China Hotel News
The Hong Kong-based hotel group Marco Polo Hotels has launched a premium brand targeted at upscale travelers in Greater China. One hotel is already open in Chengdu and four more are under development.
Marco Polo Hotels is a Hong Kong-based hotel management company. The hotel group operates 13 upscale hotels in Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines.
Four hotels are under development, and two hotels are scheduled to open this year. By 2018, the Marco Polo portfolio will reach 18.
Founded in 1986, the group is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Wharf Holdings.
There are currently three Marco Polo hotels in Hong Kong, the Marco Polo Hong Kong, the Gateway, and the Prince.
There are also Marco Polo hotels in the following Chinese travel destinations: Beijing, Wuhan, Xiamen, Jinjiang, Shenzhen, Lingnan Tiandi, Foshan, and Changzhou.
Philippine properties are located in Cebu, Davao, and Manila.
Niccolo by Marco Polo was recently added to the group’s portfolio as premium brand.
The first Niccolo hotel opened in Chengdu in April 2015. It is located within International Finance Square (IFS) in the centre of the city.
Two more Niccolo hotels will open this year: one in Chongqing and another in Hong Kong.
The Niccolo brand is targeted at "the growing maturity and sophistication of the luxury hotel sector in China".
Chengdu was chosen as the launch site for the brand because it has become "the most successful economy of any city in mainland China.
The brand was named "Best Luxury Hotel Brand of the Year" at the 2016 Asia Hotel Awards last September.
Interview with Steven Wang
Steven Wang is Director of Sales and Marketing at the Niccolo Chongqing, which is scheduled to open in August 2017.
Located within an integrated commercial and residential complex, the hotel will have 252 rooms and 21 suites.
I interviewed Steven by email. Excerpts of our interview follow:
Accidental Travel Writer (ATWHK): Can you brief me on Marco Polo’s presence in China?
Steven Wang (SW): Marco Polo Xiamen was the first hotel in the group to open in China in 1996 with 300 suites and guest rooms, following which the group opened hotels in Shenzhen in 2006, Beijing in 2007, Wuhan in 2008, Jinjiang in 2010, Foshan in 2012, and Changzhou in 2014.
ATWHK: What about Niccolo?
SW: The group made its foray into the upper luxury space when it launched its luxury brand Niccolo, named after Marco’s father, in Chengdu in 2015, where it maintains its position as market leader ahead of competitors.
ATWHK: How many properties does Marco Polo currently have in China?
SW: With a current portfolio of 7 Marco Polo hotels in China and one more to open in Changsha in 2018, and one Niccolo property in Chengdu with three more opening in Chongqing in August 2017, and Changsha and Suzhou in 2018, the group will expand from its current collection of eight hotels offering over 2,500 rooms to 12 hotels offering over 3,200.
ATWHK: Where in Chongqing will your new hotel be located?
SW: Niccolo Chongqing, the city’s first sky hotel, is conveniently located in Jiangbeizui, Chongqing’s new Central Business District, next to the famous Chongqing Grand Theatre, and will be the second Niccolo hotel to open in the world.
ATWHK: When is it scheduled to open?
SW: It is to open in August 2017, after the successful opening of Niccolo Chengdu in 2015.
ATWHK: What will make it unique?
SW: Guests will enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the city including the world-famous Chaotian Gate or “Heavenly Gate” – the dramatic junction of the Yangtze and Jialing River.
The green water from Jialing River mingles with the water from the Yangtze, creating a unique and picturesque sight.
The world’s longest arch bridge, the Chaotianmen Bridge, is also visible from the hotel.
ATWHK: Is the hotel targeted at business or leisure travelers?
SW: Niccolo Chongqing is the perfect location for business and leisure travellers due to its close proximity to these attractions and many more.
The hotel’s central location within IFS will elevate the city’s luxury retail and signature dining experiences, in a sophisticated urban chic environment.
The unique Sky Conservatory will combine skyscraper views from the dining venues and meeting spaces to become the epicentre for various events.
ATWHK: What about accommodation?
SW: The hotel features 252 spacious, chic and elegant guestrooms including 21 suites. All guest rooms are located on top of the IFS tower with panoramic sky views.
All rooms meld elements of contemporary fashion with style. The use of natural daylight, subtle and elegant earth tones combined with natural textiles and leathers accentuate the intricate detail and beauty of the interior design.
ATWHK: What other facilities will it have?
SW: The hotel will provide a fitness centre that will include a wellness spa with five treatment rooms, a 20-metre swimming pool, and a spacious gym on the 61st floor.
ATWHK: What about food and beverage?
SW: Niccolo Chongqing will offer a variety of dining experiences including Niccolo Kitchen, The Sky Bar, and The Tea Lounge, taking guests on a journey of culinary discovery with its signature cuisines as well as classic and modern cocktails.
ATWHK: What about meeting facilities?
SW: With ten function rooms the spacious Niccolo Ballroom and stunning Conservatory on the 62nd floor, Niccolo Chongqing will become the city’s epicentre for conferences, events, weddings and other celebrations.
Niccolo is a collection of contemporary urban chic hotels with highly prized, desirable addresses.
At heart, the Niccolo collection are discoverers and rediscoverers of luxury experiences, styles and tastes and whilst its hotels are modern sophisticated spaces, it also values the timeless pleasures of impeccable hospitality from another golden era in travel.
Underpinning everything is the desire to make life effortlessly luxurious for its guests, leaders in style and captains of industry.
ATWHK: Are more Niccolo hotels in the pipeline?
SW: A Niccolo hotel called The Murray will open in Hong Kong later this year.
Two Niccolo hotels are scheduled to open in China in 2018, one in Changsha and another in Suzhou.
The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel,
Opening in October 2017, The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel Hong Kong, will form part of the former British Crown Colony's Conserving Central Project.
The project is part of a master plan to preserve what little is left of the city's rich architectural heritage.
The hotel will occupy the Murray Building, a free-standing office building on Cotton Tree Drive in the hear of Central on Hong Kong Island. The hotel will have 336 rooms across 27 floors.There will be several restaurants and bars. Among the food and beverage outlets will be a roofrop bar with stunning views of Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour, and the Kowloon Peninsula.
Other Niccolo hotels are under development in Changsha and Suzhou.