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Asia's Business Players

Published: 02/09/2014 - Filed under: Home » Archive » 2014 » September 2014 » Special Reports »

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As the Asia-Pacific region continues its exceptional economic growth, hotel rooms – especially those that appeal to high-end corporate travelers – are in great demand.  In response, new properties are opening up all over the region. While many of these hotels bear the names well-known global brands, home-grown hotel groups, too, are stepping up in a significant way to offer luxury accommodations tailored to business travelers – both international and domestic.  

Here’s a sampling of distinctly Asian hospitality brands that are leveraging their regional presence to build strong identities and expanding footprints worldwide.


Dorsett Hospitality International

Who are they? Based primarily in Hong Kong, Dorsett Hospitality International was established in 2007, and currently operates 19 hotels in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK. Currently the group has 11 hotels in the pipeline. 

Dorsett’s business model is focused on the three- to four-star hotel segment in Asia, and aims to attract Chinese travelers who go overseas. In keeping with this “Chinese wallet” strategy, the group has continually expanded its presence to include key Asian countries and the UK market, which the group believes attracts an unprecedented number of Chinese travelers every year. Dorsett Shepherd’s Bush, London opened its doors in 2014, whilst Dorsett City Hotel, London is under development.

Where are they? Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the group maintains its base operations there where it has 9 properties, with another one (Silka Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong) in the pipeline. Dorsett also operates six hotels in Malaysia, four in China, one in Singapore, in addition to the London property.

What are they like? The group manages three hotel brands: Dorsett Hotels & Resorts makes up the majority of the group’s portfolio, with 11 properties. The D Collection on the other hand has two boutique hotels in Hong Kong. Finally, Silka Hotels is the group’s value hotel brand with more attractive rates for the price-conscious traveler.

The Dorsett brand features a mix of upscale and mid-scale hotels. The former are designated as Dorsett Grand, and there are currently three such hotels – Dorsett Grand Chengdu, Dorsett Grand Labuan and Dorsett Grand Subang in Malaysia. 

Are they for business travelers? The business-traveler-oriented services vary between the brands, mostly concentrated in the Dorsett brand. 

Dorsett and Dorsett Grand properties offer such facilities as fitness centers, pools and extensive room services. The only difference between the two brands is the addition of club floors in the Dorsett Grand hotels. 

Most hotels include 24-hour room service and high-speed Internet.

Is there a loyalty program? No.

Visit dorsett.com


The Oberoi Group 

Who are they? The Oberoi Group dates back to 1934, and over the years, expansion has continued both locally and abroad. Today, Oberoi operates 30 hotels across six countries under the luxury Oberoi  and the five-star Trident brands. 

Where are they? Oberoi is primarily based in India, where it has 21 properties, but also operates hotels in six countries, including Indonesia, Mauritius, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

What are they like? Architecturally, many of the group’s hotels carry significant influences based on the culture of the destination.  For instance, the Oberoi Dubai is nestled in The Oberoi Centre – a commercial complex with an office tower.  The hotel features 252 guestrooms and suites and a modern look that embodies height, light and space. 

Are they for business travelers? The group’s growing portfolio consists of hotels situated in business cities, such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai. The group has ten hotels under their five-star “Trident” brand, which are luxury business hotels.  And hotels in capital cities are almost always near the central business districts, making them attractive for business travelers. 

Is there a loyalty program? Not for Oberoi properties. However, the group does maintain a program for the Trident brand called Trident Privilege. 

Visit oberoihotels.com


Hotel Okura Company 

Who are they? This Japanese hotel group began life managing the Hotel Okura Tokyo, which opened in 1962. In 1978, the company established Okura Hotels & Resorts, a collection of seven upscale hotels, which it has since grown to 25 properties across the world. In 2010, it acquired the two hotel chains operated by JAL Hotels Company – adding 40 Nikko Hotels International properties to its upscale portfolio and 12 mid-range establishments in the Hotel JAL City chain.

Where are they? There are 25 properties under the Okura Hotels & Resorts chain, although some do not have “Okura” in their names. There are 16 located in Japan, two in South Korea, and one each in Bangkok, Macau, Shanghai and Taipei. Then there are two in North America and one in Amsterdam. Of the Nikko Hotels, 21 are in Japan, 10 are in China, two are in Vietnam, and there is one each in San Francisco, Düsseldorf, Bali, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Palau and Guam. The 12 Hotel JAL City properties are located in Japan, with three in Tokyo and others in various cities such as Sendai, Yokohama and Hiroshima.

What are they like? The Okura hotels combine the type of luxury found in most international five-star hotel chains with some distinctly Japanese design touches and services.

The flagship Hotel Okura Tokyo is located in the city’s Roppongi district, home to various multinational firms and embassies. Its 796 rooms and suites are generally large and combine Western-style luxury with elements of Japanese design. The hotel has an impressive eight restaurants, three bars and a Japanese tea ceremony room, along with a spa and fitness center with indoor pool, and two shopping arcades.

Are they for business travelers? The group’s Okura and Nikko hotels are located in prominent business cities and tend to be in – or close to – central business districts. They all offer well-equipped business centers. The rooms in the Okura hotels all offer broadband Internet access.

Is there a loyalty program? Okura Hotels & Resorts offers membership of the Okura Club International program, while JAL Hotels offers membership of the My JALHotels program. The two programs are reciprocal.

Visit okuru.com


Park Hotel Group 

Who are they? Launched in Hong Kong in 1961 with a Tsim Sha Tsui hotel – which still stands today – the Park Hotel Group moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2005. Following this, the company expanded rapidly, securing eight wholly owned and managed properties within four years. It is now looking forward to the opening of its first hotel under management contract in 2015, the Grand Park Alexandra.  

Where are they? They are mainly in Singapore and China at the moment, with one hotel in Japan. The properties are Grand Park Orchard, Grand Park City Hall and Park Hotel Clarke Quay in the Lion City; Grand Park Kunming, Grand Park Wuxi and Grand Park Xian in China; the Park Hotel in Hong Kong; and Grand Park Otaru in Japan. Together, they comprise 2,500 rooms.

What are they like? The current collection is a mix of new builds and established addresses which have been revitalized with contemporary furnishings and state-of-the-art technology. The 308-room Grand Park Orchard Singapore, which opened in 2010 after emerging from the makeover of the former Park Hotel Orchard, is the flagship property. Use of the word “Grand” signified the group’s foray into the luxury sector, with its original “Park” label catering to the upscale sector.

Are they for business travelers? Yes. Grand Park and Park hotels are all situated in the heart of commercial and leisure precincts. All Grand hotels (except Otaru and Hong Kong) boast Crystal Club floors, which come with executive perks, and packages for business travelers are regularly offered, with free Internet as one of the highlights. 

Is there a loyalty program? Park Hotel’s Indulgence card offers event, room and F&B promotions, but only at the Singapore Grand properties. All Grand hotels, except Otaru, boast Crystal Club floors offering executive perks, including benefits like free Internet.

Visit parkhotelgroup.com

 

Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company 

Who are they? Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company Ltd manages and operates 111 hotels across China. The China-based company is part of Jin Jiang Group and together with its sister company Jin Jiang Inn and Interstate Hotels and Resorts, the group owns over 900 hotels ranging from upscale star-rated to economy hotels in more than 200 cities across China.

Under the Jin Jiang branding concept, the company has a new premium “J” hotel brand, a collection of four- and five-star Jin Jiang properties, and the Marvel Hotels, which are geared more towards the contemporary “business lifestyle” traveler.

Where are they? The company’s 111 hotels are spread across 73 cities in Mainland China. Currently there are 23 properties in Shanghai, (including four five-star and 11 four-star), and 13 properties in Beijing (including six five-star and five four-star properties).

What are they like? Most of the company’s hotels tend to be larger properties with several hundred rooms, located in landmark buildings both recently built and more historic. 

The flagship Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai is located in the city’s cultural and historical French Concession in a grand art-deco building built in 1934. It has 442 rooms and 192 suites with modern amenities while retaining key features of its original art-deco style. 

The company’s premier and “ultra-luxurious” J Hotel Shanghai Tower, located in the new Shanghai Tower skyscraper in Pudong district, is scheduled to open in 2015. The 128-story, 2,000-foot Shanghai Tower will be the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world.

Are they for business travelers? The company’s focus on China’s second- and third-tier cities means it offers luxury accommodation in many of the country’s emerging business locations. Its hotels tend to be located near to central business districts, and almost all of them have business centers and complimentary WiFi. 

Is there a loyalty program?  The parent company Jin Jiang Group has a loyalty program called J-Club for its businesses including hospitality, travel and automotive services.

Visit jingjianghotels.com


Marco Polo Hotels

Who are they? A Hong Kong-based hotel group established in 1986, Marco Polo Hotels operates contemporary luxury properties in business and cultural centers across China and the Asia-Pacific region. 

Where are they? Of the group’s 13 hotels, 10 are in China, with three in Hong Kong and one each in Beijing, Foshan, Jinjiang, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Wuhan and Xiamen. A new property is scheduled to open in Changzhou any day now. The group also has three hotels in the Philippines, in Manila, Davao and Cebu. 

What are they like? Most of the hotels have recently been renovated and have modern décor, with lots of marble and wood paneling. The flagship Marco Polo Hong Kong is located in Kowloon’s Harbour City shopping center and has 665 rooms which were renovated last year. The hotel’s 17th and 18th floors are occupied by the Continental Club, which has round-the-clock butler service, business facilities, and suites.

Another key hotel for the group is the Marco Polo Wuhan. Located right in the city center, this 370-room hotel overlooks the Yangtze River. 

Are they for business travelers?  Yes. All the group’s hotels are in prime business districts. All provide business centers and the Continental Club executive floors. WiFi is complimentary in all the lobby areas, and in the rooms of most hotels.   

Is there a loyalty program? The group is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance and uses its loyalty program, GHA Discovery, which is also shared by 14 other hotel brands and more than 300 hotels around the world. 

Visit marcopolohotels.com


Lotte Hotels & Resorts

Who are they? South Korea’s largest hotel group, Lotte Hotels & Resorts was founded in 1973 when it took over the Bando Hotel, the country’s very first commercial hotel established in 1936. Initially focused on luxury hotels in domestic cities, more recently the group has made forays into business with the launch of the Lotte City Hotels brand in 2009, and into resorts. It has also begun to expand overseas. 

Where are they? The group has 14 hotels. There are five luxury hotels under the Lotte brand; two in Seoul, one each in Jeju, Busan and Ulsan, plus five more under the Lotte City business brand in Seoul, Jeju and Daejeon, and at Gimpo Airport.  The Lotte Hotel brand also boasts properties in Moscow, Hanoi, Saigon and Guam.

What are they like? The flagship Lotte Hotel Seoul, the first hotel the group opened in 1979, has an impressive 1,120 rooms, along with 14 banquet halls and conference rooms, nine restaurants and a bar. The hotel’s facilities include a full business center and a large fitness club, with an indoor golf practice range. 

The Lotte City Hotel Gimpo Airport is one of the chain’s business-orientated City brand hotels. It has neatly decorated rooms with work desks and stationery. There is a 24-hour business, a coin-operated laundry and a fitness center.

Are they for business travelers?  WiFi is complimentary in all of the hotels, most of which are located close to business districts. Almost all of the properties have a business center, and the City brand hotels are specially set up for business travelers.

Is there a loyalty program?  Yes, two, in fact: Privilege and Trevi. Privilege members get points for a percentage of the bill paid at Lotte hotels. With the Trevi program, you pay 450,000 won ($404) for annual membership and receive discounts on room rates, F&B and sauna. 

Visit lottehotel.com

By Clement Huang, Nicholas Olczak and Margie T Logarta


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