Asia the key for Pentahotels’ expansion strategy

PENTAHOTELS is planning to unveil a total of 80 properties worldwide by 2020, with 60 per cent of the openings in Asia and the rest in Europe.

Sonia Cheng, CEO of Hong Kong-based New World Hospitality, which owns the Pentahotels brand, said: “Half of the expansion in Asia will take place in China. We will look into first-, second- and even third-tier cities. In some major cities, we will even target having three or four hotels due to the high growth. Our business model in China is to (focus on) hotel management, so we will work with local developers and owners for upcoming expansions. Still, we plan to own and manage 30 per cent of the new hotels in China.”

Apart from its two existing properties in China, which include the recently rebranded Pentahotel Beijing (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 7, 2011) and Pentahotel Shanghai, the group will launch a 197-room hotel in Guiyang next year and a 390-room hotel in Shenyang in 2014. Future properties will be located in urban centres, convention and exhibition complexes, airports and rail stations, Cheng revealed.

Hong Kong’s first pentahotel will debut in summer 2013 in East Kowloon near Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Built, owned and managed by the group, this 32-storey hotel is set to be the largest pentahotel property with 720 rooms.

“As a design-led hotel, it’s different from traditional hotels. We don’t have a large lobby but stylish settings to woo the young at heart. We are aiming the FITs and digital nomads, as well as entrepreneurs who work nearby,” said Cheng.

Rates for pentahotel Hong Kong are not yet available but they will be much higher than Shanghai and Beijing where rates average around US$70, Cheng said.

Highlighting the role of travel experts in pentahotels’ development, the group’s vice president of sales and marketing, Dexter Chia, said: “We have developed a lot of travel (consultant) support for pentahotels in Shanghai and Beijing. When pentahotel Kowloon joins sister hotels in Shanghai and Beijing, business will be mutually reinforced through ‘road warriors’ who travel between these cities.

“Hong Kong travel (consultants) may not yet be familiar with the penta concept, so we’ll be arranging trial stays when pentahotel Kowloon opens and encourage bookings through incentives.”

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