The Hong Kong-based luxury hotel chain Shangri-La Hotels (which currently has 30 locations in the mainland, with six more to be completed within the next two years) powers ahead with its mainland China expansion strategy, announcing it plans to build two new luxury hotels in Yangzhou and Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The company recently held a grand opening for its newest hotel in picturesque Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, along with several locations in Shanghai. (built in preparation for the Shanghai World Expo.)
According to Shangri-La, the company's two new Jiangsu province hotels will join the group’s existing six hotels in the Yangtze River Delta and two further projects in Shanghai that are set to open in the next two years. As Greg Dogan, president and chief executive officer of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd. said, the timing of these hotels is no accident, as the company sees huge potential in the Yangtze River Delta region, particularly in the wake of the World Expo, currently taking place in Shanghai:
“Shangri-La has operated hotels in the Yangtze River Delta for over twenty-five years, and previously managed a hotel in Nanjing. We know the region and the city well and have decided to invest into its future with our own development. We look forward to bringing back Shangri-La hospitality to Nanjing and introducing our distinctive service to Yangzhou.”
Following the hotel group's tradition of localization -- seen previously via the inclusion of distinctly Guangxi characteristics like Li River cruises at the Shangri-La Guilin -- Shangri-La's two new Jiangsu hotels will include design and cultural cues from Nanjing and Yangzhou. The 670-room Shangri-La Nanjing, located in the city's Gulou district, will include interior design inspired by the culture and history of Nanjing in addition to five-star features like a Horizon Club executive lounge, a health club with a 25-metre indoor pool and spa facilities, and a selection of meeting rooms including a 2,000-square-meter grand ballroom.
The construction of the Shangri-La Yangzhou will be an event in itself, as it will be the city's first-ever international luxury hotel. Located in Yangzhou's central business district, the 371-room Shangri-La Yangzhou will offer localized gastronomical features in the form of a restaurant incorporating the regional Huai Yang cuisine as well as favorites like Cantonese cuisine and dim sum. Additional facilities will include a Horizon Club executive lounge and a fitness center with a 25-metre indoor pool and tennis courts.
In addition to the hotels currently it currently manages, the Shangri-La group has over 40 projects under development in Austria, Canada, mainland China, France, India, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Qatar, Seychelles, Turkey and United Kingdom. The group plans to operate 10 hotels in the Yangtze Delta region by 2012, and plans to have a foothold in all major regional cities and centers of business and leisure travel in east and southeast China.