Features

Asian hotels: In with the new

31 Dec 2015 by Valerian Ho
Asia-Pacific has been a lucky place for the hospitality industry in recent years, an area of focus for investment that, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s Hotel Views Report, was worth US$12.8 billion in transactions in 2013 (the latest figures available). Further research by MKG Hospitality’s 2014 Global Hotel Rankings reveals that it is the major hotel groups who are increasing their presence with the most vigour – though there is still room enough for the smaller individual brands. An initial bout of research resulted in a list of almost 150 hotels within Asia that either have opened or plan to open between January 2015 and the summer of 2016 – this feature’s ambit. We eventually decided on the number 88 (an auspicious figure in Chinese culture), as a nod to the list’s heavy bias towards properties in China. No apology is needed for this – it is simply a fair reflection of the fact that China is by far the largest growth market. More than that, a glance through the following pages will reveal that China’s second- and third-tier cities are the new focus for hotel groups. Of course the rest of Asia is also seeing healthy growth, as you will see. Our only regret is that we cannot give more than a brief mention to so many of these excellent establishments.
BEIJING, CHINA Nuo Hotel Beijing Opened: June 2015 The emphasis on art and culture is overwhelming when you enter this 438-room hotel’s enormous lobby. In the spotlight are two works by Zeng Fanzhi, one of China’s most acclaimed artists – a silver and bronze sculpture called Le Shan, and an oil on canvas called Landscape 2014. Zeng’s artworks are flanked by gigantic blue-and-white porcelain vases, while five massive moon gates complete a larger-than-life effect. Inspired by the golden age of the Ming dynasty, this is the overall theme throughout the hotel, with works from artists both unknown and world-renowned featured to glorious effect. nuohotel.com CHENGDU, SICHUAN, CHINA Grand Hyatt Chengdu Opening: Q1 2016 Inspired by the great French mansions of the past, but situated on the 10th-39th floors of the Chicony Square building, the Grand Hyatt Chengdu boasts a floral theme throughout, most notably in its several tranquil gardens, which reflect the four seasons through carefully selected plants featuring colours depicting spring, summer, autumn and winter. An open garden, Putao on the 15th floor, is the perfect place to relax in the heart of this growing metropolis, while the Maze Garden on the terrace is a romantic location surrounded by tall, verdant plants. grand.hyatt.com KUNMING, YUNNAN, CHINA Sofitel Kunming Opened: December 2015 Sofitel Kunming’s design features are inspired by an interpretation and blending of Yunnan’s ethnic diversity and the signature style of iconic French haute design. In the lobby, red glass fronted balconies and soaring crystal-encrusted drapes invoke the French theatre. Also featured are oversized Yunnanese cultural elements and a multimedia water wall projection. A panoramic view of the city or Dianchi Lake can also be enjoyed from the hotel’s 397 rooms and restaurants. sofitel.com Sheraton Zhuhai Hotel, Guangdong Opened: October 2015 Standout feature: Its lobby features a full-size Chinese pavilion made from black hardwood imported from Indonesia. starwoodhotels.com/sheraton Hilton Shenzhen Futian Opened: October 2015 Standout feature: A huge events area, with 17 function spaces totalling 2,400 sqm, including a 600 sqm grand ballroom. hilton.com Park Hyatt Guangzhou Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: The highest outdoor bar in Guangzhou serving classic cocktails, vintage wines and champagnes along with live entertainment. park.hyatt.com   Doubletree by Hilton Guangzhou Science City Opened: August 2015 Standout feature: Over 2,000 sqm of meeting space, including six function rooms, a grand ballroom and a 2,500 sqm rooftop garden. doubletree3.hilton.com   The Temple House, Chengdu Opened: July 2015 Standout feature: Bamboo frames the hotel’s entrance, which is set in a restored Chinese courtyard dating back to the Qing dynasty. thetemplehousehotel.com   Niccolo Chengdu Opened: April 2015 Standout feature: An oval glass venue surrounded by the Sculpture Garden on the eighth floor is perfect for a variety of events. marcopolohotels.com/niccolo   Element Suzhou Science and Technology Town Opened: December 2015 Standout feature: Open-flow guestrooms with well-equipped kitchens and spa-inspired baths. starwoodhotels.com/element   Shangri-La Hotel, Nanchang, Jiangxi Opened: February 2015 Standout feature: Excellent central location for one of the top hotels in this provincial capital. shangri-la.com   Kempinski Hotel Fuzhou, Fujian Opening: May 2016 Standout feature: The 1,400 sqm ballroom and 700 sqm outdoor garden area will make this an excellent event venue. kempinski.com   Hilton Wenchang, Hainan Opened: September 2015 Standout feature: The tropical Southeast Asian décor uses natural elements to highlight the exotic setting, but provincial capital Haikou is still conveniently close. hilton.com   Langham Place,  Haining, Zhejiang Opened: July 2015 Standout feature: The first hotel in the city to add an entire floor exclusively for female guests. langhamhospitalitygroup.com   Regal Financial Centre Hotel,  Foshan, Guangdong Opened: December 2015 Standout feature: Excellent fitness and sports offerings, from the gym to yoga and sauna rooms, a golf simulator room, table tennis room, American pool room and chess rooms… as well as a kids’ wonderland. regalhotel.com   Amba Taipei Zhongshan  Opened: April 2015 Standout feature: A giant pop art mural on the hotel’s southern wall and exclusive social spaces for guests on each floor. amba-hotels.com   Taipei Marriott Hotel Opened: November 2015 Standout feature: Located in the city’s largest integrated destination complex, and boasting a heated rooftop pool. marriott.com   Aloft Taipei Zhongshan Opened: December 2015 Standout feature: All guestrooms are non-smoking and feature laptop safes. starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels   Hotel Sav, Hong Kong Opened: March 2015 Standout feature: Decorated in an array of seven hues – orange, red, yellow, pink, green, purple and blue – for a “colour therapy” effect. worldhotels.com   The Olympian Hong Kong Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: A small, smoke-free “bespoke” boutique hotel that features a private lounge and a 24-hour gym. theolympianhotel.com.hk   Madera Hollywood, Hong Kong Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: This all-suite boutique hotel provides Hollywood-themed rooms including Monroe and Chaplin suites. maderagroup.com   Tuve, Hong Kong Opened: July 2015 Standout feature: This hotel promises a “dialogue between intellect, philosophy and nature”, with a minimalist room environment of concrete, oxidised metal, marble and grained wood combined with subtle use of natural light. tuve.hk   Sofitel Lianyungang Suning, Jiangsu Opened: November 2015 Standout feature: The first international luxury property in Jiangsu province’s port city. sofitel.com   TAIZHOU, ZHEJIANG,CHINA Taizhou Marriott Hotel Opening: January 2016 This 351-room hotel is located in the Huangyun district of Taizhou, the new commercial hub of a city famous for plastic manufacturing and historically a fruitful trading centre for the region’s exceptional mandarin oranges. The property offers the largest convention centre in the city, with 2,640 sqm of space comprising ten meeting rooms, as well as a pillarless 1,105 sqm grand ballroom. marriott.com   CHENGDU, SICHUAN,CHINA Wanda Reign Chengdu  Opened: December 2015 Wanda Reign is Wanda Hotels & Resorts premium brand. Designed with a “New Chinese Art Deco” theme, this 240-room hotel incorporates local Shu themes – from Chinese hibiscus to Sichuan-style trellis patterns, tassels and lanterns – with classic art deco. The elegant setting aims to provide an experience that mirrors the distinct charm of the Tianfu district. Even the hotel staff’s uniforms were specially created by local designer and Paris Haute Couture Week alumnus Lawrence Xu. The Sky Lobby is located on the 41st floor and enjoys a bird’s-eye view of the city. wandahotels.com   Hotel Proverbs Taipei Opened: September 2015 Hotel Proverbs Taipei was designed by renowned Taiwanese designer Ray Chen, whose high-profile projects also include a new China Airlines cabin product and Hotel Quote Taipei. His vision has resulted in a property that uses sturdy copper, rich wood and leather elements, as well as exquisite textiles, to create a series of dynamic spaces with a warm, untrammelled aesthetic. Each of the 42 guestrooms blends classic European style with contemporary metallic design; the effect is a luxurious but cosy ambience. hotel-proverbs.com   HOTEL Pravo Opened: June 2015 A small property with its own distinctive style set in the midst of Tsim Sha Tsui, Pravo’s 92 units range from compact rooms to deluxe suites, each featuring one of five individual interior design themes, from “rock-and-roll black” to “mysterious purple” and “classy gold”. The top-tier Luxury Suite sports a Jacuzzi in the bathroom, while some rooms deliver city views from private balconies. Every room comes with a Handy 3G smartphone, which guests can take out around town and use for free local and international calls to ten countries. citadines.com   The Ritz-Carlton, Macau Opened: May 2015 This luxury hotel is part of the Galaxy Macau Phase II project, an integrated resort providing leisure and entertainment options such as premium shopping, fine dining establishments, world-class entertainment events and multifunctional meeting spaces. Ritz-Carlton Macau is an all-suite hotel housing 250 suites on the top floors of the resort. Its décor incorporates Azulejo tiles, a form of Iberian ceramic synonymous with the decoration found in Macau’s heritage buildings. ritzcarlton.com
 
Four Seasons Hotel Seoul Opened: September 2015 This Four Seasons property in the Korean capital boasts 317 rooms, a collection of seven restaurants and bars, as well as a three-storey spa and fitness complex. As well as its usual signature treatments, the spa has a Mask Bar offering a choice of Fedora facial sheets, and a Nail Bar with a full menu of manicures, pedicures and “Nail Art”. The hotel also introduces a Korean sauna, with various rooms prepared at different temperatures and offering a variety of treatments. fourseasons.com
 
Studio City Macau Opened: October 2015 Standout feature: A stunning façade that includes a figure-eight Ferris wheel straddling the twin-tower, 1,600-rooms, as well as the Studio City Event Centre – a 5,000-seat, multipurpose event space. studiocity-macau.com    The St Regis Macao, Cotai Central  Opened: December 2015 Standout feature: Its signature butler service, Iridium spa and St Regis Athletic Club mean it excels even with such heavy competition. starwoodhotels.com/stregis   Wynn Palace Cotai, Macau Opening: Early 2016 Standout feature: Guests arrive in “Skycabs” across a large “performance lake” before entering the hotel. wynnpalace.com   Ascott Macau Opened: September 2015 Standout feature: Unlike the majority of Ascott’s offerings, which are serviced apartments, this is a hotel; but unlike many other hotels in Macau it does not have a casino, and is located in the heart of the downtown area. the-ascott.com   Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan Opened: May 2015 Standout feature: Located on floors 19 to 30 of a mixed-use building, the hotel offers great views of the city. starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints   Holiday Inn Express Seoul Euljiro  Opened: May 2015 Standout feature: A good central location for this value brand, which offers Free Express Start Breakfast or a Grab & Go option. ihg.com/holidayinnexpress   Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun, Seoul Opened: December 2015 Standout feature: A new brand from Shilla offering value for money by focusing on the specific needs of guests. Guests can hire a “wifi egg” for portable connectivity. shillastay.com   Regal Airport Hotel Xi’an Opened: February 2015 Standout feature: The only hotel directly connected by link bridge to the airport, with 21 meeting rooms of varying size. regalhotel.com   Pullman Kaifeng Jianye, Henan Opened: October 2015 Standout feature: Song Dynasty-inspired design, with in-room Ofuro-style marble bathtubs. pullmanhotels.com  
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Tokyo Opened: April 2015 Standout feature: A life-size replica of Godzilla’s head is located on this “next-generation” hotel’s eighth-floor terrace. gracery.com   Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka Station, Osaka Opened: November 2015 Standout feature: The superb location means just a one-minute walk to or from the Shin-Osaka Bullet Train Station. courtyard.marriott.com   Melia Shanghai Hongqiao Opening: July 2016 Standout feature: Positioned to welcome MICE travellers, the hotel is close to the huge new 1.47 million sqm National Convention and Exhibition Centre. melia.com   Shanghai Wanda Reign Hotel  Opening: Q2/3 2016 Standout feature: The hotel’s wine and cigar bar will cater to high-end lovers of the grape and leaf. wandahotels.com   Pullman Nanjing Lukou Airport Opened: June 2015 Standout feature: Self check-in kiosks in the lobby, coupled with flight information display screens in rooms and restaurants. pullmanhotels.com   Hilton Urumqi  Opened: September 2015 Standout feature: A perfect business location in the Hongguang Hill CBD next to the Xinjiang International Exhibition Centre. hilton.com   Hilton Tokyo Odaiba Opened: October 2015 This property is located in Odaiba, a popular waterfront district built on an artificial island facing central Tokyo. Its 453 guestrooms include 17 suites with private balconies, most offering views of Tokyo Bay and the iconic Rainbow Bridge. In addition to the view, the hotel’s Royal Garden Room features a jet bath, grand piano, bar and private garden. hilton.com   Crowne Plaza Macau Opening: Q1 2016 Situated in Macau’s Orient Pearl district, the hotel has 208 rooms featuring expansive views of the South China Sea. The Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage programme provides a variety of pillow options, Crowne Style or Lavender aromatherapy, and the choice of warm milk or red wine at bedtime. The Imperial Kitchen restaurant is run by Chef Wu Yu Ching, who recently won a gold medal at the 2015 Asia Culinary Contest. ihg.com/crowneplaza   New World Manila Bay Hotel Opened: January 2015 Standout feature: The Music Bar provides seven Music Pods, each equipped with a karaoke mixer, 100-inch TV and wireless microphones. newworldhotels.com   Shangri-La Hotel at the Fort, Manila Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: An LEED gold-certified “green” development with more than 6,000 sqm of event space. shangri-la.com   Conrad Manila Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: Decorated with contemporary art, with a strong presence of artworks by Filipino artists. conradhotels3.hilton.com   Le Meridien Saigon Opened: April 2015 Standout feature: A river location and indoor infinity pool with sundeck. starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien   Shangri-La Hotel, Hefei, Anhui Opened: June 2015 Standout feature: Anhui’s only international-brand hotel, with a huge ballroom that has direct access for cars. shangri-la.com   Hyatt Regency Wuxi, Jiangsu Opened: December 2015 Standout feature: Wuxi’s highest sky lobby provides 360-degree views of the city and Tai Lake. regency.hyatt.com   The St Regis Changsha, Hunan Opening: May 2016 Standout feature: Sweeping views over the Xiang River and an ideal location for business in the city. starwoodhotels.com/stregis   The Grand Mansion, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanjing Opened: July 2015 Standout feature: A collection of fine art, chinaware and handcrafted textiles throughout the hotel, and one of the largest hotel libraries in the country: The Travellers’ Library. starwoodhotels.com/luxury   Hyatt Regency Changchun, Jilin Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: Large multifunction meeting and activity venues spanning 2,300 sqm, as well as a pillarless Regency ballroom that can cater to 500 guests. regency.hyatt.com   Hyatt City of Dreams Manila Opened: February 2015 Hyatt City of Dreams Manila has two gleaming towers, offering 365 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, many looking out over Manila Bay. It is located in a 6.2-hectare integrated retail and entertainment hub and has its own entertainment credentials with the golden-domed Fortune Egg, which houses two nightclubs. Its proximity to the international airport, as well as the SMX Convention Centre, the World Trade Centre and Philippine International Convention Centre, makes it an excellent base for business travellers. hyatt.com
 
The Reverie Saigon Opened: September 2015 The Reverie Saigon utilises Italian design to create an atmosphere of classical splendour blended with Asian opulence. Floor-to-ceiling windows in all 286 rooms and suites reveal views of the city’s skyline and Saigon River. Italy’s finest design houses, including Colombostile and Provasi, have been employed to furnish the room interiors, which range from romantic to fanciful and sassy in their colours and style. thereveriesaigon.com   Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel Opening: January 2016 This 251-room hotel will open next to the Anantara Riverside, and will become the first new-build Avani property, a showcase for the fast-expanding brand. The property has huge meeting and conferencing facilities, with 4,500 sqm of space including a grand ballroom capable of hosting 750 people for a banquet. Together with the sister Anantara property next door, and with plans to link the two by bridge, a total of 650 rooms are available for delegates and attendees of large functions. avanihotels.com   Movenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Opened: May 2015 A great location on popular Sukhumvit Road is coupled with tech-savvy rooms and a host of modern amenities in this stylish 297-room hotel. Dark-wood fittings and furnishings contrast with clean white walls and bedding, while huge TVs and walk-in rain showers are also featured. The hotel’s free 24-hour tuk-tuk shuttle service is a very useful offering, while the 20-metre rooftop pool is a peaceful place to relax away from the noise of the city below. movenpick.com   Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road Opened: March 2015 Standout feature: The 22 Steps cocktail bar offers a relaxing space for guests to enjoy Thai-themed cocktails prepared by top mixologists. ihg.com/hotelindigo   Doubletree by Hilton Xiamen Wuyuan Bay Opened: August 2015 Standout feature: Situated in the new CBD close to many international companies, with 1,400 sqm of function space including a 680 sqm pillarless ballroom. doubletree3.hilton.com   Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing  Opened: February 2015 Standout feature: An hour’s drive north of the city centre, this oval-shaped hotel has its own golf course and mountain biking range. kempinski.com   Cours et Pavillons, Beijing Opened: April 2015 Standout feature: A luxury boutique hotel located within the ancient hutong district, but offering 21st century amenities alongside original antiques from the Ming and Qing dynasties. slh.com   Pullman Taiyuan, Shanxi Opened: January 2015 Standout feature: Spacious event facilities include a 2,000 sqm outdoor terrace and a grand ballroom for 800 guests. pullmanhotels.com   Shangri-La Hotel, Tangshan, Hebei Opened: August 2015 Standout feature:The health club includes a 24-hour gym, indoor swimming pool, yoga and aerobics studio, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms. shangri-la.com   The Westin Haikou, Hainan Opening: May 2016 Standout feature: Eleven individual meeting or function spaces totalling 2,502 sqm, including a 1,010 sqm grand ballroom. starwoodhotels.com/westin   Sofitel Xining, Qinghai Opened: June 2015 Standout feature: A flagship property in Qinghai province’s capital city boasting a driveway and porte-cochère (coach gate) that allows for grand arrivals at the neo-Gothic style building. sofitel.com   Park Hotel Alexandra, Singapore Opened: June 2015 Standout feature: Delivering panoramic views, the bar offers cocktails to be enjoyed from the pool deck or at the swim-up pool bar. parkhotelgroup.com   Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore Opening: Q2 2016 Standout feature: A 27-storey “designer business hotel” whose sides will be covered by a massive vertical garden. stayfareast.com   The Patina, Capitol Singapore Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: Located in a historic colonial building, it features Singapore’s first saltwater relaxation pool. lhw.com   Best Western Chinatown Hotel, Myanmar Opened: April 2015 Standout feature: An excellent downtown location in Yangon and free wifi from a reliable international brand. chinatownhotelyangon.com   Raffles Jakarta Opened: March 2015 Standout feature: Recreational facilities feature a yoga terrace, tennis courts and a 300-metre jogging track on Level 14 of the hotel. raffles.com   Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim Opened: November 2015 Standout feature: A self-service business centre and laundry station enhance the facilities of this affordable hotel option. ihg.com/holidayinnexpress   The St Regis Jakarta Opening: April 2016 Standout feature: An excellent “Golden Triangle” city location and 700 sqm ballroom. starwoodhotels.com/stregis   Crowne Plaza Bandung Opened: September 2015 Standout feature: One of Bandung’s largest executive club lounges on the 16th floor, plus the Mountain View poolside bar and restaurant. ihg.com/crowneplaza   Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Opening: Q1 2016 Standout feature: The brand’s first foray outside Singapore, located next to Bukit Nanas, KL’s only surviving primary rainforest and nature reserve. stayfareast.com   Hotel Vagabond Opened: October 2015 Lovers of small and artistic establishments should visit Hotel Vagabond, a boutique art hotel that is the first in Asia to feature interiors by celebrated French designer Jacques Garcia. It has an elegant art deco façade and bright-red shutters, while every piece of artwork in the hotel was sourced and commissioned by the owner, Satinder Garcha. The solid brass rhino reception desk took artisans from 15 villages in Rajasthan eight months to create, and other exotic features include striking gold banyan trees in the foyer, handcrafted animal sculptures by French artisans, and photographs taken by the owner, which decorate the 41 guestrooms. slh.com   The South Beach  Opened: September 2015 This hotel is part of the South Beach mega mixed-use development which also comprises offices, residences, retail space and a private club. A roster of leading lights in the design world have collaborated on this project, including architecture by Foster+Partners and global design firm Aedas, interiors by Philippe Starck and installations by artists Lee Lee Nam and Soh Ee Shaun. It features 654 rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, three vibrant bars, two sky gardens, two infinity swimming pools and a gym. thesouthbeach.com.sg   Fairmont Jakarta Opened: August 2015 The 380-room Fairmont Jakarta has the largest hotel lobby in the city, split into three areas from separate entrances – the north, south and main lobby. It also features 3,500 sqm of meeting space, including a 1,200 sqm grand ballroom whose chandelier can be lit by varying colours through clever LED lighting. Located in the Senayan district, the hotel is close to the Jakarta Convention Centre and the Indonesian Stock Exchange, and linked directly to the Plaza Senayan shopping and office centre. fairmont.com   St Giles Wembley Opened: April 2015 A new addition to the hotel scene in George Town, the St Giles Wembley has 415 guestrooms inclusive of suites and executive rooms, all featuring a batik-style motif.  Panoramic views of Penang Island can be enjoyed in the executive lounge and the DSRT Sky Room. The hotel is located near Batu Ferringhi beach, but has its own saltwater infinity pool. Even more impressive is the helipad located on the roof of the building, from which high-flying business guests can helicopter to their next appointment or the airport. stgiles.com   Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru Opened: September 2015 Situated between the central business district and residential suburbs, this hotel offers 397 rooms, including 30 suites swathed in colours of gold, plum and green. Its meeting and function spaces are spread over two levels, and the 739 sqm grand ballroom provides one of the largest meeting spaces in the city. A hotel representative meets guests at the airport to help make their arrival smooth and efficient. shangri-la.com   Cititel Express Penang Opened: June 2015 Standout feature: A good location in the Wembley area of George Town for this three-star hotel, which offers a common ironing area on each floor for guests. cititelexpress-penang.com   The St Regis Kuala Lumpur Opening: April 2016 Standout feature: A Sentral Precinct address and nearly 3,000 sqm of function space. starwoodhotels.com/stregis   The St Regis Mumbai Opened: November 2015 Standout feature: The country’s tallest hotel tower, offering unparalleled views over the city or Arabian Sea. starwoodhotels.com/stregis   Zone by The Park Chennai Opened: November 2015 Standout feature: The open-plan lobby offers “mini zones” with free wifi where guests can share ideas online through shared work pods. theparkhotels.com   JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar Opened: April 2015 Standout feature: Close to the airports in Andheri suburb, it features the JW Baking Company, which sells pastries, coffee and deli favourites. marriott.com   Novotel New Delhi Aerocity Opened: November 2015 Standout feature: A web corner provides connectivity to guests, and is equipped with Apple iMac terminals and a full-service business lounge. novotel.com   Shangri-La, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Opened: June 2015 Standout feature: The hotel is right in the city centre, and will connect to Shangri-La’s 28-storey, high-end Central Tower retail and office development, which will open this year. shangri-la.com 
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