Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) today signed a contract to manage its first resort hotel in China. The 151-room Millennium Hangzhou Resort is situated in a forested hillside in Jiuxi Ping Feng or Nine Creek Mountain in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
The 5-star resort is located within a tranquil tea plantation, famous for growing Chinese teas like the Longjing or Dragon Well Tea and is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2013.
Since the successful entry into China in 2006, M&C has expanded its footprint with 6 other properties – Millennium Hotel Chengdu, Millennium Harbourview Hotel Xiamen, Millennium Hotel Wuxi, Copthorne Hotel Qingdao and the luxury Grand Millennium Beijing Hotel. It also operates the 329-room serviced apartment complex Millennium Residences Beijing Fortune Plaza, located in the capital’s CBD.
Over the next three years, M&C will continue its expansion into China with two other new properties located in popular tourist and business destinations – M Hotel Chengdu in Sichuan Province (194 rooms), and Millennium Fuqing in Fujian Province (510 rooms). Together with Millennium Hangzhou Resort, these new properties will add 855 rooms to M&C’s current portfolio in China.
This current phase of expansion will see a total of M&C’s hospitality portfolio increase to 10 properties in China with over 3,500 rooms.
“This is in line with M&C’s strategy of expanding its footprint in China by owning, or managing hotels in the world’s fastest growing economy and potentially the largest global tourist market,” said M&C Chairman, Mr. Kwek Leng Beng at the signing ceremony for Millennium Hangzhou Resort, today (27 September 2012) at the Tower Club on the top floor of Republic Plaza, Singapore.
For the Chinese owners, Shanghai Seagull Holding Group, today’s signing of the management contract is its second with M&C. The Millennium Hongqiao Hotel in Shanghai, which it owns, was also M&C’s first hotel that it managed in China in 2006.
Shanghai Seagull Holding Group President, Mr. Yang Weijian speaking at the signing ceremony said, “We have a strong and established long-term relationship with M&C since the signing of Millennium Hongqiao in 2006. Since then, the results have been impressive. The hotel has won various awards and has made an outstanding mark among Shanghai’s many other 5-star hotels.”
M&C also announced that it will also expand in Taiwan soon when Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung opens there next month. Located in downtown Taichung, the 267-room hotel aims at business and leisure travelers, offering convenient access to major travel links including business, shopping and cultural attractions. With a population of over 2.6 million people, Taichung is Taiwan’s third largest city after Taipei and Kaohsiung. M&C currently owns Grand Hyatt Taipei.
Following the signing ceremony, Chairman Mr. Kwek disclosed that M&C was committed to refurbishing its major properties as part of its global strategy to stay ahead of the competition. “We have committed and have already begun refurbishing works of M&C’s hotels in gateway cities,” said Mr. Kwek.
M&C expects to spend more than S$360 million (US$300 million) in refurbishing several of its global properties where some have been completed or in progress, while plans are being developed for others. These include Millennium UN Plaza (recently re-branded to ONE UN) which this month completes the first phase of a three-part major renovation; Millennium Minneapolis, another M&C property in the US; Millennium Mayfair in London; and Grand Hyatt Taipei in Asia.
“Our asset management strategy has delivered good returns on investment, and has made us even more competitive. Although we cannot be immune to the ongoing Euro crisis and global economic uncertainty, we are well-positioned to take advantage of strategic opportunities,” added Mr. Kwek.
“M&C’s refurbishment plans together with other asset management initiatives will help the Group sustain and improve on our strong financial performance,” he said.