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The InterContinental Hong Kong is one of Hong Kong’s most iconic hotels. Actually, I’d say it’s one of the best city hotels in the world in terms of the views it has. The hotel is located in Kowloon on the Avenue of Stars, so it has unrivaled views as far as Hong Kong goes.
However, there’s no denying that the hotel is starting to be past its prime. While the hotel has undergone some minor renovations, they haven’t made any major changes, and I’d say at this point the hotel is barely competitive in Hong Kong’s luxury market. I reviewed the InterContinental last year, as I stayed here using the annual free night certificate offered with the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. It was an exceptional use of that (given that the card only has a $49 annual fee), though I’m not sure I would have been as happy if paying cash.
In 2015 the hotel was sold for almost a billion USD to some investors, making it one of the most expensive single hotel deals ever. In order to hopefully capture the hotel’s potential, the InterContinental Hong Kong will be closing for a period of 12-16 months so it can be completely transformed. The hotel is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, with an anticipated reopening sometime in 2020. The hotel claims that this renovation will “position it as one of the top hotels not only in Asia, but also as one of the world’s most iconic hotels.”
Every aspect of the hotel will be renovated, ranging from the guest rooms to the public areas to the restaurants to the hotel’s exterior.
Per the press release, here’s what the hotel’s GM and the president of the company that bought the hotel have to say about the renovations:
Claus Pedersen, General Manager, InterContinental Hong Kong, says, “For over three decades our hotel has enjoyed a loyal following of guests not only because of our acclaimed dining, accommodations and harbour views, but also because of the outstanding service by our dedicated employees. As such, our employees will be part of our exciting renovation journey, so that we can maintain the exceptionally high service levels of our hotel and Michelin restaurants.”
Kenneth Gaw, President and Managing Principal of Gaw Capital Partners and Managing Director of Pioneer Global Group, says, “InterContinental Hong Kong has always had a special place in the hearts of the local community here as the diamond in the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. We are thrilled and committed to return the property back to its glory days as one of the best hotels in the world. Following this exciting transformation, InterContinental Hong Kong will once again become a contemporary, iconic hotel for global travellers and will thrive as a world class destination.” Gaw Capital Partners led the acquisition of this hotel on behalf of a consortium of investors in 2015, including Pioneer Global Group.
I’m curious to see what they do with the hotel. Given how much they paid for the property itself, it seems smart to invest some money renovating it so that the hotel can live up to its potential.
My initial thought was that it seems like this hotel might be better off under a different brand. Maybe it’s just me, but I generally think of InterContinentals as being past their prime, and they have very few properties that I’d consider to be true luxury hotels. However, IHG does have a long term management contract for the hotel, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see it rebranded.
On the plus side, this hotel has a lot of name recognition in Hong Kong, so even if InterContinental globally isn’t thought of as the most luxurious brand, many people do know the InterContinental Hong Kong.
(Tip of the hat to Point Me to the Plane)