Hard Rock Hotel makes an Asian comeback

29 Apr 2009

Hard Rock Hotel is resurfacing in the Asia-Pacific after a long hiatus, establishing presence in two locations within the year.

First off the pipeline is the 300-room Hard Rock Hotel Macau at the City of Dreams, which opens in June, followed by the 249-room Hard Rock Hotel Penang along the beach in Batu Ferringhi around August or September.

“Our new hotel in Macau will have a higher premium in terms of positioning. This is the way we are developing all our new properties in the US – either as a four-star or a five-star. Hard Rock Macau will be our first premium hotel in Asia,” said Hamish Dodds, Hard Rock president and chief executive officer. “Ours in Penang is in the advanced stage of construction. Like the Macau property, it is located in an area of major hotel development. This provides it the opportunity to become one of the real premium projects there.”

The Hard Rock chain – inspired by the iconic Hard Rock Cafe – launched its first outpost in the region in Bali in 1998, then its second in Pattaya in 2001.

Despite the global recession, the group believes that the rock n’ roll vibe, combined with an upscale, hip and fun image, offers guests a unique proposition. Dodds explained: “Our brand is so different. We are confident that even in an environment where spending is slowing down, we will take more than our fair share of the market and be successful.”

The chain is also looking forward to the arrival of Hard Rock Hotel in Singapore, one of six hotels coming up at Resorts World at Sentosa and slated for a mid-2010 launch.

Hard Rock is keen to get a foothold in China, particularly Beijing and Shanghai and is now looking at potential projects in both cities. Dodds said: “It is about preparing for growth. A lot of our projects have long lead times, as much as four years. So we have to be setting the groundwork now so that every year there is going to be a product coming to the market.

“We are very excited to be active again in Asia. Our new high quality hotels will provide an appetiser for the China Mainland consumer to get to know our brand and for other Asian consumers to get reacquainted with it.”

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Gigi Onag

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