China’s luxury hotel
scene is booming. New hotels are opening
up everywhere you look. So I’ve come here to understand just
where this trend might be headed. From the Bulgari hotel in Shanghai
to the Rosewood in Hong Kong, these luxury hotels are just
the tip of the iceberg in China. I’m starting in Shanghai at two
brand-new five-star hotels. Then I’m heading to Beijing to get inside
this millennial-focused members-only club that is so much more
than just a hotel. My luxury hotel experience ends in Hong Kong,
at this presidential suite 57 floors high, and you’re not going to
believe the price tag per night. Join me as I bring you inside some
of China’s newest luxury hotels. Despite the Chinese economy slowing down last
year for the first time in nearly three decades, the Chinese consumer’s expensive taste is
still driving the growth of the luxury market. The knowledge of the Chinese luxury
traveler has grown exponentially. The Chinese customer now, they are very well educated.
They’re much more now into personalized service. In fact, for the first time ever, there are
now more Chinese people in the top 10% of the richest people in the world
than there are Americans. It’s this group of people fuelling
the growth of the luxury sector. Chinese consumers are expected to account
for about two-thirds of the industry’s growth. And luxury hotels are hoping
to reap the benefits, with the region’s major cities all growing
their stock of five-star rooms. Beijing leads the way with about 40,000 five-star
rooms, followed by Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong. The Chinese luxury traveler is the most
booming segment of luxury in the world. And a lot of China’s luxury growth is being
driven by its younger generation. The average luxury traveler in China is
33 years old vs 56 years old in the U.S. The Chinese millennial is a little
bit more sophisticated. These young millennials
have already seen the world. Now they’re looking for an experience that
the world doesn’t really know exists yet. So how are the latest hotel offerings hoping
to cater to these young, luxury travelers? Let’s find out. Here in the heart of one of Shanghai’s most
popular shopping districts, is the Shanghai Edition. I arrive at the hotel, which opened its doors
a year ago and I am immediately struck by the lobby that doesn’t
quite feel like a lobby. It’s a nice place to have a fabulous cocktail, and you just
never know who you will see walking through the lobby. The social lobby is meant
to emulate a town square. The hotel attracts mostly 25 to 35-year olds,
primarily Chinese, and the demographic skews female. With such a young demographic, you can bet
that technology is the name of the game. You can use your phone
to get into your room. And soon, they tell me, all guests
will need is to show their face. The Edition says it’s all about creating
an experience full of discovery. This is called the club room, and it’s a spacious
lounge dedicated to hotel guests only. And it’s really meant to really emulate
that feel of a private members club. A few minutes away lies this
newly-opened Bulgari Hotel, it’s the sixth hotel opened by
the luxury Italian jewelry brand. Adjacent to the hotel is this
restaurant and ballroom, which was formerly the Shanghai
Chamber of Commerce. From the tiles to the roof, it’s all been
preserved to maintain its original feel and now this space is used for everything from
fashion shows to corporate events and weddings. There are 19 luxury suites here, but there’s
one in particular that catches my eye. Here is the signature suite.
It’s called the Bulgari Suite. The price tag? $20,000
per night, plus tax. Next, I’m headed to Beijing, where I visit
Chao. And don’t call it just a hotel. Chao is a lifestyle
brand for millennials. Besides the usual accommodations and restaurants,
it also serves as a members-only club, which hosts regular events ranging from
art exhibitions to movie screenings. We wanted to address the crowd
that is rather millennial in its attitude. Our clients tend to have a vision of their
environment which is unscripted. “I want breakfast, but I want the experience of
breakfast, I want the emotion of breakfast.” This staircase leads
you to an event space. The reception is off to the side, where
staff is all dressed in sleek streetwear. The design elements
are fleshed out to a tee. The staff is situated on the same side as the counter as
not to create a gap between the staff and the guest. Everything you see here is
somewhat unconventional. This isn’t typically what you would
see when you enter a hotel. Exactly, that’s not even a lobby.
It’s an introduction to a concept. It has an element of discovery. You
have not experienced the product before you connect with the product. They’re seeking
stories to tell. They’re seeking experiences to live. And the elements of discovery William refers
to is apparent even during my tour. Behind the bar is this wine cellar which isn’t
just used for wine, but also for private events, and the events are
for members only. And while the restaurants
here are open to the public, you’ll need to apply for a membership
to enter the clubhouse. But before you can even think of applying, you’ll
need to be nominated by two current members. Now Chao is looking to expand
the brand beyond Beijing. Finally, I end my luxury
hotel tour in Hong Kong. I’ve come to the St. Regis in Hong Kong
which only opened several months ago. Now when guests arrive here, instead
of going to a front desk to check-in, they’re greeted by a butler who
escorts them to their room. As soon as you come out of your car,
we immediately put you at ease. We take you through the journey of the hotel
and we 100% check you in your room and at that time we’ve determined
whether you want full butler service, you want partial butler service or
if you just want to be left alone. The St. Regis has 129 rooms and I get a
glimpse inside the most prestigious one, the Presidential Suite. This 250-square meter suite is
opulent in every sense of the word. Finally, I’m ending my hotel journey at
this newly opened Rosewood Hotel. That notion of not creating hotels, but
truly creating big family residences, or mansions, or manors has
been core to the brand. Its spa puts others to shame. Besides the usual treatments for your body,
this spa also looks after your mind. It even offers cognitive behavior therapy
with a licensed practitioner. There are 400 rooms here but
I’m most interested in this one. It’s called the Harbour House, the Rosewood’s
version of the presidential suite. It takes up the entire 57th
floor and there’re two pools, one of which is an infinity pool that
overlooks the Hong Kong skyline. It’s so big, at one point,
I even get lost. The price tag? A whopping $100,000 a night, making it one
of the most expensive hotel suites in the world. Who is this for? Of course,
for very few people, dignitaries, celebrities, or simply,
people who have had everything. How do we surprise them? How
do we create that wow effect? We’ve had a few people that you would classify as
billionaire coming here and really having this moment, where they’vee just stopped
and went, “I cannot believe this.” But believe it or not it’s not just China’s
uber rich staying at these hotels. At least, according to Craig Smith,
the CEO for Marriott Asia-Pacific. People will save up an entire year
to have that little experience. But in China, that’s a multiplier effect. It’s
happening much faster and at a greater rate. And it’s not just the domestic luxury players that
are benefitting from China’s booming middle class. Data suggests Chinese outbound
tourists are growing at a rapid rate. In 2015, Chinese tourists took
117 million outbound trips. By 2020, that’s expected
to hit 160 million. It’s not just in China. It’s
China outbound business. The greatest percentage of our travellers at
our luxury hotels across all of Asia Pacific? Chinese customers. Hey guys, it’s Uptin. Thanks for watching. Check out more of our videos and let us know in the
comments below, which hotel did you like the best? While you’re at it, subscribe to our
channel and we’ll see you next time.