Mandarin Oriental expanding, with focus on quality

8 Jun 2012

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) has announced hotel openings in China – Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing – over the next 18 months, as well as adding another Mainland address to that list, Chengdu, set to open in 2015.

“Our goal is not to be the biggest luxury hotel chain, but the best luxury hotel group,” Michael Hobson, the company’s chief marketing officer, said of MOHG’s expansion strategy.

With the Mandarin Sanya already a popular fixture on the resort island, well known to local holiday makers, the chain is keen to be seen in China’s hubs.

The 362-room Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai is slated for a 2013 launch, and is part of the 25-hectare mixed use Harbour City in the Lujiazui Central Financial District, within walking distance to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. There are also 210 serviced residences attached to the project.

Following this are debuts in Guangzhou and Beijing, with the hotel in China’s capital being of special interest since a freak accident in February 2009 (during an illegal fireworks show) gutted the nearly completed Mandarin Oriental Beijing, housed in the 34-storey CCTV Tower. Said Hobson: “It was a sad and tragic incident. But we are committed to the project and the reconstruction is underway. We are still using the original design.”

Despite the hospitality industry’s intense focus on China, MOHG still has no plans of designing a service programme branded for Chinese travellers, Hobson remarked. “We are always investing in service and facilities. We don’t have any specific programme for Chinese travellers as we believe in delivering bespoke service to cater to each guest’s needs. So, if they want a Chinese breakfast – and we know how important this is to our Chinese guests – we offer it, or Chinese speaking staff, as we do in our Paris property, then we have that.”

MOHG’s latest endeavour on the Mainland will be the Mandarin Oriental Chengdu to be realised in 2015 in the Jin-jiang precinct, opposite the Wang-jiang Park which dates back to the Ming Dynasty.

It will occupy the top 33 floors of an iconic tower and feature 320 guestrooms, including 41 suites.

For more about the Hong Kong-based chain, visit

Margie T Logarta

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