The Ritz Carlton is at the top of the list of the most popular hotel brands for China’s high net worth individuals, according to the Hurun Report. The latest issue of the monthly magazine, which was released at ILTM Asia in Shanghai on June 5, focuses on the Chinese Luxury Traveler and offered a ranking of the top luxury hotels and hotel trends. Coming in second was Banyan Tree, and Four Seasons came in third.
The report is based on the responses of 334 high-end travelers with an average travel consumption of US$55,000. While big-name luxury hotel brands remain the most preferred among these respondents, boutique hotels are gaining popularity as China’s rich increasingly seek out one-of-a-kind experiences. More than 80 percent of the respondents named a luxury resort as their favorite.
Hotels that succeed with China’s high net worth individuals, according to the report, offer personalized services—49 percent of respondents look for this when choosing a place to stay. About 48 percent of respondents consider the view from their room, 44 percent consider the hotel’s location, 36 percent consider the style, and 29 percent are looking out for brand positioning. Only 10 percent of these travelers are seeking out high tech facilities when picking out their accommodations.
About one-fifth of the respondents chose a hotel based on its dining offerings, and most want a mix of local and Chinese cuisine, as well as private dining. More than 32 percent of respondents seek out a Chinese restaurant when looking for a hotel, while 56 percent want to try local food. When it comes to millennial respondents, or “keen foodies” as the report calls them, 22 percent seek out ‘diverse’ dining options.
Here is the full list of the top 10 most popular hotels among China’s high net worth individuals:
1. The Ritz-Carlton Hotels
The first Ritz-Carlton chain, which was founded in the 1920s, included hotels in Italy, Switzerland, and Argentina. The hotel chain today, which was founded in 1983 (when the brand name was sold by the original owners), operates 91 hotels and resorts in 33 countries and territories including Moscow, Hong Kong, and Bangalore. It’s credo? The Ritz-Carlton inspires life’s most meaningful journeys.
2. Banyan Tree
The first Banyan Tree resort opened in Phuket, Thailand in 1994. Now the hospitality brand has over 40 hotels and resorts, 60 spas and 70 retail galleries across Asia, Africa, America, the Middle East and China. Per the brand story, “the company has created hotels and resorts to suit your needs and lifestyle built on a foundation of sustainability.”
3. Four Seasons
The Four Seasons was founded in 1960 by a Toronto businessman Isadore Sharp. The first hotel, the Four Seasons Motor Hotel was opened in 1961 as a business hotel. In its fifth decade, the company touted that it “welcomed guests to 50 properties on every continent except Antarctica.” Now in its sixth decade, the company continues its global expansion.
4. Mandarin Oriental
The Mandarin Oriental opened its flagship property, The Mandarin, in Hong Kong in 1963, and was, at the time, the tallest building on the island. In 1974, the Group purchased the legendary hotel The Oriental in Bangkok giving the brand two flagship hotels and launching the brand we know today. It now operates 29 hotels and eight residencies across 19 countries and territories. “Our aim is not to be the biggest hotel group in the world,” it writes on its website, “but to be recognized as providing the very best in luxury hospitality.”
Founded in 1907, the Fairmont operates properties in 22 countries; from historic ones like the Plaza Hotel in New York City as well as resorts on the beaches of Hawaii and in cities across the world including Marrakech, Shanghai, and Monte Carlo. It’s known in Canada for its grand historic hotels including the Empress in Victoria, the Palliser in Calgary, and the Chateau Laurier in Ottowa (pictured above).
6. The Peninsula Hotels
Established in 1928, the Peninsula currently operates properties in 10 cities, including Paris, Bangkok, and New York. Its flagship property in Hong Kong, the first hotel it opened, was once referred to as the “finest hotel east of the Suez.”
7. Aman Resorts & Hotels
Aman Resorts was founded in 1988 by the Indonesian hotelier Adrian Zecha when he was looking for a good place to stay for his vacation in Phuket. The hotel chain today operates 31 properties in 20 international locations including China, the Dominican Republic and Japan. According to their website, the word “aman” means “the place of peace.” Aman attempts to bring guests both space and privacy.
Langham opened its first “Grand Hotel” in London in 1865 where it hosted, among other legendary guests, Mark Twain. Over the course of more than 150 years of development, the group has expanded the luxury hotel chain to four continents, with projects located in major international cities and resorts around the world. The then Prince of Wales once described Langham hotels as a place that offers “everything a man, woman or child could desire under one roof.”
9. Park Hyatt
Founded in 1979 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Jay Pritzker, the Park Hyatt was envisioned as a boutique hotel that “embodied understated luxury,” per its website. Currently, Park Hyatt (one of the luxury hotel chains that operates under the global leading hospitality group Hyatt Hotels Corporation, of which Pritzker’s son Tom is executive chairman) operates 44 properties in 24 countries.
10. St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
St.Regis Hotels & Resorts is a hospitality brand founded in 1904 in New York by John Jacob Astor IV. The luxury hotel chain today has a presence in four continents and 35 international locations. It plans to expand to over 50 hotels by 2018. St.Regis appeals to international luxury travelers with personalized services in a luxurious setting combining modern technologies and classic designs. In the Ian Fleming novel Live and Let Die, James Bond stays at the St. Regis and has a drink with Felix Leiter at the famed King Cole Bar.
With additional reporting by Yiling Pan.