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Asia-Pacific

Macau and Hong Kong Boom While Vietnam Slumps

Alan Woinski
August 9th, 2023 at 7:39 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • Vietnam’s condotel market remains sluggish with excess inventory, unlikely to recover before 2025.
  • Grand Ho Tram Strip casino resort introduces Ixora Ho Tram Fusion luxury residences to boost sales.
  • Guangdong, China experiences high visa applications for Macau and Hong Kong due to increased tourism.

Vietnam News said the condotel market remains in a slump due to excess inventory, with industry insiders warning that it will not recover until at least 2025. Only 122 units were sold in the second quarter of 2023, despite the government regulations granting land ownership titles to condotels. DKRA Group said the inventory of unsold units topped 42,300 in June, far exceeding the combined inventory of beach shophouses and resort villas. Sales of existing condotels have been slow this year, and developers are struggling to sell them and bear the financial costs of bank loans to develop these projects. Is anyone out there willing to say that all the news in the last few weeks shows Vietnam as a market in trouble for any type of accommodations or integrated casino resorts?

The Grand Ho Tram Strip casino resort in Vietnam, which has had so many changes of ownership and partnerships as it continues to lose money, announced the launch of Ixora Ho Tram by Fusion, a collection of luxury residences that complements the existing accommodation offer at the entertainment complex. Ho Tram Project Co Ltd said Ixora Ho Tram Fusion includes 164 condo hotel units and 46 villas. One hundred eighty-eight of them are in the rental pool program as they try to get them sold.

The GuangdongChina government said they are experiencing a record high volume of visa applications to Macau and Hong Kong, appealing to the public to avoid submitting applications during peak times as the working system is experiencing overload. Considering Macau is seeing a post-pandemic record high average daily volume of 93,000 visitors daily and Hong Kong has been very pleased with visitation, the summer holidays have been very good to the SARs.

Hyatt Hotels and Hongkong Land announced that a Hyatt affiliate entered into a management agreement with Hongkong Land for a new Hyatt Centric hotel – Hyatt Centric East CBD Chengdu. The hotel is expected to open in 2025 in the capital of Sichuan Province. That will mark the entry of the Hyatt Centric brand into China’s southwest region. The hotel will be located on the site of a famous Chengdu Pancheng steel pipe factory that was a defining part of the city’s culture and history.

Hilton announced the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Kyoto Higashiyama, marking Hilton’s third brand in Kyoto. This is also Hilton’s third hotel to open in Japan this year. They plan to open two more hotels in Kyoto next year, another DoubleTree in Kyoto Station and the Hilton Kyoto. The DoubleTree by Hilton Kyoto Higashiyama is a 10-minute taxi drive from Kyoto Station in Kyoto’s best-preserved historic district. The seven-story, 158-room hotel features an all-day dining restaurant, lounge bar, 24-hour fitness center, and public bath. There are five guest room types, including the “Japanese Room,” which is a nod to the local Kyoto culture with 46 rooms modeled after authentic Japanese living spaces. There are two 61-square-meter suites which include private saunas and rain showers.

Melbourne, Australia developer Time & Place has joined forces with real estate financiers MaxCap and the Vidor family on plans to open a $150 million boutique hotel on Melbourne’s Southbank in September 2025. The 188-room hotel will sit within the podium of a 62-level skyscraper under construction at 90 Queens Bridge Road, behind the Crown Melbourne casino complex. Above the hotel will be 367 apartments taking the tower’s total end value to $140 million. Time & Place purchased the Southbank site in October 2020 for $29 million. They are developing a 20-story commercial tower on the Hotel Lindrum site and 600 rental apartments at the Alphington Paper Mill site. The Hannah Street Hotel that is being developed will be operated by TFE Hotels, a joint venture between Toga Group and Far East Orchard. The new hotel will be part of TFE’s more upmarket Collection by TFE portfolio. The new hotel will include a neighborhood bar, restaurant, rooftop bar, and event spaces across 10 levels.

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of Presidium Sarovar Portico, Dalhousie, the newest luxury boutique hotel in Mouza Moti Tibba, in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh in India. This marks the growing presence of Sarovar’s repertoire of leisure hotels. The hotel is Sarovar’s 4th hotel in Himachal and the ninth in the Himalayan region. The hotel has 50 rooms and suites with panoramic views of the Pir Panjal range and includes private balconies. 

The Fern Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of Mysa Zinc Journey by The Fern, Nani Devati, Gujarat in India. This is the company’s 25th operational hotel in Gujarat, located a 45-minute drive from Ahmedabad. Mysa Zinc Journey offers 24 rooms and suites with a view of the golf course. The property is spread over nine acres inside the Glade One Golf Club. The resort offers multipurpose courts, spa treatments, and a pool. An all-day diner facing the golf course offers alfresco and outdoor dining.

Philippines real estate company DoubleDragon Corp said they are considering listing their Singapore-registered unit Hotel101 Global on the US Nasdaq Exchange via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. There are plenty available in the United States as the SPAC craze blew up big time, leaving investors in SPACs with completed deals with major losses and a whole selection of SPACs having deals fall apart and facing deadlines to close a transaction or give all the money back to investors. DoubleDragon said most SPACs have about $200 million available for the company they merge with. They are targeting Hotel101 to reach a valuation of up to $17 billion in the near term. The company plans to expand Hotel101 to 25 countries, including the US and China, by 2026.

Personnel News

Langham Hospitality Group announced the appointment of Lo Young to the role of Senior Vice President of Operations, China, based in the Shanghai Corporate Office for mainland China. He will also serve on the group’s executive committee. Young will oversee the company’s China portfolio of hotels and resorts. He returns to Langham as he previously served as Regional Vice President of China, Macau, and Taiwan from 2011 to 2016, leading the opening of 11 hotels in the region.

Alan Woinski
August 9th, 2023 at 7:39 AM EDT

Companies: DoubleDragon Corp., DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hongkong Land, Hotel 101, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Langham Hospitality Group, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, TFE Hotels, The Fern Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Chengdu, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Hong Kong, Kyoto, Macau, Melbourne, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam

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