Never mind its small size. By all accounts, Hong Kong has a big future. Not only as an important financial hub, but also as a global meetings destination. In fact, in addition to the world’s third largest stock exchange by value, regional headquarters for hundreds of overseas companies and the world’s freest capitalist economy, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong already has more than 72,000 hotel rooms, two major convention centers and even its own Disney theme park, Hong Kong Disneyland. Considering that its land area totals just 407 square miles -- smaller than the Hawaiian island of Oahu -- that’s a lot.
But Hong Kong’s hospitality industry hasn’t topped out yet. Like the towering skyscrapers for which the Special Administrative Region of China is known, the destination’s visitor economy appears poised to continue reaching new heights thanks to a number of new and planned hotels. Here are five group-friendly properties symbolic of the growth:
• The St. Regis Hong Kong: The St. Regis Hong Kong -- Marriott International’s 7,000th property -- opened in April in Hong Kong’s busy Wan Chai district, just steps from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Designed by renowned interior designer André Fu, the property “blends architectural creativity, cultural diversity and timeless elegance,” according to it website, which calls the hotel a “residentially inspired retreat designed for business travelers and culture seekers.” That retreat includes 129 guest rooms and suites -- each of which has wood floors, a deep soaking bathtub and private butler service -- as well as three restaurants, a bar, a fitness center, a heated outdoor pool and 12,000 square feet of meeting space.
• Rosewood Hong Kong: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts made its Hong Kong debut in March with the Rosewood Hong Kong. Located within the Victoria Dockside arts, design and conceptual retail district, the 43-story waterfront hotel has 413 guest rooms and suites, including 18 signature suites that boast wraparound views of Victoria Harbour from private sky terraces that have planted landscaped gardens, sun decks with private lap pools and a dedicated, state-of-the-art private gym. There also are eight dining concepts; a two-story wellness center with an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center and a spa; a club lounge on the 40th floor with complimentary food and beverages, a bar and a game room with a pool table; and nearly 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a private landscaped lawn for outdoor events.
• Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel: The Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel opened in February on Hong Kong Island’s southern coast, where it’s adjacent to Hong Kong Ocean Park, Hong Kong’s second largest theme park behind only Hong Kong Disneyland. Along with 471 guest rooms and suites, the eco-friendly hotel has a 52-foot-tall circular aquarium in its lobby and numerous sustainable features, including an energy-saving façade designed to keep the building naturally cool in the summer, rainwater collection areas and vertical planting systems throughout the hotel. Other highlights include a spa, a gym, a large “lagoon” pool, five bars and restaurants, and 14,531 square feet of meeting space.
• Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong: This summer, Hong Kong’s Hotel VIC on the Harbour will rebrand and become the Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong, the first Hyatt Centric hotel in the Greater China region. Divided between two towers, the property has 665 guest rooms with views of the harbor, as well as an all-day dining concept, a specialty restaurant and bar, a bakery, a gym and an outdoor swimming pool on the top floor, not to mention several indoor and outdoor event spaces. Plus, the hotel is connected to the Harbour North shopping complex, where there’s a waterfront promenade, an entertainment center, and numerous shops and restaurants.
• Kimpton Hong Kong: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced last week that it has signed an agreement to open Hong Kong’s first Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants property. Although details are scarce, the South China Morning Post reports that the hotel will be part of a redevelopment of the 1960s-era Mariners’ Club in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district. It purportedly will open in 2023 with 500-some accommodations, a new Mariners’ Club, a chapel, three meetings rooms, a pool and a sky garden.