Located along Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur is a 5 story boutique hotel that is a bit different from your average short stay accommodation.
Inside the store are capsule rooms for dogs and cats, an indoor park and a rooftop swimming pool.
The hotel also offers spa services to pamper the furkids who board it.
Hotel founder Wilhelmina Wee (Wilh) and her team built this hotel with affordable luxury in mind.
“We wanted a place to be aesthetically pleasing and where a pet owner can have it all at one destination, rather than going to separate places for different needs,” said Wilh.
That’s why they designed Cocomo as a unique center to care for and pamper your fur babies.
Gou Gou Mao Mao = Cocomo
Cocomomo takes its name from the Chinese words 狗狗 (gou gou, which means dog) and 猫猫 (maomao, which means cat).
“Combine that and westernize it a bit, and voila, we have Cocomomo,” Wilh said.
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 provided the Capsule hotel in KLIA2, intended for travelers to take a nap or spend the night during long stopovers.
The team always thought of venturing into the pet industry, as one of the founders’ wives was a veterinarian.
The opportunity arose when a store a few doors down from his clinic was available in the market.
From there, it was just a matter of materializing the concept.
“We thought having a clinic nearby would also be an added benefit because in an emergency we have a vet on hand,” Wilh said.
The team invested around 1.5 million RM in the Cocoomo and officially opened its dog doors in August 2017.
Own their capsule concept
The charges for the hotel are:
- Deluxe Room: RM 60 – RM 80 depending on the size of your dog;
- Suite Room: base price 125 RM for 1 dog;
- Royal Suite: base price of 150 RM for 1 dog.
Their Cat Deluxe room has a base price of RM60 and can accommodate up to 3 cats at an additional cost.
Their dog suites also come with CCTV, so anxious parents can watch them 24/7.
After researching other high end pet hotels (a close competitor would be Residence L), the rates charged by Cocoomo seem quite competitive.
“During the day we will allocate play time for the pets and run them around in the playroom,” Wilh said.
There are common common areas for the pets to socialize, but at the end of the day they all have their own little rooms to return to.
Hotel staff avoid accommodating pets from different households in a single capsule in order to avoid unexpected accidents that could occur.
For example, a pet attacks another by aggression.
“Some animals may not have enough social interactions. Coupled with the fact that they are in a different environment, they could become a bit defensive,” explained Wilh.
Open more sources of income
Wilh explained that the pool is also open to non-resident pets for a small entry fee of RM50 per dog.
“And I say dogs, because so far we haven’t seen a cat that likes to swim,” she joked.
This access to non-resident furkids was what helped them stay afloat during the pandemic, when no one could travel.
Most of their clients are business and leisure travelers who send their fur babies to their hotel.
“However, we quickly realized that travel is seasonal,” she explained.
Therefore, this is where the grooming department comes in to supplement during the off-season.
And that’s where the team focused more, during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has obviously had a big impact on our pet boarding business. Since no one was traveling in and out of the country, we struggled at first, ”she said.
Boarding pets include those whose owners were still stranded abroad.
Cuti Cuti Malaysia helped a bit, but with the current situation we find ourselves in again, Cocoomo had to quickly find a new strategy.
“For example, we recently launched an anniversary package (worth RM 2,500) for only RM 1,750,” she added.
The 10 furry guest party pack includes pool access, photo ops, dog meals, treats, dog birthday cake, and party decoration.
For now, these are the ways the Cocomomo team is resisting the pandemic, at least until travel restrictions ease.
- You can find out more about Cocoomo here.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Cocoomo Team