Golden Week started off with a bang in the SAR with Hong Kong reporting 165,000 people crossed the border into the city on the first day while more than 110,000 tourists from the Mainland left Hong Kong, complaining of soaring hotel prices and praising the convenience of the high-speed rail for making short visits. The South China Morning Post said the number of overnight stays was also affected by the medium- and long-haul passenger flights not yet reaching pre-pandemic levels. The Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners said hotels located near popular tourist destinations reached occupancy rates of 90% or higher. Over in Macau, more than 100,000 visitors arrived each day on Saturday and Sunday, despite the Macau Government Tourism Office predicting only 70,000 people a day would be crossing the border. ForwardKeys said Macau is the top destination for Chinese travelers within Asia from April 17 to May 7 with bookings up 11% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019 versus a -32% decline in Hong Kong.
Macau’s hotel occupancy rate was up 33.9 percentage points year over year in the first quarter of 2023 to 74.7%. The number of guests rose 96.3% to 2.7 million. The average room occupancy rate was 77% in March with the occupancy rate of 5-star hotels at 77.2%.
The South China Morning Post said Magnificent Hotel Investment plans to spend up to HK$2 billion to increase the number of rooms in its portfolio by a third. The company is not looking to pay up as they said the price they are offering represents a large discount, 30% to 40% down from the prices of three years ago. Magnificent already owns nine hotels with seven in Hong Kong, one each in Shanghai and London. If they accomplish their goal, they could have 4,000 keys which would make it one of the five largest hotel operators in HK. Their latest acquisition was the Bay Bridge Lifestyle Retreat, a 435-room waterfront hotel in the New Territories overlooking Tsing Ma Bridge.
Singapore Hotels’ average room rate, RevPAR and occupancy rates dipped in March. Overall room revenue rose to the highest since November 2022 as tourist arrivals surpassed one million in the month for the first time since the pandemic. ARR was down -5.1% in March from February to S$264.12, the lowest rate since August 2022. Year over year that was up 39.1%. Overall hotel room revenue in March was S$371 million, up 4.7% sequentially and up almost 1.5 times year over year. Tourist arrivals were 1,021,036. That is still below the 1.7 million visitors recorded in January 2020, before the pandemic.
The Nautilus Resort, a luxury resort in Langkawi, Malaysia under the Curio Collection by Hilton brand, is expected to begin operating in March of next year. Plus Max Group of Companies said the 250-room five-star resort in the middle of Cenang Beach, is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Plus Max is a co-investor in the resort.
The Rosewood Ranfaru in the Maldives is expected to open in 2027, stretched across a striking chain of private islands around a pristine lagoon in the South Male Atoll, situated less than an hour away from Velana International Airport in Male. The Rosewood Ranfaru will offer approximately 120 beachfront and overwater villas, ranging in size from one to five bedrooms, all with private pools and a select number located on private islands. There will be several specialty restaurants, a beach club, and an Asaya well-being facility and fitness center as well as numerous swimming pools, paddle courts and an array of water sports. The resort is being developed by Estithmar Holding.
The Park Hyatt Tokyo announced it will close for renovations starting May 7, 2024 with an expected completion date sometime in the second quarter of 2025. The hotel had planned renovations to coincide with its thirtieth anniversary in 2024, originally scheduled to happen after the Tokyo Olympics but then the pandemic happened.
The Ascott Limited is contemplating a franchise base model as they continue their move to more asset-light. They now have a spotlight on India with plans to double the inventory of 5,600 units they already have. Their merger with Oakwood will enable them to grow much faster in the country. They will use their serviced apartments and extended stay to grow, make their occupancy steady, breaking costs lower and generate higher returns. Ascott said they have been witnessing over 85% occupancy across their six properties in India the past six months.
Sands China will launch its rebranded resort, The Londoner Macao, with a grand celebration on May 25. The Londoner Macao comprises five hotels, including the flagship The Londoner Hotel. The former Sands Cotai Central has been undergoing a rebranding process since 2021. The hotels will offer nearly 6,000 rooms in total, over 20 dining options, boutiques from 150 brands, and 34,300 square meters of meeting and convention space including the new 6,000-seat The Londoner Arena and 1,700-seat The Londoner Theater. The top two floors of The Londoner Hotel include the 14 invitation-only Suites by David Beckham which are Macau’s first celebrity-designed suites.
In June, SJM will open the 271-room Karl Lagerfeld Hotel on Cotai in Macau. The project was initially unveiled in 2014 but was delayed for various reasons including the pandemic. The Karl Lagerfeld is part of the Grand Lisboa Palace luxury development. Located in a 20-story tower, the five-star Lagerfeld hotel has spacious rooms and suites ranging from 650 square feet to 3,750 square feet with headboards on king-sized beds inspired by Chinese coins and vases handmade in Jingdezhen. The Book Lounge features some 4,000 volumes as part of the décor.
Following ASAI Chinatown, the ASAI that made its debut in Thailand in 2020, the second ASAI property, ASAI Bangkok Sathorn is opening in May 2023. The hotel is managed by Dusit International, located on Sathorn Soi 12 and has 106 guestrooms and two restaurants.
Indian Hotels Company said they plan to add another 20 hotels to its domestic portfolio in FY24 and another 2-3 internationally while they are on track to reach a total of 300 hotels by 2025. They opened 16 new hotels in FY23 and in the current fiscal they intend to open another 20 hotels in India across their Taj, Vivanta, SeleQtions and Ginger brands in major locations. They are opening a Taj hotel in Vikhroli in Mumbai with Godrej Group and a new Ginger at Santacruz in Mumbai. The Taj will be a management contract and the Ginger wholly-owned by the company. IHCL is also looking to open about 2-3 hotels in Bhutan, Sri Lanka, or Nepal as well as opening hotels in global destinations.
Marriott International’s Tribute Portfolio has welcomed the addition of Mulberry Shades Bengaluru, Nandi Hills. The property is nestled at the foot of the historic Nandi Hills and is a 25-minute drive from the Kempegowda International Airport. The 102-key property is the 18th property to join Marriott’s portfolio of brands in the city. The Prestige Group owns the hotel. The resort includes three restaurants, the Ksema Spa, banquet space measuring 2,200 square feet, a pre-function area and Aurora the poolside deck measuring 1,000 square feet. There also is an outdoor lawn measuring 2,600 square feet for events.