A New Nikko

Hotel group continues to expand

By: Judi Erickson

JAL Hotels, operator of the Nikko Hotels International group of luxury international hotels, continues to expand in the booming Chinese market with the addition of Dalian and Tianjin hotels.

Currently operated as the Hilton Dalian, the Dalian property was re-opened by Nikko Hotels as Hotel Oriental Palace Dalian last month. Construction on the Tianjin property, Hotel Nikko Tianjin, is expected to be complete by April 2007, with an opening scheduled in July of that year.

“China is one of the most important markets for our group,” said Shosuke Machida, president of JAL Hotels. “Our first priorities as target locations for growth in China are the 13 cities where Japan Airlines, our parent company, has air routes, including both Dalian and Tianjin.”

Located at the center of Dalian, Hotel Oriental Palace Dalian was built in 2000 and is in a city landmark complex that includes residential towers as well as a shopping mall. The five-star hotel has 372 guest rooms, multiple banquet and dining rooms, a business center and a health club.

Hotel Nikko Tianjin will be a five-star hotel with 373 guestrooms and luxury facilities such as restaurants, a bar, a banquet hall, meeting rooms, an indoor pool, a spa and fitness room and a business center. The hotel will be built as part of a commercial complex, “The Exchange,” on Tianjin’s main boulevard, Nanjing Avenue. Tianjin has been rapidly growing and is the biggest port city and most important trade center in northern China. The city will be the soccer venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The addition of these two properties makes a total of five hotels in China for Nikko Hotels International after Jinglun Hotel and Hotel Nikko New Century Beijing in Beijing; and Hotel Nikko Hong Kong in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the company also is expanding in Japan with the announcement that it will open Hotel Nikko Nara in historic Nara City on July 1. Currently operated as Mitsui Garden Hotel Nara, the 330-room hotel will undergo gradual renovations without closing. The hotel includes three dining facilities, seven banquet facilities and a Japanese-style communal bath. Hotel Nikko Nara will be JAL Hotels’ sixth hotel in Kansai area.