SMALL Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), which has 123 member properties in Asia-Pacific, is looking to grow its regional portfolio further in important tourism destinations such as Chengdu, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City.
Victor Wong, area and development director, Asia-Pacific with SLH, told TTG Asia e-Daily that the company had identified “properties that fit the SLH model” in several destinations that drew both leisure and business traffic, such as China’s Chengdu and Xi’an, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang, and Manila in the Philippines.
“While we want to increase our presence in Asia, we will not merely go for quantity; we want fitting properties that reflect the character of SLH,” said Wong, explaining that qualified member hotels and resorts must have no more than 200 keys, a great location, a unique character that differentiates them from chain hotels, and offer personalised activities and value-added experiences for guests.
“Take for instance Pins De La Brume Hotel in Hangzhou, China, which joined us in May. It has only 42 keys and works with a nearby tea plantation to offer SLH guests exclusive activities such as introductions to the various tea grades and guided cycling tours with lunch with a local family,” he said.
Quality growth is now all the more possible for SLH due to an increasing selection of unique, small-scale hotels and resorts in Asia, according to Wong.
“In the past, Asian hotel developers tended to interpret luxury as gold-plated everything. However, the second-generation developers who have taken over their parents’ business were educated overseas and have travelled the world. They understand the boutique concept and dare to blend this with local elements.
“(The trend towards luxury boutique properties is also encouraged) by the rapid real estate development across China, which has left some hotel developers with only small plots of land, as massive ones have been granted to industrial, commercial and residential projects. Working with what they have, the new generation of Chinese developers today are building smaller, unique properties,” he said.