Okura Hotels sets sights on Europe and US

10 Jul 2009 by Mark Caswell

Luxury Japanese chain Okura Hotels and Resorts is on the hunt for properties in London, Paris and New York.

Since launching its flagship property in Tokyo over 40 years ago, Okura has only opened one hotel in Europe, the Okura Amsterdam, in 1971.

Asked about Okura’s plans to expand in key business cities in Europe and the US, Marcel van Aelst, general manager of the Hotel Okura Amsterdam, said: “When people ask if we want to expand into London, Paris and Manhattan, I say, if you ask a kid if they want an ice cream, how do they reply?”  

Van Aelst went on to say negotiations are underway for a property in London, and that they would most likely be looking to sign a management deal.

As part of the expansion across Asia, the 92-room Wen Wan Okura Resort Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan will be opening in September, with new-build properties in Macau opening in 2010 (see an artist's impression of the lobby below), and Taipei, Taiwan in 2012.

Okura Hotels has 22 properties around the world, 17 of which are in Japan.

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Report by Jenny Southan

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