Ken Chu, chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group, wanted to bring a hotel to his tranquil golf and leisure complexes in Shenzhen and Hainan. His choice has been made: the Florida-based Hard Rock Hotel. The reason? Chu wanted to bring a brand to the mainland that “people have not experienced.”
While golf and rock-and-roll seems a strange pairing, it’s worked elsewhere. In the Domincan Republic, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana offers an 18-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus. But experts tourists alike are questioning the partnership with Mission Hills.
“Rock fans in China usually do not have a very high spending power,” said 35-year-old Eheart Chen, a Shanghai-born singer and a British rock aficionado. ““But I’d definitely be interested to stay at the hotel if it’s not too expensive.”
Wang Jing, senior hotel business director at travel booking site Qunar, felt the hotels would become popular if placed near young Chinese travelers or other music-related venues. Even Jenny Lo, a hotel branding consultant, thought the Hard Rock Hotels would be attractive to mainland Chinese travelers, who are receptive to distinctively different hotel experiences. “But with the two upcoming properties being in golf resorts, that may change the dynamics,” added Lo. “They may appeal to families, and I do not think they will be as attractive to young individual travelers.”
Certainly, one must not underestimate the novelty factor.
At Mission Hills Centreville in Shenzhen, the Hard Rock Hotel will be 22 stories, offering 280 rooms. The Mission Hills Hainan resort will offer 250 rooms in their Hard Rock. The hotels will keep their world-famous music theme and contain a “signature restaurant” –there’s no word yet if it will be the Hard Rock Café.
photo credit: hard rock hotel