukit Jambul and Vistana Kuantan City Centre. They are owned by YTL Hotels, the hospitality arm of YTL Corp Bhd.

YTL Hotels inked a master development agreement with Marriott International Inc last September to convert the three properties to AC Hotels.

The investment to convert the properties came from YTL Hotels giving the three hotels a new make and feel.

Peter Gassner, regional vice president of hotel development, Asia Pacific Marriott International, said the partnership between YTL and Marriott International is one of the oldest in Asia Pacific.

"YTL has become one of the largest hotel owners for Marriott International in Asia Pacific with 13 properties. There are two hotels under construction in Niseko, Japan and we are working on that. We are also exploring more opportunities for Marriott International to expand in Malaysia where we are targeting big cities. We have a pipeline of close to 30 hotels in Malaysia. Its always very exciting to be in a location like Malaysia where we will open more brands," he said at the launch of AC Hotel Kuala Lumpur Titiwangsa on Wednesday.

The US-based Marriott International encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,300 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 134 countries and territories. It operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.

Mahmoud Skaf, area general manager of Marriott International & YTL Hotels said the AC brand is also building fast globally.

He said, there are 158 AC Hotels operating worldwide with 126 pipeline properties.

"AC Hotels are designed to offer an urban modern, high-style and carefully curated experience. The lobby offers a timeless yet modern feel, and communal spaces that have been designed with maximum comfort and function in mind," he said.

AC Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul features 423 guestrooms that include two-and three-bedroom suites. - NSTP/Pic source AC Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul

YTL Hotels executive director Datuk Mark Yeoh said previously that it is looking to aggressively expand the AC Hotels by Marriott brand in Malaysia.

He said the group is looking to either construct new hotel buildings or convert its existing established properties to AC Hotels in every state of the country.

AC Hotels (named after renowned hotelier Antonio Catalan) features open spaces, purposeful design and signature moments across all its properties.

AC Hotel Kuala Lumpur Titiwangsa offers a unique combination of comfort and local authenticity. It is conveniently located and offers quick and easy access to the LRT (Light Rapid Transit) and monorail stations. The 362-rooms hotel (including suites) has 11 meeting spaces and a ballroom.

AC Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul Penang integrates the heritage and culture of Penang with service that is designed, refined, crafted and considered to create a comfortable, elegant and unobtrusive experience. The hotel features 423 guestrooms that include two-and three-bedroom suites. The hotel also caters to the needs of business travellers offering 10 meeting rooms and a ballroom than can accommodate up to 700 guests.

AC Hotel Kuantan City Centre is located in the Kuantan city centre with close proximity to business and leisure environments offering guests the opportunity to live like a local as they experience the essence of the sights, sounds and taste of the city. The hotel features 215 guestrooms and suites, seven meeting rooms and a ballroom that can seat up to 700 guests.