Featured in this Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 29 September 2006
Thailand's New Airport
New Hotel With Private Path To The Great Wall Of China
Two New Luxury Hotels In Hong Kong
Shangri-La Taps 3-Star Market With Novotel Deal In Hong Kong
China Post Plans To Sell All Hotels In China
Destination Properties Acquires Family Beach Resort In Phuket, Thailand
Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 29 September 2006

Thailand's New Airport Return to Headlines

The opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok's new international airport gives new impetus to the country's quest to make Bangkok and Thailand the aviation hub of the region. During the initial phase of operation, the north section of the airport will accommodate 45 million passengers per year, 76 flights per hour and three million tons of cargo handling per year. After the final phase, this will rise to 100 million passengers a year. At 563,000 square metres, the passenger terminal is currently the largest in the world. The airport also features the world's longest runway, 75.3 metres by 4,000 metres long and the world's tallest control tower at 132.2 metres high. Suvarnabhumi Airport is located at on the east-bound Bangna-Trat Highway in Bang Phli district, east of Bangkok and approximately 25 kilometres from the metropolis. As of 28 September 2006, Suvarnabhumi Airport replaces Don Muang airport as Bangkok's primary airport for all commercial airline flights. Suvarnabhumi Airport is operated by The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT). In addition to the new Bangkok international airport, AOT operates four other international airports in Thailand: Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket and Chiang Rai.

New Hotel With Private Path To The Great Wall Of China Return to Headlines

A new modernist hotel with private access to an unrestored section of the Great Wall of China opened in October 2006. The Commune by the Great Wall Kempinski is located in the Shuiguan Mountains, one hour's drive from Beijing. The Commune has existed since 2002 as a collection of contemporary villas designed by 12 Asian architects. It first opened as both a boutique hotel and semi-architectural museum and became a showcase of contemporary Chinese and Asian architecture. The owner, Ms. Zhang Xin won a special award at the 2002 Biennale di Venezia for an individual patron of architectural works. Kempinski Hotels took over the management of the hotel in 2005 and together with Ms Xin, have increased the hotel capacity to 42 villas and 236 rooms and suites. The 21 new villas are dotted among eight square kilometres of private land and offer spectacular views of The Great Wall. The villas range in size from four to six bedrooms, each with ensuite bathrooms. The hotel also features a Club House with two restaurants serving local specialities from five regions of China, a bar and private dining rooms, a Kids Club, and an Anantara Spa.

Two New Luxury Hotels In Hong Kong Return to Headlines

Two luxury hotels will open in Kowloon in the next few years, raising the bar for hotel operators in this burgeoning part of the city. The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, will be set on the upper 15 floors of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), while Starwood Group's W Hotel will make its Hong Kong debut next door in Union Square. The Ritz-Carlton group believes that the property, 480 metres above the ground, will be "a showcase of contemporary design and the highest hotel in the world". The signature Ritz-Carlton Club level will offer sweeping harbour views, complimentary 24-hour food and dedicated butler or concierge services. Set to open in 2009, the 300-room hotel will include three fine-dining restaurants, a lobby lounge and bar and about 1,200 square metres for meetings and banquets, including a 650 square metre grand ballroom. The top floor will hold indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a spa. The W Hotel is scheduled to open in early 2008 and will contain 383 rooms, a rooftop bar, three restaurants, spa and health club, W Retail shop and extensive meeting facilities.

Shangri-La Taps 3-Star Market With Novotel Deal In Hong Kong Return to Headlines
Shangri-La Asia, the largest hotel operator in Asia, may move into the three-star tourist market for the first time with the acquisition of the 274-room Novotel Century Harbourview Hong Kong in Western district for US$75 million. The hotel, managed by Novotel’s parent Accor, is being bought by a joint venture in which Shangri-La Asia and Kerry Properties will each hold 30 per cent and their corporate parent Kerry Holdings will own the remainder of shares. Shangri-La has 49 hotels operating under the five-star Shangri-La and four-star Traders brands. With a surge in tourist arrivals to Hong Kong from the mainland, Hong Kong's hotel operators are enjoying a banner year. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the average hotel room rate in August was US$118 a night, up 18 per cent from a year earlier. It said the average occupancy rate climbed three percentage points to 89 per cent, even as the number of hotel rooms on offer rose 3.4 per cent. Shangri-La and its partners are paying US$270,000 per room, or US$605 per square foot for the acquisition.

China Post Plans To Sell All Hotels In China Return to Headlines
China Post is planning to sell all of its hotels in China as it plans to restructure its business. China Post owns several hundred hotels all over the country, ranging from two-star to five-star, but most of these hotels have faced mounting losses in recent years. China Post says it will receive about US$1.25 billion by selling these hotels. Due to most of China Post's hotels positioned below the 3-star level and spread around China, this should be a good opportunity for budget hotel chains to purchase decent properties. However, there are still several disadvantages for many of these hotels. Most of them relied too much in the past on China Post and therefore lack independence in making management decisions.

Destination Properties Acquires Family Beach Resort In Phuket, Thailand Return to Headlines
Destination Properties Co., Ltd. has announced its acquisition of Felix Resort, a 125 room beachfront resort in Karon Beach, Phuket. The property will be branded with an international operator yet to be announced. The resort has 125 rooms with beachfront sea views situated at Karon Beach, which is the second largest of Phuket's principal tourist beaches and one of the most popular. The entire resort property is now being refurbished into a unique family resort destination. The renovation is to be finished by early November 2006. Karon Beach is the most up-scale of Phuket's beaches and once re-opened, the property will become a family-themed four-star resort.

Absolute Share Price Performance, as at 29 September 2006
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