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European-style luxury in Hainan

By Ma Zhenhuan in Haikou | China Daily | Updated: 2012-03-19 14:00

European-style luxury in Hainan

Hong Kong's Langham Hospitality Group is further enhancing its presence in South China by bringing its unique European-style of luxury hospitality with a new 240-room hotel in Haikou, capital of Hainan province, China's top international tourist island.

"If you look at how our business has grown, half of our hotels are in China - that's where the opportunities are," Brett Butcher, CEO of LHG, said at a recent signing ceremony for the Langham hotel.

Set to open in 2014, the 240-room Langham Haikou is located at the new central business district of the city, close to the city government offices and marina. Occupying the top floors of the Zhonghuan International Plaza that includes commercial and retail space, it boasts magnificent views of the South China Sea.

"Hainan is a very high-profile province in China and the Chinese central government has offered a lot opportunities (to encourage international tourism)," Butcher said. "I think the location of our new hotel in Haikou will be the best here."

He said that he is confident that the LHG, which combines European-style luxury and a strong connection with China, will further tap the nation's massive tourism market.

"Half of our business are now in China and we are unique in the hospitality business," he said.

"LHG is a Hong Kong-based company, so our roots are in China - that's quite different from other major international hotel brands. Such a combination is powerful as we believe that Chinese like a European luxury and we can also do business in a very comfortable way with our Chinese partners."

LGH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Eagle Holdings founded in 1963 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972. It takes its name from the legendary Langham in London that was opened in 1865 as Europe's first Grand Hotel.

It operates a family of hospitality brands including hotels, resorts, residential serviced apartments in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America. They include the luxurious Langham and international five-star Langham Place, the upscale Eaton Luxe and the mid-market Eaton Smart.

There are now 31 LHG member hotels open or in the pipeline across the globe, with over half in China.

Looking ahead, Brett said he is confident that LHG's strong management expertise will be vital in the group's future expansion, targeting luxury to mid-range hotels.

"I think in the long term, we will manage many more hotels than our self-owned ones," he said.

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