Malaysian

The Team Who Built KLIA2’s Capsule Hotel Spent RM1.5Mil To Make A Version For Pets Too

Located along Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur is a 5-storey boutique hotel that’s a little different from your average short-stay accommodations.

Inside the boutique are capsule rooms for dogs and cats, an indoor park, and a rooftop swimming pool.

The hotel also provides spa services to pamper the furkids who board there.

Wilhelmina Wee (Wilh), the hotel’s founder, and her team built this hotel with affordable luxury in mind.

“We wanted a place that is aesthetically pleasing and where a pet owner can have everything at a single destination, rather than to go separate places for different needs,” said Wilh. 

Hence they designed Cocomomo as a one-stop centre to both care for and pamper your furbabies.

Gou Gou Mao Mao = Cocomomo

Grooming and play services are offered / Image Credit: Cocomomo

Cocomomo derives its name from the Chinese words, 狗狗 (gou gou, which means dog), and 猫猫 (maomao, meaning cat). 

“Combine that and Westernise it a little bit, and voila, we have Cocomomo,” said Wilh.

The urban pet hotel was started by the same team at 40FT Container. 

Their previous projects include the Container Hotels with branches in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, and Penang. 

They also furnished the Capsule Hotel in KLIA2, meant for travellers to nap or stay the night during long layovers.

Venturing into the pet industry was always in the back of the team’s minds, as one of the founders’ wife was a vet.

The opportunity presented itself when a shoplot a few doors down from her clinic was available on the market. 

From there, it just was a matter of materialising the concept. 

“We thought having a clinic nearby would also be an added benefit because in case of emergencies we have a vet within our reach,” Wilh said.

The team invested approximately RM1.5 million into the Cocomomo and officially opened their doggy doors in August 2017.

A facade that’s hard to miss, and a fun-to-browse lobby / Image Credit: Cocomomo

Owning Their Capsule Concept 

The fees for the hotel are:

  • Deluxe Room: RM 60 – RM 80 depending on the size of your dog;
  • Suite Room: RM125 base price for 1 dog;
  • Royal Suite: RM150 base price for 1 dog.

Their Cat Deluxe Room has a RM60 base price and can house up to 3 cats with additional fees.

Pretty futuristic-looking cat hotel area / Image Credit: Cocomomo

Their dog suites also come with CCTVs, so anxious paw parents can monitor them 24/7.

After looking up other high-end pet hotels (a close competitor would be L Residence), the rates charged by Cocomomo appear quite competitive.

Pets have their own rooms to turn in for the night / Image Credit: Cocomomo

“During the day, we will allocate playtime for the pets and rotate them in the playroom,” Wilh said.

There are shared general areas for the pets to socialise, but at the end of the day, they all have their own little rooms to go back to.

The hotel staff avoid rooming pets from different households into one capsule in order to prevent unexpected accidents that may happen.

For example, a pet attacking another out of aggression. 

“Some pets might not have enough social interactions. Coupled with the fact that they are in a different environment, they might get a tad defensive,” Wilh explained.

Opening Up More Revenue Streams

Wilh shared that the pool is open to non-boarding pets as well for a small entrance fee of RM50 per dog.

“And I say dogs, because so far we have not seen any cats that love swimming,” she joked.

The hotel has a rooftop swimming pool and indoor park / Image Credit: Cocomomo

This access to non-boarding furkids was what helped keep them afloat during the pandemic when no one could travel.

Most of their customers include business and leisure travellers who send their furbabies to their hotel.

“However we quickly realised that travelling is seasonal,” she shared.

Hence, this is where the grooming department comes in to supplement during the off-peak season.

And that was where the team shifted more focus to, during the pandemic. 

“COVID-19 obviously had a big impact on our pet hotel boarding business. With nobody travelling in and out of the country, we struggled at the beginning,” she said.

The boarding pets comprise of those whose owners were still stranded overseas.

Cuti Cuti Malaysia helped a little, but with the current situation we’re in again, Cocomomo had to quickly come up with a new strategy.

Look at how adorable this birthday party is! / Image Credit: Cocomomo

“For example, we have recently launched a birthday party package (worth RM 2,500) for only RM 1,750,” she added. 

The party pack for 10 furry guests is inclusive of pool access, photo-shoots, dog meals, treats, dog’s birthday cake, and party decor. 

For now, these are the ways in which the Cocomomo team is weathering the pandemic, at least until travel restrictions ease.

  • You can learn more about Cocomomo here.
  • You can read about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Cocomomo team

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