Luxury Demand Drives Asia to Supply Luxury Hotels
PHOTO: The Amandayan adds a luxury option in the scenic area of Lijiang in China’s Yunnan Province. (Courtesy of Aman)
The continued high demand for luxury travel has been ongoing for so long that soon we will have to stop calling it a trend and seeing it as a steady presence. In Asia, where the growth of internal luxury markets combines with luxury travel demand from outside, there is a constant need to add supply to meet demand. New luxury continues to come to Asian hospitality in hotels that are appearing at a rapid pace. New properties include resorts both on the sea and in the mountains as well as business hotels in both city centers and on the outside of cities.
Meetings and conventions are the targeted markets for the closely watched developments at Yanqi Island, located outside of Beijing at Yanqi Lake, a scenic area at the foot of the Yan Mountains. The gradual opening of Yanqi Lake’s facilities began last November, six days after the APEC China 2014 meeting closed on Yanqi Island. The development is surrounded by a variety of attractions including the Mutianyu Great Wall, Hongluo Temple, Qinglong Gorge and Baiquan Mountain.
The total destination comprises a total of 14 hotels located on the lakeshore and on Yanqi Island, with 14,069 square meters of meeting space, a conference center, 14 restaurants and bars, 14 spas, a private marina, and a nine-story pagoda.
The 306-room Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing sits in a 21-floor hotel and offers nine restaurants and bars. The hotel's 1,850-square-meter, pillar-free Kempinski Grand Ballroom accommodates up to 1,400 delegates in a theatre set-up. For smaller-scale events, the ballroom can be divided into three separate ballrooms. The property features a spa and such fitness facilities as outdoor tennis courts, a fully-equipped gymnasium, and a 26-meter pool, as well as relaxation areas, hot and cold plunge pools, saunas, and steam rooms.
Aman opened its third Chinese hotel in a historic town in northwestern Yunnan. The Amandayan is located on a hill in Lijiang overlooking the UNESCO-rated Old Town. The 35-suite property uses traditional Nakhi courtyard buildings that each contain between five and eight suites, making them suitable for families and groups.
The suites use Nakhi fabrics and have terraces that offer views of Lijiang, the surrounding countryside and mountains. The Nakhi people are an ethnic minority based in Lijiang.
The resort is home to a preserved Wenchang Palace set in a traditional courtyard dating back to 1725. The courtyard features hundred-year-old trees and ornate carvings and colorful paintings along the rooftops and buildings. The Palace was used as the examination hall for Confucian scholars taking the entrance examinations to enter the Chinese civil service.
Dining options include The Lounge serving Western and Asian cuisines; Man Yi Xuan serving Yunnanese and Cantonese cuisines; and the Tea House serving traditional Chinese snacks and tea. Amandayan's spa comprises six treatment rooms, each with a separate relaxation area.
The two double wet treatment rooms have heated stone tables, steam rooms, shower areas and round wooden bathtubs. The spa courtyard complex has a 65-foot pool, which is heated year round. Aman’s other Chinese properties include Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing and Amanfayun in Hangzhou.
Outside of China
In January, the Club Med Finolhu Villas opened in the Maldives with 52 villas on a lagoon on the island of Gasinolhu. The Finolhu Villas uses energy-saving architecture, offering sunrise and sunset accommodations. Each bungalow provides complete privacy and water views, personal plunge pools, open-air atmospheres and more. The resort is the third installment in Club Med’s Villas and Chalets category, the brand’s most exclusive and upscale lodging. The villas have direct sea access, private pools and terraces as well as personal butlers. Breakfast and afternoon tea is served on the terraces.
The resort offers fine dining at the Motu restaurant, as well as a Club Med Spa by ILA offering organic treatments. The private island also features a bar and main pool with live music, as well as a fitness center and retail boutique. Watersports such as snorkeling and kayaking are included, and for an additional cost couples can go scuba diving, jet skiing and parasailing or discover the Maldives by plane, boat or underwater through exclusive excursions such as sunset dining cruises and private tours with lobster lunch. Guests will also have complimentary access to Club Med’s Kani resort and all its facilities, which is only a five-minute boat ride away.
With 654 rooms, The South Beach, designed by Philippe Starck, will bring a lot more capacity to the Lion City when it opens in Singapore sometime in late spring. The entire South Beach mixed use project will be fully completed in 2016.
A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, it’s located in central Singapore near the Esplanade MRT Station. It’s also connected to Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre via an aero-bridge. The hotel will have an exclusive Ladies’ Floor with additional security features and services just for women. The South Beach also offers 19 meeting rooms of various sizes and a Business Centre suitable for conferences and workshops.
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