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- 28 Nov 2011
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The Latest Hotels, Tianjin, Beijing & Shanghai


The St Regis Tianjin is a distinctive hollowed cube hotel designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

Shangri-La, Starwood and St. Regis show their commitment to China, just as Bloomberg reports regional occupancy rates at an unattractive 61%

Given all the buzz in 2011 regarding China, news of luxury hotel conglomerates ‘committing’ to the region have become somewhat unsurprising, even regular. Starwood have now surpassed the 200 hotel mark in Asia Pacific, following a flurry of recent openings in China, India, Thailand and Malaysia. The brand has plans to continue its widening lead as the largest operator of four and five star hotels in Asia Pacific, with plans to reach over 320 hotels by 2014.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. have identified China as a key market in its $2 billion plans to increase its global offerings to 100 locations by 2016, following the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, currently the tallest hotel in the world. A further property will be launched in Tier 2 city, Chengdu, in 2013, driven by a “huge amount of the population now on the move and starting to travel”.

Yet a recent report over at Bloomberg paints a far less optimistic picture of hospitality in China, suggesting at the time of press that four in 10 rooms remain empty. Occupancy in the first nine months of 2011 was estimated at 61 percent – the lowest in Asia among 15 countries – the same as the year-earlier period, significantly trailing more than 80 percent in Singapore and Hong Kong.

In 2010, China became the world’s third-most visited travel destination after France and the United States, making the case for expansion relatively clear. As the west travels to the east, they want their favourite brands and all the perks they receive from remaining loyal. The question now is whether the increase in demand is going to be big enough to handle all the new extravagant hotels, slated to launch in the coming years.


Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi

Standing at almost 1000 feet tall, the modern glass tower housing Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, marks the luxury group’s first foray into the UAE’s capital. Located on the Arabian Gulf in the Ras Al Akhdar area of Abu Dhabi, the property comprises 382 guest rooms and suites, 199 fully serviced residences and one of the largest conference centres in Abu Dhabi.

Source: Elite Traveler


Aloft London Excel, London

Starwood Hotels has debuted its Aloft Hotels brand in the United Kingdom, in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, which also owns Aloft Abu Dhabi. Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the 252 guest room property has been designed with the digital generation in mind, with free wireless internet access throughout the hotel and unique plug-and-play connectivity in-room, which connects electronic devices to the 42’’ flat-screen TV.

Source: Market Watch


Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai

Swatch Group have unveiled its lavish renovation of the former South Building of the Peace Hotel in Shanghai. The Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai will aim to bring artists into the centre of Shanghai, with two floors of the space dedicated as living quarters and workshops for artists from around the world. The hotel and restaurant will be operated by the YTL Group.

Source: Haute Living


Ayada, Maldives

Occupying over 150,000sqm of undisturbed vegetation, Ayada resort is located amidst a reef within the southern rim of the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll in the southern Maldives. The 112-villa resort comprises 45 suites and 66 villas, as well as the duplex Ayada Royal Ocean Suite. An abundance of teak, marble and sandstone finishings have been used to provide privacy and comfort, and all guests can enjoy the service of a dedicated butler or guest relations agent.

Source: Elite Traveler


Park Hyatt, Abu Dhabi

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas have opened on the natural island of Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi, as an exclusive sanctuary of contemporary luxury located on a nine-kilometre stretch of environmentally protected white sand beach. Of 306 luxuriously appointed rooms, 39 are suites and four are private luxury villas, designed in a contemporary style with subtle Arabian touches.

Source: Abu Dhabi City Guide


St. Regis, Tianjin

Constructed in the shape of a hollowed cube, the 18-story steel and glass St. Regis Tianjin was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, incorporating 274 guestrooms and suites, integrating a contemporary Western aesthetic and ancient Chinese influences. The hotel boasts three dining spaces and two bars, as well as over 2,500sqm of meeting and event space, including a grand ballroom and rooftop garden.

Source: Hospitality Design


Jumeirah Dhevanafushi Ocean Pearls, Maldives

Expanding its existing Dhevanafushi resort in the Maldives, Jumeirah has opened the Ocean Pearls, a cluster of over-water villas located nearly a kilometre away from the main island. Each villa commands unobstructed views out over the ocean, as well as sunken bathtub on the deck with access to a private pool. The cluster comprises its own two-tiered infinity pool, restaurant, bar, in-house dining, library, and a spa treatment room suspended over the water.

Source: Luxuo


Kerry Hotel, Beijing

The Kerry Centre Hotel has been rebranded as Kerry Hotel, Beijing following a transformation to interiors by Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. Newly invigorated club rooms and suites have been outfitted with a flat screen TV, Bose SoundDock, Nespresso coffee maker, and bathrooms with rain showerheads and mirrors with inbuilt TV and digital clock. The lobby has been furnished in onyx and white marble, adorned with suspended crystal chandeliers, abstract art carpets, and unconventional ink work.

Source: Hospitality Design

For more in the series of The Latest Hotels, please see our most recent editions as follows:

- The Latest Hotels, Florence, Milan & Los Angeles
- The Latest Hotels, Bangalore, London & Lagos
- The Latest Hotels, Croatia, the Caucasus & Koh Samui


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