Date: October 2018
Location: Ocean Park, Hong Kong
Name: The Ocean Park Marriott – opening 2019
No. of Keys: 471
Owner/Buyer: Peter Lam Kin-ngok, chairman of Lai Sun Group, which developed the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott, said on Monday the HK$5 billion (US$641 million) hotel would undergo testing and trials in the next two to three months before its grand opening.
The hotel was meant to have opened in June 2018, but was delayed because of a number of reasons including its cash-strapped contractor, Lam said without elaborating.
“It would be a bit of a rush to launch it in December,” he said, adding that the hotel would be a handy option for those who wanted to visit Ocean Park and Admiralty, a four-minute train ride away.
Rooms will cost about HK$2,100 on average.
The ballroom of the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott hotel will be able to hold at least 80 banquet tables.
Contractor Hsin Chong Construction, which started work on the project in late 2014, faced financial problems early last year. It was also the contractor on the city’s visual art museum M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District art hub until it was fired in August.
The Ocean Park Marriott would help boost visitor numbers at the 41-year-old loss-making theme park, which was searching its soul for a new position in the increasingly competitive tourism sector in the “Greater Bay Area”, lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said.
The addition of the Marriott would help the park raise its game as rival Disneyland on Lantau Island added its third hotel earlier this year and was on a HK$10.9 billion expansion drive, Yiu added.
“The Marriott hotel is good in two ways – it eases the bottleneck of Hong Kong’s hotel supply and will help bring in more visitors and make them stay longer at Ocean Park,” he said.
“But in the longer run, the theme park needs to transform itself into a more competitive product as you can see competition heating up in the Greater Bay Area.”
He said the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and high-speed rail service brought the city closer to mainland China, but it also meant more competition.
The hotel, located beside the Ocean Park MTR Station, includes a ballroom of about 14,000 square feet which can hold at least 80 tables for a banquet. That would make it one of the largest and newest hotel facilities for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.
Yiu said demand for hotel beds had exceeded supply, with 80 per cent occupancy in non-peak seasons such as summer and 90 to 100 per cent during high seasons between October and the Lunar New Year, in either January or February.
The Marriott is one of two high-end hotel projects at the Wong Chuk Hang theme park, with the other, a Fullerton hotel, due for completion in 2021. A HK$2.9 billion water park attraction is slated for opening at the end of next year.
Price: HK$5bn – £490m
Price per Key: HK$10,615,711
THPT Comment: A troubled start…let’s hope it’s all plain sailing from here on in. Lai Sun entered into the hospitality business through the acquisition of Glynhill in 1989 and its partnership with the Delta Hotels Group provided immediate access across North America.
In early 1990s, the Group expanded into China through the acquisition of the Chains Hotels Group. Glynhill was renamed Lai Sun Hotels International Limited in 1995 and subsequently invested in a number of luxury hotels such as Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, Four Seasons Hotel in New York and Milan, and Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, USA.
First Seen: South China Morning Post