by Peter J. Bates

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Putting on the Ritz

The investment being poured into new hotel development throughout Asia continues to amaze me. As I’ve mentioned before, cities like Beijing and Shanghai are in grave danger of becoming overbuilt with too much capacity – but nonetheless, brand after brand make their way – or expand their presence – in the market.

There are a handful of luxury hotel operators, though, that have mapped out very strategic plans making them key players in the region – and the one that immediately comes to mind is Ritz Carlton. For the past 20 years, Ritz Carlton ( has developed an impressive network of grand and luxurious properties, starting in Hong Kong and expanding throughout Asia – in Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Jakarta, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, Sanya, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The brand is continuing its growth in Asia with a second property opening in Shanghai in May and one in Hong Kong in November of this year.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to take hard-hat tours of the Ritz Carlton properties in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The company’s second hotel in Shanghai is located in the Pudong area as part of the new IFC development. Affording panoramic views over The Bund, this Ritz Carlton is quickly approaching completion. Featuring well-designed accommodations with giant bathtubs in the bathrooms, a rooftop restaurant and bar with outside seating, this hotel will certainly add to the major offerings already available in Pudong from the Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and St. Regis.

In Hong Kong, the new Ritz Carlton dominates the Kowloon side. Situated at the top of the world’s tallest building, the property will have 302 rooms, including 80 suites. Since the hotel rises from floors 102 to 118, you feel like you are level with Victoria Peak as you gaze at the views of Hong Kong Island. ESPA, the leading spa designer, is creating a top-of-the-line spa on the 116th floor, including 12 treatment rooms.

Every aspect of the Hong Kong property is world-class. In a high-end shopping mall called Elements, you will find everything from Louis Vuitton to the most famous watch and jewelry brands.

With the opening in Hong Kong at the end of 2010, Ritz Carlton will have completed a circuit of properties in the region that no other hotel company can match.

No comments:

Post a Comment