Grand Hyatt Macau at the City of Dreams recently opened to complete the trio of hotels planned for the US$2.1-billion urban integrated resort. Joining Crown Towers and the Hard Rock Hotel, the twin towers of Grand Hyatt Macau widen the range of the complex's accommodation choices with guestrooms and facilities geared to the needs of corporate clients and business events.
"We have all the components of a business hotel, with one of the largest facilities for business meetings and corporate events in Macau," Paul Kwok, general manager at Grand Hyatt Macau, told Business Traveller.
The three-week old property is still in its soft-opening phase with key business and leisure facilities - the Grand Club Tower as well as the events venues, spa, gym and swimming pool on level 3 - to be unveiled next month.
Already open are the 424 rooms and suites of the Grand Tower; the 225-seater Beijing Kitchen on level one that features Northern Chinese cuisine; and the pastry boutique Patisserie that serves home-made chocolates, cakes and pastries.
Of special interest to business travellers is the complimentary Wi-Fi internet both in the guestrooms and the public areas of the hotel.
"We could have opened everything in one go. But we decided for a controlled opening, taking over the rooms floor by floor to make sure that everything is up to the Grand Hyatt standards," Kwok said.
As a non-gaming hotel, Grand Hyatt Macau is squarely targeting Macau's corporate market and is positioning itself as the premier venue for business events.
"All our facilities here are very flexible," said Kwok. "For example, if you have a group of 300 people, we can give you the entire Grand Club Tower and then you can have the Club Lounge exclusively for your group, which other hotels here cannot provide."
The 367-room Grand Club Tower is dedicated for premium travellers which features its own check-in area, personalised services, free garment pressing and an espresso coffee machine in every room. Its 885sqm Grand Club Lounge occupies the entire ground floor and can seat up to 250 people. The lounge is unique for its four open kitchens, bar and its private outdoor terrace for alfresco dining.
On level 3, business travellers and groups on corporate meetings can have their choice of venues. The pillarless 2,000sqm Grand Ballroom can hold 2,500 people and can be divided into four soundproof sections. The second ballroom called Salao do Teatro ("show theater" in Portuguese) has the first-of-its-kind open show kitchen that can accommodate 50 chefs at a time. Two video cameras can beam the live culinary action to two super-screens. Salao do Teatro also has its own private pre-function area which has natural daylight and can cater for up to 500 people in a cocktail setting.
There are also eight meeting rooms with capacity ranging from 40 to 120 people. These rooms are being served by two residential-style Salon Lounges for break-out receptions. For more informal events, the Pool Deck offers an outdoor venue option. It can cater for a barbecue for approximately 500 sit-down guests, and the adjacent Poolside offers another alfresco events area that can cater for up to 120.
Grand Hyatt Macau expects Level 3 and its other facilities to open in November.
"For the MICE business, it takes time to develop. You need at least one-and-a-half to two years to build," said Kwok. "We have a good network of worldwide corporate accounts who have been looking forward to our opening to experience the property."
He added: "I do not worry about the business. We have enough to cover it with the leisure market alone. I worry about the brand. We have a brand so we have to maintain the standards. So in the next months, we need to reinforce the standards first."
A key challenge for Grand Hyatt Macau is the lack of local talent and the limited quota set for foreign staff with sufficient experience in the different aspects of hotel operations. The hotel employs about 800 staff.
"We have to think about the long term. In the early years, we will have the expatriate staff to keep standards high. We have to ensure that a sufficient pool of local talent is trained to be up to the task in future."
In this regard, hotel is eyeing an apprentice programme for next year.
"We have several restaurants serving a variety of cuisines. For Chinese dishes alone, there is a dim sum chef, a noodle chef, etc. We simply don't have the talent in town. With a chef apprentice programme, we can train them from scratch."