FRHI Hotels launch Chinese ventir, Neqta Hotels
FRHI Hotels & Resorts, in a joint venture with China’s Jiangsu Golden Land Group, announced the debut of Neqta Hotels (诺阁雅 Nuo Ge Ya), a new brand and hotel portfolio consisting of upper mid-scale hotels located in some of the most in-demand destinations across China*. The inaugural hotel to fly the Neqta flag opened in Shanghai’s Xuhui District on 18th January 2016, close to the city’s World Expo site, and a second state-of-the-art hotel is expected to debut soon in Nanjing.
Wayne Buckingham, FRHI’s senior vice president of operations, Asia Pacific and chairman of the new joint venture said, “With domestic business travel on the rise and market research indicating Chinese consumer spending will more than double over the next five years, we see this as a remarkable opportunity to further grow our footprint in China. Guided by extensive research and our own customer insights, we have designed a contemporary hotel brand that will be highly attractive to both property developers and the Chinese consumer, in particular the millennial business traveller in the 22 to 40 age demographic.”
Neqta Hotels will have high appeal to tech-savvy travellers who want seamless integration of work and life while away from home. Lifestyle will also play a key role in the guest experience with hotels featuring open and stylish lobbies that will serve as social hubs. These well-appointed public spaces will be multi-functional, incorporating innovative dining concepts that will see a breakfast and coffee shop by day transform into a vibrant cocktail bar and lounge in the evening.
Modern amenities, contemporary design and warm and efficient service will be hallmarks of the Neqta brand. Notable features will include ergonomically designed and uncluttered guestrooms with comfortable beds, rain-showers, large Bluetooth-enabled LED televisions and free wifi and high-speed internet. Business travellers will also enjoy a one-stop arrival service and access to a selection of smaller and smart meeting areas that will have the flexibility to be converted for different uses and occasions.
“It’s the perfect time to be developing a dynamic, new hotel brand in China; the travel market in China has matured greatly over the last decade and there is now significant demand for this type of hotel product,” said Joseph Soh, the recently named managing director of the new joint venture. Soh, a Singapore native who will be tasked with brand growth and development, brings extensive lodging experience in China to his new position having held several senior executive roles with major hotel groups including Starwood, Hilton, Millennium & Copthorne, IHG and Accor.
“Expanding into the right markets will be a top priority and we believe there is a natural opportunity to develop Neqta Hotels within many of Golden Land’s predominantly mixed-use developments. With an average room count of about 150 and room sizes in the 28 to 32 square meter (300 to 350 square feet) range, we also see the brand being a compelling business proposition for Chinese property developers looking to invest,” added Soh.