12 at Hengshan, Starwood’s fourth Luxury Collection Member in China, opens on September 16 in one of Shanghai's most historic neighbourhoods.
Hengshan Road, where the 171-room hotel is located, was the former Avenue Petain in the heart of what was known as the French Concession when Shanghai was ruled by foreign powers. It is now an after-hours magnet for expatriates, given the plethora of pubs, bars and restaurants that have sprung up there over the years. Even the old residences of China luminaries like Dr Sun Yat-Sen and Zhou Enlai have been converted into watering holes.
Inspired by the surroundings, the guestrooms will follow “modern chinoisserie” lines, according to David Campbell, 12 at Hengshan’s director of sales and marketing. All units will come with the latest tech bells and whistles of Internet TV and iPod docking stations among others, and twin rooms will feature queen-size beds as families with young children are expected to form part of the customer base.
The size of a standard guestroom is 40 sqm.
Dining options will include two restaurants, Chinese and an all-day Parisienne boulangerie-style cafe, while the lobby lounge and a landscaped terrace provide the excuse to chill or continue the business talk. For more formal events, 1,303 sqm of space, consisting of the Grand Ballroom (capacity: up to 400 for cocktails), a foyer, VIP rooms and breakout rooms are available.
With Chinese consumers eager for the fine things in life (see report), Campbell is optimistic 12 on Hengshan will appeal to the market. "They want to try new things and are learning to appreciate what goes with luxury." For guests, who are keen to know more about the area, the hotel is planning to offer trips on a sidecar along a motorbike with the driver giving a commentary, he added.
Others China properties in the Luxury Collection include the iconic Astor Hotel Tianjin, The Hongta in Shanghai (formerly St Regis) and the Royal Begonia Sanya on Hainan Island opening on August 12. The Castle Hotel, Dalian and The 1958, Suzhou will open in January 2014 and January 2015, respectively.
For more about the project, visit www.luxurycollection.com/12hengshan
Margie T Logarta