The opening of Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung Hotel on December 1 created quite a buzz in the community. And despite a pandemic that has crippled the hospitality industry, the first few months have gone well. “Very well, considering the situation we’re opening in,” says cluster general manager Sander Looijen. “The restaurants have been very busy. The comments are great. We’re off to a great start.”
An exciting new destination for leisure and business travellers, the hotel sits atop Tung Chung Bay, a 10-minute drive from Hong Kong International Airport and Asia-World Expo. Guests will have easy access to some of Lantau’s best hiking trails and beaches, and the plan is to provide them with plenty of opportunities to get out there and discover the island.
As part of the community programme, a series of package stays (including the food-based Saveur) will encourage guests to explore the local villages, hiking trails and heritage hotspots. The hotel has also partnered with a Lantau bee farm, Mui Wo Lychee Hill Holiday Farm, to offer exclusive tours for guests.
More than that, the hotel is reaching out to Lantau residents by positioning itself as a neighbourhood hotspot – a vast community hub of restaurants, bars and shops. And so far, locals have responded in kind, particularly to the restaurants.
The lively Café Lantau offers all-day dining with local and international dishes all freshly prepared and presented at live stations. Sunset Grill, with a rooftop terrace, specialises in dry-aged meats and all-things perfectly grilled, as well as artfully prepared cocktails – try the Honey Bourbon Old Fashioned. Yue offers creative yet authentic Cantonese and southern Chinese specialties, including an incredible citrusinflected hargau. Yue also features its own cellar for an elevated wine pairing experience.
There’s also the Lobby Lounge – a great place to relax and enjoy afternoon tea or an artisan coffee from local coffee brand, Porter Coffee.
Local MICE and wedding planners should note that the new Sheraton boasts one of the largest ballrooms in Hong Kong with 3,400 square metres of indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. For large-scale events, the pillar-free Grand Ballroom can accommodate 1,300 guests, while it can be divided into three independent areas. For more intimate events, meeting spaces comprise two outdoor terraces, including one with breathtaking 270º ocean views, ideal for picture-perfect weddings, and four multi-function meeting rooms.
Should a staycation be on your agenda this year, the new Sheraton features 218 rooms and suites, all with full-length windows from which to take in sweeping views of Lantau Peak and the sea. Guests wake up to high-speed Wi-Fi, a large flat-screen TV and enough ports for all devices. There’s also an extensive gym facing the sea and an inviting pool deck.
Four Points by Sheraton Hong Kong, Tung Chung will add another 1,000 rooms when it opens on the same site early this year. And it will mark Marriott International’s first dual-branded hotel opening in Hong Kong.
With government regulations as they are, the next few months are going to be a complicated time for the hotel. But Sander is confident he and his crew will be able to smooth out any snags that arise, while observing a battery of biosecurity measures – which he’d also like to see the hotel exceed.
The Tung Chung property is Sander’s second Asia-Pacific launch in a career that’s so far spanned five+ countries. The first was in China at the end of 2008. At the height of the Global Financial Crisis. “Oh, that was another challenge,” he says with a grin.
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., makes it easy for guests to explore, relax and enjoy the possibilities of travel at nearly 450 hotels in over 70 countries and territories around the world. Sheraton continues to enhance the brand through innovative guest experience, differentiating design, multi-channel marketing and a sharp focus on service. To learn more, visit www.sheraton.com. For more on the Sheraton Hong Kong Tung Chung Hotel, visit www.sheratonhongkongtungchung.com.