With three well-established properties anchoring its portfolio and two more hotels opening this year, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is progressing swiftly on a strategic plan to establish itself as the premier luxury hospitality brand in China.
“More business and leisure travellers are visiting China than ever before, and with that comes increased expectations for superior service and product of the highest quality,” says Kathleen Taylor, president and COO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “And critically, as the Chinese travel more frequently within the country and around the world, they’ll look for a brand they already know, and can trust. Our goal is to make Four Seasons the number-one choice of travellers to, from and within China.”
Four Seasons in China: Strategic Growth
Four Seasons entered the Chinese market in 2002 with the opening of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai, and more recently, opened hotels in Hong Kong and Macau. Two new hotels in the flourishing cities of Hangzhou and Guangzhou are poised to open this year, while nine additional properties – including the company’s first two resorts in China – are already in development.
“The importance of China as both an inbound and outbound market cannot be underestimated, and we believe that the current rapid growth in travel, encouraged in part by more accessible travel visas, will continue. China has been part of our plan for more than a decade, and will continue to be a critical component of our growth strategy in the future,” notes Taylor.
Four Seasons in China Today
Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai – opened 2002 – Located downtown in this long-time trading capital, the 422-room Hotel established Four Seasons in China. Welcoming Shanghai World Expo visitors from around the world this year, the Hotel recently unveiled Qin The Spa, which features both modern therapies and traditional Chinese medicine.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong – opened 2005 – Part of the landmark International Finance Centre (IFC) complex, with 399 rooms and sweeping views of the city skyline, the Hotel ranks as a top choice for business travellers. With its extensive spa and outdoor pool oasis, it is a favourite of vacationers as well as local residents. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong has the distinction of being the only hotel in the world to offer two restaurants with three Michelin stars each: the French restaurant Caprice, and the Cantonese restaurant Lung King Heen, which is the only three-star Chinese restaurant in the world.
Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip – opened 2008 – Unique in this emerging destination, the Hotel is a family-friendly, non-gaming hotel situated in the midst of Macau’s vibrant entertainment and shopping scene. With nods to the city’s 400-year history as a Portuguese port, its ancient Chinese roots and its modern rebirth as a leisure destination, Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip offers everything today’s travellers could wish for, including 360 rooms, several pools and a Michelin two-star restaurant, Zi Yat Heen.
Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake – opening late summer 2010 – On the shores of historic and beautiful West Lake, in a village-like setting amid traditional water gardens, this resort-like hotel is just minutes from business and shopping in Hangzhou, and is easily accessed by train from Shanghai. Intimate at just 81 rooms and villas, Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake will feature several pools and a comprehensive spa. Its signature restaurant, Jin Sha, will offer 11 private dining rooms terraced over a lagoon, with willow-veiled views of West Lake.
Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou – opening late 2010 – Located in the Zhuijiang financial district on the banks of the Pearl River, the Hotel promises to be both a visual and experiential standout. At an iconic 103 stories, it will be the city’s tallest landmark. A lobby atrium on the 70th floor soars up more than 30 stories, while the spa, 344 rooms, restaurants and the 99th-floor Cloud Bar will offer glittering views of the city and beyond.
Looking Ahead: Seven Hotels and Two Resorts Now Under Construction
Shanghai at Pudong – opening late 2011 – The second Four Seasons property in Shanghai will be a business-oriented hotel in the Pudong district. Within walking distance of numerous commercial office buildings, including the Jin Mao Tower, the Hotel will be part of the new 48-storey 21st Century Tower, with close to 200 guest rooms and suites, plus 60 private residences.
Beijing (Chaoyang) – opening late 2011/2012 – Part of a complex that will include four towers of hotel rooms, private apartments and offices, the first of two new Four Seasons in Beijing will be a pied-à-terre in the capital for discerning travellers from China and beyond. Located in the Chaoyang district, the Hotel will feature more than 300 rooms, Chinese and Italian restaurants and several lounges, a full-service spa and fitness centre, and comprehensive meeting spaces.
Shenzhen – opening 2012 – This 26-storey tower in a new mixed-use development in the Futian Commercial Business District will offer panoramic views of the surrounding area and a restaurant dedicated to local Guangdong cuisine, among other features.
Qingdao – opening 2013/2014 – Located in Shandong province, Qingdao is a modern metropolis, important economic centre and major seaport. The Hotel will be located on the waterfront, known to fans worldwide as the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics’ sailing events. The new Hotel will feature more than 200 rooms, plus 80 serviced apartments, several restaurants and lounges, and a pool and destination spa.
Hainan at Shenzhou Peninsula – opening 2013/2014 – Designed as a tropical oasis, the Resort’s sea and landscape views are just one component of a resort concept based on physical and mental regeneration. A haven for comfort and style, the Resort will include, among many other features, a series of spa villas.
Hainan at Sanya – opening 2014 – Already popular with golfers and honeymooners, this resort city in southern China will be the site of a new Four Seasons, which will be designed as a community of villas and low-rise buildings. Among its other features, the Resort will offer a beach restaurant and a ballroom suitable for both business retreats and destination weddings.
Suzhou – opening 2014 – With an urban resort feel, this property will be located on a small private island in Jinji Lake, close to Suzhou’s business district. The Hotel will feature more than 200 guest rooms, including garden suites, plus a wide range of recreation options, including indoor pool, tennis and programming for children and teens. In addition, 125 serviced apartments will be part of the complex.
Beijing (Financial Street) – opening 2014 – The second Four Seasons in Beijing is planned as a 225-room hotel amid a complex that will also have commercial offices and residences.
Tianjin – opening 2014 – The Hotel will be housed in a tower that will also feature Four Seasons private residences. This tower will be part of a complex that will also include a commercial office tower and retail stores.
“Our priority is to hire the right people to deliver the personalised service our brand is known for as we continue to bring authentic local experiences to travellers from China and around the world. We look forward to a prosperous future for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in China,” concludes Taylor.