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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:42 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Four Seasons Hong Kong Brings Intense Competition to Luxury Hotels

Room at the top for elite
Hong Kong Standard
June 13, 2005


The nearly-completed Four Seasons property is expected to attract luxury stores and mainland tourists with disposable income. SIMON SONG

For four decades, the Mandarin Oriental has been Hong Kong Island's sentimental favorite luxury hotel. Its red-carpeted lobbies convey a rare impression of the city's past, from society weddings to business deals whispered over afternoon tea.

But when the Four Seasons opens in October, the Mandarin, with its 524 rooms and suites, will face a rival across the street for the first time. The new harborfront hotel will tout 400 rooms, more than 500 serviced apartments and what is claimed will be a world-class restaurant and spa.

The Four Seasons' debut marks a new era for Hong Kong Island luxury hotels, and is likely to raise the bar even higher for elite accommodation city-wide. To keep up, the Mandarin will undergo a total overhaul for the first time since opening in 1963. Closing in late December, it will re-open at an unspecified date next year, when the US$110 million (HK$858 million) project is finished.

On top of this, Hongkong Land, sister company of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, will open the Landmark Mandarin in August - which it claims is the city's first boutique hotel - with 115 trendy rooms near the downtown Landmark shopping center. The impact of the two hotel groups' rivalry will go deeper than fabrics and furniture: it could revitalize the core of downtown Hong Kong.

Bars with drawbridges and floating lotus plants, two-story spas and a trove of valuable Chinese art: these and more will augment Central's opulence and pizzazz. The developments are expected to attract more luxury stores and mainland tourists with disposable income downtown. (Louis Vuitton and Gucci open Asian flagship stores in the Landmark this year.) As Central goes even more upmarket, hotel prices in Hong Kong are expected to rise.

To compete in a city renowned for the exacting standards of its luxury hotels is a test even for Four Seasons. The fastidiousness of Hong Kong five-stars harks back to the colonial era, when expatriates looked to the Peninsula Hotel and the Mandarin for reliable fine dining. Other particularities guests expect, such as Rolls-Royce limousines waiting at the airport, also draw on this colonial tradition. But the Four Seasons has adapted its international business model to Hong Kong's quirks.

General manager William Mackay has hired one French and another Chinese designer to decorate rooms in contrasting styles. The hotel has purchased artwork mostly from the mainland. It will boast "the best urban spa Asia has," a five-star French restaurant, and service that enraptures guests, promises Mackay.

The Mandarin and Four Seasons each have their strengths. For the Mandarin, it is heritage. "We understand our oriental heritage," says Michael Hobson, the Mandarin's sales and marketing director. "This oriental heritage is very different from vanilla luxury - or luxury that's consistent from location to location. We like to have chocolate sauce on our vanilla luxury."

Recently, though, customers have begun to gripe about its aging interior. The renovation will enclose balconies and enlarge guestrooms. But Hobson insists the lobby and restaurants will not be allowed to lose their antique feel.

"Clearly with the new hotel opening, it's time to refurbish our hotel," he says.

"Where we may have been criticized for having an aging footprint, this will no longer be an issue after the refurbishment."

As for the new Landmark Mandarin, it will be as bold as the Mandarin is refined. Its rooms will feature plasma TV screens and large bathrooms with two sinks and a television. The first-floor bar will have a relaxing "zen-like" feel during the day. At night, it will morph into one of Hong Kong's hippest, "sexiest" clubs.

The 21,000-square-foot multi-story spa will offer more sauna techniques than any spa this side of Turkey, says general manager Susanne Hatje. She is confident that, given the penchant of international travelers for small "boutique" hotels, the concept will catch on here, just as it has in New York and London.

In contrast to the Mandarin, the Four Seasons has no historic foothold in Hong Kong. Instead, it will bank on its international customer base and reputation for superlative service. Sight unseen, guests have already booked its two unfinished ballrooms through the end of the year, says Mackay.

Some investment banks and law firms that have long-term relationships with Four Seasons have switched their Hong Kong corporate packages away from other hotels. Mackay anticipates nearly full occupancy immediately.

"There's an evolving aspirational middle class in China that will increasingly look for high-end experiences, and this includes luxury travel. We believe we are a brand that an aspiring Chinese person would want to stay in." The two new developments are emerging as Hong Kong hotels boast record occupancies. Tourism from the mainland and international business travel are the key drivers. Last year, the territory had more than 21.8 million visitors, up from 16.5 million in 2003.

Hotel owners also anticipate new developments such as Disney and Asia World Expo near the airport will propel sustained visitor growth.

"We haven't seen any new hotels in the market for more than 10 years. I think there's definitely capacity," says Nigel Summers, director at hotel management consulting firm Horwath. The Four Seasons should also push up five-star hotel rates across the city, he says. When the Grand Hyatt opened in Shanghai last year, its high price ceiling prompted hotels across the city to raise their room rates. As their rivalry escalates, however, management at the Mandarin and Four Seasons seem more excited than nervous.

Each expresses confidence that the competition, while intense, will not hamper business prospects.

"I really believe the cake is growing so much that there are enough slices for all of us," says Hobson.

"Competition helps everybody," says Mackay. "It is quite true that our arrival, as well as Disney's, will be refreshing the market. We're not here to kill anybody. We're here to do a thing and do it well. It's not going to be a case of survival of the fittest.

"I came here with a laptop and no one else working with me. By August 1, there will be 875 employees.

"[Opening day] is a very powerful moment. For so long the hotel exists in your head, then that dream becomes a reality."
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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:49 AM   #2
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looks nice...



But, the Deluxe Harbour View Room costs about HKD3,600 per night!
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Old June 13th, 2005, 07:45 AM   #3
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The peninsula in Kowloon is still my favourite hotel in Honkers, great service and an amazing history
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Old June 13th, 2005, 10:24 AM   #4
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mandarin need not fear... for tourism has no boundaries

------------------------
the more beds you offer today, the lesser they are tomorrow
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Old August 25th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #5
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Four Seasons Place official website:

http://www.fsphk.com/


Last edited by Aboveday; August 25th, 2005 at 06:26 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #6
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Landmark Mandarin Oriental ,Hong Kong.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #7
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the view at night must be amazing.................
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Old August 26th, 2005, 02:50 PM   #8
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how much stars have it?
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Old August 26th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New York Yankee
how much stars have it?
6 stars hotel.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #10
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Basically, 5* with the 6th self awarded
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Old August 26th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #11
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I think in Chinese society, hotel rating of 5 is the highest you can go.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 10:09 AM   #12
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Nice hotel!
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Old August 27th, 2005, 03:07 PM   #13
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amazing hotel, I am interesting how much it will be cost one day in this hotel.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #14
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AMAZING VIEW FROM THE HOTEL.
THEY ARE ALSO OPENING THIS HOTEL IN MUMBAI.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #15
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Yea I saw it a month ago.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 12:14 PM   #16
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Hong Kong's first luxury serviced suite hotel, Four Seasons Place
Opens for business with 100% occupancy

8 September 2005

Hong Kong's first luxury serviced suite hotel, Four Seasons Place at the International Finance Centre, officially welcomed its first guests on September 1 with 100% occupancy of the 180 rooms it released to market just three month previously.

Located on the 12-26/F of the 60-storey tower, these first batch studio, one and two bedroom suites designed by award winning architects Yabu Pushelberg, range from 547 sq ft to 1,490 sq ft. Monthly rentals start from HK$28,000 for a studio suite and between HK$66,000 to HK$75,000 for the two-bedrooms.

The favourable response has prompted the ifc consortium, owner and developer of the property, to fast track its leasing strategy by releasing a second batch of 154 rooms earlier than planned. These rooms designed by international architectural firm Bilkey Linas Design are located on the 27-38/F and will comprise 33 studios, 88 one bedrooms and 33 two bedrooms.

Speaking on behalf of the ifc consortium, Patrick Sit, Executive Director of Henderson Investment Limited, said: "The market has reacted extremely positively to Four Seasons Place. The demand for luxury long-stay accommodation in a prime business location like ifc, has been particularly strong from the professional and financial sectors. We are expecting this new release to be taken up quickly - possibly within the next 2 months."

Commenting on the rapid uptake of the suites, Ms Iris Chiu, Managing Director of Signature Homes said, "Our clients choose to stay with us because Four Seasons Place was specifically designed to meet their needs - a luxurious living environment coupled with exceptional facilities and personalized service managed by one of the world's leading hospitality groups, Four Seasons."

Four Seasons Place guests enjoy special in-room provisions such as the customized Four Seasons 3-layer "pillow mattress", plasma and LCD TVs, a fully equipped kitchenette and use of the 'guest-only' rooftop swimming pool, state-of-the-art gymnasium and Sky Lounge.

About Four Seasons Place

Jointly developed by the ifc consortium - Henderson Land Development Co Ltd, Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, Hong Kong and China Gas Company Ltd and Sun Chung Estate Co. Ltd - Four Seasons Place Hong Kong is set to redefine luxury long stay living in Hong Kong. As Hong Kong's first and only premium serviced suite hotel, it is located next to the Four Seasons Hotel, and has a total of 519 suites providing guests with an unparallel standard of service as well as business and lifestyle amenities.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 03:40 AM   #17
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An Instant Icon:
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong Now Open Service, Style and Sensory Delights Combine to Create an Unforgettable Experience

12 September 2005
PR Newswire (U.S.)

TORONTO, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world's leading luxury hotel company, is pleased to announce the opening of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, the second of three planned properties in China and a significant addition to the brand's growing Asian portfolio.

"Four Seasons has made dramatic entry into another of the world's great cultural and business centres, heralding a new generation of luxury hotels in Hong Kong," said Wolf Hengst, president, worldwide hotel operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "We are delighted to fly the Four Seasons banner in this city, and bring our anticipatory service to business and leisure travellers alike."

Set within the International Financial Centre (IFC), a complex that has redefined the famous Hong Kong skyline, the Hotel is also redefining service, with fresh and new dining options, a spa full of sensory surprises, function space that opens up to the sparkling city, and an international team of employees that makes every experience a personal and memorable one.

The Hotel is one of four towers of the IFC, home to some of the city's most prominent financial organizations and retailers. The IFC includes as well Four Seasons Place, Hong Kong's newest and most luxurious option for long term stay guests. Just 23 minutes from Chek Lap Kok Airport and directly on the Airport Express train route, Four Seasons is located at the hub of the city's financial and shopping district and within the city's sophisticated and centrally located transportation network.

Views of Victoria Harbour, the city, Kowloon Peninsula and The Peak are framed by floor to ceiling windows in 399 oversized bedrooms, as well as restaurants and other spaces throughout the Hotel. Reflecting the city's cultural heritage, rooms are offered in two design options: one featuring classic Asian motifs and the other more Western and contemporary. Whatever the style, the rooms are amongst the largest in Hong Kong, and are fitted out with features designed to make every stay productive, comfortable and memorable.

The Hotel's signature restaurant is Caprice, with a French menu created by Vincent Thierry and his team of chefs, fresh from the famed 3-Star Michelin Le Cinq at Four Seasons George V Paris. Caprice also offers guests three private dining rooms, and a Chef's Table. A second restaurant, Lung King Heen, offers contemporary Cantonese cuisine in a modern setting. The chic Blue Bar and quieter Lobby Lounge round out the Hotel's cuisine and beverage offering.

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is an urban oasis. From the mother-of-pearl decorated Crystal Steam Room to the Ice Fountain cool down area, Finnish sauna, Rhassoul chamber for rain showers and a private vitality pool, eighteen treatment rooms and additional manicure and pedicure rooms, The Spa offers the city's ultimate sanctuary for relaxation and pampering.

Whether guests choose to stay at the hotel to conduct business, or want to host an unforgettable event, the Hotel is equipped to meet their needs. Two harbour-facing ballrooms with eight-metre windows plus seven additional meeting rooms easily accommodate events large and small with state-of-the-art facilities and personal attention to every detail. An Executive Club floor with spectacular harbourside views offers a relaxed and productive setting for business travellers with complimentary amenities, 24-hour access to business and concierge services, and use of private boardrooms.

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong joins Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai and Four Seasons Hotel Beijing (now under construction) to offer unparalleled service in China. The expanding Four Seasons Asian portfolio also includes hotels in Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Taipei, and resorts in Langkawi, Chiang Mai and Bali, with additional properties currently in development throughout the region.

Dedicated to continuous innovation and the highest standards of hospitality, Four Seasons invented luxury for the modern traveller. From elegant surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalised 24-hour service, Four Seasons embodies a true "home away from home" for those who know and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees - people who share a single focus and are dedicated, highly skilled and inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960, Four Seasons has followed a targeted course of expansion, opening hotels in major city centers and desirable resort destinations around the world. Currently with 66 hotels in 30 countries, and more than 20 properties under development, Four Seasons will continue to be on the thinking edge of innovation, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #18
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Four Seasons sets new rental record
Top apartment rents up 16pc in quarter as business booms

11 November 2005
South China Morning Post

Four Seasons Place has set a new record for the most expensive serviced apartments in Hong Kong, asking $360,000 a month for a duplex penthouse on the waterfront at Central.

The rental, at $100 per square foot, is more than double the average of $39 for serviced apartments.

Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development yesterday launched its only two duplex penthouses - at 2,800 sq ft and 3,600 sq ft - on the top floor of their 60-storey IFC in Central. The apartments have full views of Victoria Harbour and come equipped with a roof-top pool and jacuzzi.

"Obviously that's expensive. But it will attract market interest because of its branding and location," said Jane Garnett, a director of residential services at CB Richard Ellis.

"People prefer smaller units in top developments to bigger units in less luxurious places nowadays."

However, property consultants say the choice of homes at or near $100 per square foot is limited since accommodation in the top bracket is pitched considerably lower.

A 4,050 sq ft luxury townhouse on Barker Road at the Peak costs $190,000 a month, or $47 per square foot, while a 3,388 sq ft duplex serviced apartment at the Atrium is $176,300 a month, or $52 per square foot.

Nevertheless, the developers said there were already about 10 executives queuing up to rent the units, which they expected to have let within the next four weeks.

Luxury serviced apartments have been gaining in popularity as growing business activity fuels demand for hassle-free accommodation from expatriates and locals.

Rents in the sector climbed more than 16 per cent year on year in the third quarter, following a 30 per cent jump last year, according to CB Richard Ellis.

Strong demand has buoyed Four Seasons Place, which last month scored full occupancy for its first batch of 180 rooms. More than 90 per cent of the second batch of 154 rooms is now committed, and the firm is confident the last batch of 183 rooms will be rented by the end of next month.

Average room rates were at $53 per square foot for the first batch and $56 for the second batch.

"We expect the demand for luxury long-stay accommodation in a prime business location to continue, especially from the professional and financial sectors," said Belinda Kuan Shiau-nie, a leasing director with Four Seasons Place, adding that she received more than 100 inquiries for the project each week.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #19
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four seasons is awsome...it helps that its a toronto company
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