Tag Archives: hotel

Shanghai’s Luxury Hotel Market Heats Up Ahead Of World Expo

Construction Of New Hotels, Expansion Of Existing Chains Shows That Shanghai Is Well On Its Way To Becoming Asia’s Top Financial And Business Hub

The Peninsula Shanghai is designed to emulate the city's Jazz Age style (Graphic courtesy Peninsula Hotels)

The Peninsula Shanghai is designed to emulate the city's Jazz Age style (Graphic courtesy Peninsula Hotels)

Over the past few years, in preparation for the 2010 World Expo, Shanghai has become one of the world’s top destinations for hoteliers looking to get a piece of the Chinese business and luxury traveler yuan. With upwards of 7 million visitors — mainly Chinese — expected at the expo, newly constructed hotels have added nearly 4,000 five-star rooms to the city’s already vast luxury hotel market. The question is, after the World Expo party ends, will 2011 bring a sustained flow of business and luxury travelers to Shanghai? Or will the city’s massive building boom lead to lingering overcapacity?

Today, the Independent UK looks at the city’s five-star hotel explosion, and discusses how the relatively low impact of the global economic downturn on the Chinese market has given some hoteliers hope that overcapacity is a word they’ll never have to use in major Chinese cities like Shanghai:

The opulent Peninsula, the only new building on the main part of Shanghai’s historic Bund in 60 years, just opened, embracing the city’s Jazz Age heyday with a chauffeur-driven 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom and a Great Gatsby-esque pool.

The Peninsula’s owner, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited, is making a return to the “Paris of the East” where it was founded after a 60-year absence, but it is facing stiff competition.

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Shanghai Developer Plans Luxury Home Furnishing Store “With A Twist”

Ausen Real Estate Development Set To Invest US$22 Million In Luxury Home Furnishing Retail Complex, Due To Open Next Year

Ausen World will bring a Western-style furniture shopping experience to Shanghai

Ausen World will bring a Western-style furniture shopping experience to Shanghai

While announcements of new large-scale real estate projects in China are nothing new, nor are they particularly exciting on the whole, Ausen Real Estate Development Co.’s recently-announced plans to open a massive home furnishing retail complex near Shanghai next year stand out. Set to be located in Xinbang, in Shanghai’s Songjiang District (less than an hour’s drive southwest of downtown), the austerely named Ausen World Brand Home Furnishings Center will include features not often seen at furniture stores, including a hotel and restaurant for shoppers who prefer to make a weekend out of their shopping trips. Although slapping a hotel onto a massive furniture store isn’t exactly unheard of, it most certainly is unusual.

According to company spokespeople, Ausen World‘s main focus will be on American and European furniture, popular but often poorly understood by Shanghai-area residents. The center will also include Premium home furnishing areas designed to emulate “DIY” stores like the Home Depot. From Furniture Today:

Another unusual feature for a Chinese retail center will be the presence of on-site interior designers, who can help consumers with home design and product choices.

In a statement, Ausen said it intends to be a door to the Chinese market for Western brands. It will offer help with operating in the country, including support of import entry, logistics and storage.

Zhang said he believes the center will offer a “family feel” that is missing from most Chinese retail spaces, with a rewarding consumer experience for shoppers and their children. An Australian company will design the “eco-garden” look of the complex, including outdoor leisure areas.

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Pudong Shangri-la: “The ‘Shangheight’ Of Luxury”

Pudong Shangri-La Still Enthralls Guests And Sets The Standard For “Luxury With Chinese Characteristics”

The Pudong Shangri-La in Shanghai offers stunning views of the waterfront

The Pudong Shangri-La in Shanghai offers stunning views of the waterfront

The five-star Pudong Shangri-La, one of the crown jewels of Shanghai’s skyline, continues to draw accolades from seasoned global travelers, who are consistently struck by the hotel’s extravagance as well as its unique story. Having begun construction when Shanghai’s Pudong section was scarcely more than a marshland, the Shangri-La quickly established itself as one of East Asia’s finest luxury hotels. With the newest extension (finished in 2005) adding even more opulence to the striking building, travelers have even more reasons to make this coastal city a stop on their next Asian business or tourism jaunt.

Today, Robert La Bue makes the Pudong Shangri-La the target of his “Mr. e-Traveler” column, writing, “It’s always a pleasure to return to a hotel that feels like home. The fact that a 948-room property can pull this off is a credit to Pudong Shangri-la.”

As La Bue goes on to note, the hotel’s unique international and Chinese appointments set it apart, even among other world-class five-star luxury hotels:

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China’s Hainan Holiday Island “Goes Luxe”: WSJ

Local Authorities Tout Sanya As The Hawaii Of China, Borrowing Elements From Destinations Like Phuket, Thailand and Cancun, Mexico

The Mandarin Oriental at Sanya

The Mandarin Oriental at Sanya

Recently we wrote on a number of domestic and foreign hoteliers flocking to China’s Hainan Island, long a tropical retreat for Chinese tourists and increasingly popular with foreign tourists as well. Today, the Wall Street Journal discusses the great potential this island holds for luxury hotels, and the continued growth that the island’s authorities see in the hotel and tourism sector. As Hainan’s tourism industry continues to internationalize and rival neighboring resort areas in Thailand, Vietnam and elsewhere, we are sure to hear about even more hotel chains holding Sanya in the same regard as Phuket, Cannes, Cancun and Grand Cayman.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, much of the growth in Hainan’s luxury tourism sector is coming from wealthy Chinese tourists, who see the island as an exotic getaway with all the amenities of world-class resorts without the passport or visa hassles. Hainan’s location, relatively close to China’s Special Administrative Regions of Macau and Hong Kong, and the country’s economic powerhouse of Guangdong province, make the trip to Sanya even that much easier for many of China’s luxury travelers.

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Dubai’s Jumeirah To Manage New Beach Resort In Hainan

Qing Shui Bay Resort In Sanya Follows Previous Jumeirah Agreements In Shanghai, Guangzhou and Macau

hainan

Hainan Island, the "Hawaii of China," has become a popular tourist destination for mainland Chinese and non-Chinese alike, attracting many major luxury hoteliers in recent years

Reuters reports today that Dubai’s Jumeirah Group has just signed an agreement with Hong Kong-based Agile Property Holdings to manage the new Jumeirah Qing Shui Bay Resort in Sanya, Hainan province — the southern island known by many as the “Hawaii of China.”
The new beach resort will join a number of other luxury hotels in the area, including the Ritz-Carlton, Banyan Tree, Le Méridien and Mandarin Oriental, and will be comprised of a 250-room hotel and 50 private villas. The resort is slated to open in 2013.

Although specifics on the cost of the project have not yet been released, AME Info sheds some additional light on the new project:

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Shanghai Reaches Out To Luxury Travelers

City Trying To Lure High-End Travelers With Urban Makeover, Customer Service, Amenities

Shanghai's luxury hoteliers are actively wooing luxury travelers

Shanghai's luxury hoteliers are actively wooing luxury travelers

Shanghai is gearing up for next year’s World Expo, smoothing over many of its more gritty areas and giving the city an all-over polish. But the city’s luxury hotels, many of them stung by a drop in visitors as a result of the global economic downturn, have started to take on their own outreach programs, wooing luxury visitors through efforts aimed at restoring the city’s pre-revolution reputation as an opulent, exciting “Paris of the East.”

As the Canadian Press writes, the strategies employed by these hotels are designed to appeal to high-end travelers who may find Beijing interesting but drab, and Hong Kong cosmopolitan but old-fashioned:

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Wyndham Opens First 5-Star Location In China

Chain Foresees Opportunity In Chinese, Foreign Business Travelers and Tourists Throughout The Mainland

The Wyndham Xiamen is a luxury retreat in this bustling coastal business hub. Graphic © Wyndham Worldwide

The Wyndham Xiamen is a luxury retreat in this bustling coastal business hub. Graphic © Wyndham Worldwide

The American hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide has opened the doors of its first Chinese 5-star hotel in the coastal city of Xiamen, one of China’s most important port cities and the location from which millions of Chinese emigrated and explored the world starting in the Song Dynasty. Since the 1980s, however, Xiamen has gained notoriety not for being the place from which people left China, but where foreign and government investment money flowed. As one of China’s first Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Xiamen was one of the first cities in China to be allowed to experiment with capitalism since 1949. Over the past 30 years, the city has transformed from a typical port with limited infrastructure to China’s second most livable city, and an increasingly important business and trade locale for foreign and Chinese businesspeople alike.

Wyndham’s choice of Xiamen as the first location from which to gain a foothold in the Chinese mainland, then, is not surprising. Already, a host of other luxury or mid-range hotels are located in Xiamen, including Sheraton, Sofitel, Crown Plaza, Millennium and Marco Polo. As the newest entrant in this market, Wyndham will have to set itself apart — and the company plans to do this by offering a 5-star experience that appeals to its guests’ cultural and/or luxury sensibilities. As USA Today writes,

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Beijing’s Almost-Perfect Hotel: The Opposite House

Beijing’s Opposite House Luxury Hotel Brings Top-End Accommodations To New Sanlitun Village Development

Beijing's Opposite House luxury hotel is unlike any other in China's capital city

Beijing's Opposite House luxury hotel is unlike any other in China's capital city

Over the last few years, fevered demolition and construction has transformed Beijing’s popular Sanlitun bar district, home to dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops. Where the area once served as a magnet for locals and foreigners looking for cheap drinks and bootleg DVDs, the new “Village at Sanlitun” complex — which includes a new mall and several high-end restaurants and stores — has given Sanlitun a fresh look and international cosmopolitan appeal. Recently, the area’s newest boutique luxury hotel, the Opposite House, has garnered rave reviews in the press, both for its bold exterior and interior design as well as its near-perfection — something that James Fallows notes is hard to find in Chinese hotels, many of which focus more on projecting a modern and impressive image than putting attention to detail.

As Fallows writes, The Opposite House is a huge step in the right direction for Chinese hoteliers:

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