Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, recently announced that by mid-2013 it will have opened ten hotels and resorts in the Asia Pacific region within the space of a year. This is in keeping with its ambitious expansion plan to go beyond 90 hotels by 2016 (see story here). The following is a list of said ten properties, as well as some other planned future projects, categorised by country.
Luxury Collection’s first resort property in China will be the Royal Begonia Sanya, set to debut in August. Situated on the beachfront of Hainan Island, the 142-room resort is surrounded by tropical gardens and forested hills along the South China Sea. All rooms are designed in a fusion European and local style, with large balconies that offer views of the oceanfront or tropical gardens. The 18 luxury villas will each feature a private pool, courtyard gardens, sophisticated interiors and high-tech amenities.
Royal Begonia Sanya
Meanwhile, 12 at Hengshan will open in Shanghai in September, joining the brand’s first hotel in China, The Astor Hotel Tianjin (see story here). The residential-style, 171-room hotel is located on Hengshan Road. Designers Yabu and Pushelberg created the hotel’s exquisite interior in a rich heritage style with touches of contemporary design, while Italy-based architects and designers led by Mario Botta crafted the exterior (see story here).
The Hongta Hotel Shanghai, formerly The St. Regis Shanghai, joined the brand earlier this year. A total of US$20 million has been invested to renovate the hotel in phases over the next two years. Known for combining tradition and modernity in its architecture and service, the hotel, upon renovation, will feature 328 guest rooms and suites, the award-winning Danieli’s Restaurant and a spa.
The Castle Dalian, meanwhile, is set to open in 2014, with an unmistakable design. It will overlook Xinghai Bay, Northern China’s financial and tourism capital. The 1958 in Suzhou is scheduled to open in July 2015.
The Castle Dalian
The 1958 Suzhou
ITC Grand Chola Chennai will start operations this August. Situated in Chennai, the capital of cultural and economic activity in Southern India, the hotel’s design is reminiscent of a golden era in Indian history. The three separate wings of the hotel contain one of the largest banquet and exhibition spaces in the country, a 2,508-sqm retail centre and recreational facilities including the WelcomArt Gallery that showcases work from some of the most well-known artists in India.
ITC Grand Chola Chennai
Together with the existing nine hotels and resorts in India, including the ITC Rajputana that joined in 2011, Luxury Collection has ten properties in the country. This makes it the brand’s second largest market after the United States.
Located in the heart of Indonesia’s capital at Jalan Thamrin, Keraton at The Plaza Jakarta was inaugurated in April this year, joining The Laguna Bali as the brand’s second hotel in Indonesia. Keraton offers a modern interpretation of Indonesian culture, featuring 140 guest rooms and suites, each of which is technologically well-equipped and has floor-to-ceiling windows (see story here).
Keraton at The Plaza Jakarta
Scheduled to open in January 2014, the Sarasvati Bali is a 64-room resort that will rest on a beach overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Luxury Collection’s third property in Thailand will be Vana Belle Koh Samui, opening in December, joining the Naka Island Phuket which opened in November last year. Situated on the Gulf and approximately 80 km off the eastern coast of Southern Thailand, the 80-room resort is surrounded by coconut trees and clear waters.
View from Vana Belle Koh Samui
Naka Island Phuket
This February, the brand set foot in Australia by signing Lilianfels and Echoes, two renowned resorts in the Blue Mountains.
The award-winning Lilianfels was formerly the residence of New South Wales’ Chief of Justice. The resort now has 85 rooms and suites, two restaurants, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a tennis court and a spa.
Situated at the edge of the Jamison Valley and next to Lilianfels, Echoes is a former retreat for Australian writer Thomas Keneally. The resort offers 14 contemporary rooms and suites featuring a view of the National Park, the award-winning Echoes Restaurant, and a private spa and sauna.
Establishing ten hotels and resorts in a year sets a record for the brand, said Paul James, Global Brand Leader of St. Regis and The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts.
Mr James added that the brand’s expansion in the Asia Pacific region is in response to an emergence of a new generation of wealthy travellers, which has caused demand for services that go beyond traditional luxury, and because Asia Pacific contains significant hubs for business and leisure.