InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) is to launch a new luxury property, InterContinental Kaohsiung, in the fourth quarter, unfazed by a business freeze in the local hospitality industry amid a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert.
Sited in the heart of Asia New Bay Area (亞洲新灣區) and directly managed by IHG, the hotel is to offer 253 guest rooms, five restaurants and bars, two-story banquet and meeting spaces, and a Club InterContinental Lounge, the company said.
IHG has appointed Robbert Manussen to be the property’s general manager, taking advantage of his 15 years of management experience in hotel chains in Austria, the Czech Republic, South Korea, the Netherlands, Qatar, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
IHG is optimistic that Kaohsiung would grow into a smart city, so has positioned InterContinental Kaohsiung as an innovative smart-luxury hotel, it said.
Microsoft Taiwan, Cisco Taiwan and Amazon Web Services have announced plans to invest in the Asia New Bay Area, Chinese-language media reports have said.
“I would like to thank Taiwan for its efforts to combat the coronavirus,” Manussen said, adding that he looks forward to Kaohsiung’s transformation.
The site is near several tourist spots, including the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, Pier 2 Art Center, the Kaohsiung Music Center, the Kaohsiung Esports Arena, Kaohsiung Public Library and the yet-to-open Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal.
Individual guest rooms of 46.5m2 to 60.4m2 are to be priced from NT$6,800 per night and equipped with digital voice control systems that respond to Chinese, English and Japanese, speakers with Bluetooth connectivity, new-generation hair dryers and child-friendly amenities, InterContinental Kaohsiung said.
The hotel design is inspired by Kaohsiung’s harbor and ocean backdrops to symbolize the interconnectedness of all the continents, it said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed global travel and tourism as people assign more importance to health and wellness, Manussen said.
InterContinental Kaohsiung will adopt high-standard hygiene protocols, using hospital-grade disinfectants and placing sanitizer stations at high-contact points throughout the hotel, the company said.
InterContinental Kaohsiung will also follow the guidelines of health authorities at home and abroad to remain up-to-date on pandemic issues, it said.
Manussen said he believes in the growth potential of Taiwan’s hospitality industry in light of the nation’s effective virus control measures and self-disciplined people.
Guests would be able to immerse themselves in the city’s local culture, explore hidden tourist gems and embark on city tours, InterContinental Kaohsiung said.
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