News

Steigenberger Hotel Group makes China debut

28 Nov 2013 by GrahamSmith

German-based Steigenberger Hotel Group has made its first foray into Asia with the opening of a Beijing property.

Currently in soft-opening phase, the five-star, 286-room Hotel Maximilian opens officially on December 23.

It is part of the new Audi Forum and Training Centre in Chaoyang District, north of the city centre, and has Chinese and German restaurants, a spa, and meeting space in the adjoining Audi Forum.

Hotel Maximilian standard room

Standard room: The Hotel Maximilian is currently in soft-opening phase

Puneet Chhatwal, chief executive of Steigenberger Hotel Group, told Business Traveller that the opening was a "huge milestone" for the company, which has 98 properties in its portfolio in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Egypt.

"We want to transition from a German brand to a European and global brand," Chhatwal said, adding that he wanted to have 120 hotels open or under development by 2016.

Some 13 properties are currently underway, including one in Qingdao, due to open in winter 2015, and a Chongqing hotel scheduled for 2016.

The group's properties are split across two brands, the four- and five-star Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts and the midmarket Intercity Hotels.

Chhatwal said: "After China, India would be the most interesting emerging market." He also expressed an interest in expanding in the Middle East.

The Beijing opening follows the launch at the beginning of this year of the 269-room Steigenberger Grandhotel Brussels, formerly a Conrad property.

The group is also expanding in Berlin with two properties next to the main station. The 412-room Intercity Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the brand's largest property, opened on October 1, while the 339-room Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt is due to follow on May 1, located opposite the Intercity hotel.

Steigenberger has a further Berlin property built and ready to open at the beleaguered Brandenberg airport, the launch date for which has been repeatedly put back (see news, July 1).

The Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof and Steigenberger Parkhotel Dusseldorf were refurbished this year.

From the beginning of 2014, all the group's hotels will offer free wifi.

steigenbergerhotelgroup.com

Michelle Harbi

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