Mon, Dec 20, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Radium-Kagaya hotel opens in Beitou

DIVERSIFICATION:The hotel marks the first overseas expansion for the Japan’s famed Ryokan Kagaya and features 70 maids to tend to guests through their stay

By Jason Tan  /  Staff reporter

Oda Sadahiko, president of Radium-Kagaya International Hotel Co, third right, Radium Group chairman Lin Loong-shien, fourth right, and Shen Ching-peng, left, chairman of Radium-Kagaya International Hotel Co and guests break open vats of sake during the opening ceremony for a new hotel in the Beitou hot spring district in Taipei City yesterday.

PHOTO: CHIEN JUNG-FONG, TAIPEI TIMES

Real-estate developer Radium Life Tech Co (日勝生) marked its first foray into the hotel industry on Saturday by opening the doors of the Radium-Kagaya International Hotel Co (日勝生加賀屋), a luxury hot-spring hotel featuring Japanese culture.

The NT$2.7 billion (US$90 million) project is a joint venture between Radium Life and Ryokan Kagaya — a prestigious five-star hot-spring ryokan (Japanese inn) located at Wakura hot spring in Ishikawa, Japan.

Radium Life has taken a nearly 80 percent stake in the venture, while the remainder is held by Kagaya, said Iris Tsai (蔡青樺), -Radium-Kagaya’s public relations supervisor.

Room prices run from NT$24,000 to NT$120,000 per night.

All 90 rooms have been booked through the end of the month during a promotional rate of as little as NT$14,200 per night to celebrate the opening, Tsai said.

Founded in 1906, Kagaya has been voted by Japanese specialists as Japan’s top hot-spring inn for 30 consecutive years.

The venture in Taiwan marks its first overseas expansion.

The main selling point of the Beitou (北投) Radium-Kagaya is its ryokan maid services, where more than 70 women dressed in kimonos will attend to guests’ needs from check-in to tea serving, bath-robe dressing and meal arrangements.

One maid is assigned to each room and will take care of that room’s guests until they check out to ensure consistent service.

According to Tony Liu (劉東春), vice president of Radium--Kagaya, the luxury inn is confident in achieving an average monthly occupancy rate of 60 percent for the first year, while the return of investment is expected to be fully recouped within 12 years.

The real-estate developer has been aggressive in business diversification in recent years.

While Radium-Kagaya marks its first hotel project, Radium Life in September spent NT$1.2 billion for a 50-year lease from the Taipei City Government to develop land on Fuxing S Road Sec 1 into a service apartment that is slated to open in 2013.

In December last year, Radium Life extended into the department store business by opening Q Square (京站時尚廣場).

The 20,000-ping (66,100m 2), seven-floor Q Square is located across from the Taipei Railway Station and is connected to the Taipei Bus Station. It has enjoyed a steady flow of business thanks to 500,000 daily commuters using the MRT, railway, high-speed rail and bus services.

JihSun Securities Investment Consulting (日盛投顧) gave a “buy” rating and target price of NT$53 to Radium Life in a report dated Nov. 12.

Radium Life closed at NT$43.9 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday. The stock has risen 62.1 percent since the beginning of the year.

“Its earnings for this year and next will remain in high gear, thanks to ongoing projects and its affiliates that stepped into the department store and hotel sectors,” JihSun researcher Regina Lee (李佳桂) said.

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