Business Bravery Or Hubristic Folly?
With top-tier Chinese cities becoming increasingly saturated with five-star hotels and fierce competition among hoteliers now spreading to lower-tier cities, we have to wonder whether new brands entering the market are exhibiting business bravery or hubristic folly. With established players like Hilton looking to tap not only the business traveler or tourist market but also middle-class demand — in the form of lavish weddings or business events — what’s interesting to watch is how new entrants position themselves to stand apart from the crowd. This week, hotelier Rosewood, which currently operates properties in seven countries and plans to open 10 Asia properties in the next five years, announced that it will open its first China location in Beijing next summer.
Nestled in the city’s Chaoyang district, opposite the landmark CCTV Tower, the 279-room Rosewood Beijing will enter the city at time in which dozens of luxury hotels will face chronic oversupply and lower occupancy rates. So what makes Rosewood think they can handle the pressure?
According to the company itself, Rosewood Beijing will have a few competitive advantages, among them more indoor and outdoor space than most hotels in the city, a “homelike ambiance with hints of Chinese culture,” and an open design by way of Melbourne-based Bar Studio. Other features being promoted by Rosewood Beijing include “more landscaped outdoor space than any other Beijing luxury hotel, with terraces, gardens and balconies integrated into the design of many of the restaurants, spa, recreational facilities, meeting and function areas.” Residential or apartment-style guestrooms will be among the largest in the city, the company, says, at 538 square feet. Acclaimed Bangkok-based P Landscape will be responsible for the exterior landscaping of the hotel.
While a spa has been, for quite some time, a de facto feature for nearly every luxury hotel, Rosewood is placing a bet on the increasing priority that China’s business travelers and “staycation” tourists are placing on therapeutic treatments. Setting a company precedent, Rosewood Beijing will include five spa suites designed for overnight stays — aiming, most likely, to appeal to stressed-out Beijingers looking for a getaway in their own city.