Last week, Hilton Worldwide and the Plateno Hotels Group entered into an exclusive license agreement to develop the Hampton by Hilton brand in China. As part of the agreement, Hilton is eyeing 400 Hampton hotels for the country, with the first expected to open by the end of 2015.
China currently has a low supply of 3 to 3.5-star hotels, according to Globe St. This partnership with Plateno is a bid to fill that void. The incoming Hampton pipeline will be a mix of new builds, conversions and adaptive reuse properties. Plateno Hotels Group will take charge of the development and management of these hotels.
Hilton designed a new 3-star Hampton prototype specifically to fit high-tier Chinese cities. According to the company, a consistent interior design aesthetic will distinguish Hampton by Hilton in China as a brand projecting strength, value, fun and comfort. Public areas will share the same look and function as current Hampton properties outside of the Americas, with welcome and gathering zones, bars, communal tables and on-property amenities, including fitness centers, gaming zones and 24-hour snack bars and restaurants.
“We expect that this partnership will allow us to accelerate our efforts to gain broad geographic and chain scale distribution in China, enabling us to access a large, growing customer base for both in country and outbound business,” Jim Holthouser, EVP, global brands, Hilton Worldwide, told Hotelier Middle East. “Our five existing brands in China are growing at a rapid pace, and after extensively researching the market, we’ve seen an untapped opportunity to grow in the upper economy to mid-scale category. We’re now seizing the opportunity to introduce the Hampton by Hilton brand at scale with an unprecedented partnership with Plateno Hotels Group.”
And those are just the Hamptons. China's Quinghai province recently opened its first DoubleTree property, a 112-room hotel owned by Qinghai Zhonghao Natural Gas Chemical and operated by Hilton Worldwide. The company is not shying away from Chinese investment either, selling the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan last month to Beijing-based Angbang Insurance Group for $1.95 billion.
Hilton isn't alone in making big plans for China. Last month, Carlson Rezidor signed a Radisson Red hotel in Shenyang, the first of its brand in China and part of a dual-development that includes a Radisson Blu. The Jumeirah Group is planning three new hotel openings across China, including the Jumeirah Haikou Resort in Hainan, the Jumeirah Wuhan and the Jumeirah Nanjing. Pan Pacific Hotels is also opening its fifth hotel in the country with the 319-room Pan Pacific Tianjin, which is part of a mixed-use development.