[photopress:Polo_khan.jpg,full,alignright]The Marco Polo hotel group is expanding in Asia and especially into China. Jeffrey Flowers, president of the Hong Kong-based hotel group, waxing poetic used the history and imagery of Marco Polo to get his point across. He said, ‘Like Marco Polo did a long time ago, we are setting out on a new journey of discovery this year. We are digging deep into our roots, which are firmly in Asia, to offer travelers a unique experience — a blend of contemporary Chinese meets modern Italian.’
(In fact, there are many claims that Marco Polo was, in truth, a Croatian so perhaps a few Croatian touches would not be out of order. That is him in the illustration having a chat with Kublai Khan and he does look more Croatian than Italian. But, perhaps, it is less than a perfect portrait.)
Jeffrey Flowers in his career has been general manager of the Plaza in New York which is possibly the most expensive hotel in the world and plainly will be used to working with a high level of style. In that opening statement with its geographical flourishes he might have included besides Croatia, Thailand — which Marco Polo probably never visited although his voyage of 1291 came very close — which supplies the Mandara Spa which is a feature of the Marco Polo Shenzhen which was opened last year. And is appearing in other Marco Polo hotels.
Marco Polo has just added a new sales and development office in Shanghai, complementing existing sales offices one of which is in Beijing.
In December an opening is planned for a Marco Polo in Wuhan. Jeffrey Flowers said, ‘With its outstanding river front location, the Marco Polo Wuhan will become the leading hotel in the city and will be the flagship of the Wharf China’s new development, Wuhan Times Square.’
The company has also announced a new project in Chengdu.
Next up, early next year, will be the Marco Polo Parkside in Beijing which is located only 800 meters from the entrance to the 2008 Olympic Games and is on a spot undoubtedly visited by Marco Polo in 1264.
Going forward are joint venture projects such as the Marco Polo Xiamen and yet another in Shenzhen neither of which Marco Polo visited. But the style will be the same.
Source: 4Hoteliers and research
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