HOME AND AWAY

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Hands up who wishes they had cre­ated Miss Kitty? The lit­tle fluffy cat has to be one of the most fran­chised images ever and the money-spin­ning moggy has now popped up at The Shangri-La Group’s Ho­tel Jen Pu­teri Har­bour at Jo­hor in south­ern Malaysia. There are a dozen themed gue­strooms “to suit moods and pref­er­ences”, from the nau­ti­cal-ac­cented Sailor Hello Kitty to the Pink Se­ries “for a de­light­ful rosy get­away”. It’s easy to scoff but there’s no deny­ing the en­dur­ing ap­peal of the car­toon fig­ure, cre­ated by the San­rio cor­po­ra­tion in Ja­pan in 1974 as “an an­thro­po­mor­phic white Ja­panese Bob­tail cat-in­spired char­ac­ter with a red bow”. There are Hello Kitty parks and cafes in South­east Asia al­though the ex­per­i­ment has failed in Aus­tralia, with a cafe in Ade­laide and a diner in Syd­ney’s Chatswood clos­ing their pretty pink doors. But the ho­tel ex­per­i­ment has worked, with Hello Kitty “dream room” ac­com­mo­da­tion also at Keio Plaza Ho­tel in Tokyo. At Jo­hor, there’s San­rio Hello Kitty Town and Hello Kitty Red Bow Cafe next to Ho­tel Jen Pu­teri Har­bour. San­rio must be me­ow­ing mer­rily all the way to the bank. More: hotel­jen.com.

SU­SAN KUROSAWA

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