Style, service at the Pan Pacific Ningbo

Updated: 2012-08-25 08:02

By Xie Yu (China Daily)

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Style, service at the Pan Pacific Ningbo

Hotel profile | Ningbo

New property is well positioned in affluent port city, Xie Yu reports.

If you are visiting the eastern new town of Ningbo city, you cannot miss the Pan Pacific Ningbo, the most stylish, funky building in the area.

Though General Manager Chris Ong has spent almost 30 years in hospitality industry, he is still very excited about the property's "iconic architecture". The new Pan Pacific Hotel and Serviced Suites Ningbo, the group's third property in China, is scheduled to open in East China's hub city Ningbo this summer.

"It feels like waiting for the birth of the baby. After several months of hard work, I am looking forward to the last piece of the jigsaw," said Ong.

As one of the nation's most well-off cities and a place renowned for trade and entrepreneurship, Ningbo already has more than 10 five-star hotels. But Ong said he has strong confidence in the Pan Pacific Ningbo.

"There will be a unique future for our hotel with its location, " he said.

It is the first international brand in the city in a locale designated by the Ningbo government as a new growth area.

The Ningbo city government has been rolling out ambitious projects to tap the potential of the area. Infrastructure is already in place with the city's subway, expressway and railway system.

The whole Ningbo city government will move to the area and the nearby Ningbo International Conference and Exhibition Center is already driving big consumer traffic to the international financial center across the road. The area will also be home to apartment blocks and the city's biggest shopping mall.

"The investments are already here, and things are moving," Ong said.

 Style, service at the Pan Pacific Ningbo

Chris Ong, general manager of Pan Pacific Hotel and Serviced Suites Ningbo. Photos Provided to China Daily

There are also plans for another six or seven international hotels. But Ong said the strong competition in the area won't get truly underway for three or four years.

He considers the potential of the Ningbo market similar to Shanghai.

"People in Ningbo are often well-off entrepreneurs. They are well-traveled. They know what they want and are prepared to spend the money," he said.

Meanwhile, the hotel will also target consumers in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, and also slowly develop the international market.

The entire hotel industry will continue to grow, Ong said, people are traveling more and more in addition to more international arrivals.

He is also confident his hotel will provide unique experiences to guests. Location is crucial. But more importantly, personalized service is key to building up loyalty for one hotel, Ong said.

"A hotel should be a very personalized place. It cannot be automatic - you check in, this is what you get and so on. I would like to see our people engage with every guest," Ong said.

After working in this industry for almost three decades, he knows the importance of reading different people and their demands.

"If you are serving a businessman who arrives after a long flight, the latest newspaper and access to Internet will be more important than fresh fruit on the table," he said.

"I often tell my staff. This is not rocket science. This is common sense. Think before serving the guests," he added.

Pan Pacific Ningbo will offer a variety of dining options in restaurants and bars. In addition to Hai Tien Lo, a signature Chinese restaurant brand in Singapore, the hotel will feature a patisserie, lobby lounge, the Avanti Culina casual Italian trattoria, authentic Japanese cuisine at the Keyaki and Cafe Pacifica, an all-day restaurant.

Recreation facilities include a tennis court and indoor squash court, and the hotel arranges discovery programs including local sightseeing and culinary trips.

Pan Pacific Hotel and Resorts from Singapore is a leading brand in Asia and the Pacific Rim offering premium accommodation and services that are consistently recognized in regional and international media. It was ranked as one of the top 25 business hotel brands and companies for social responsibility in Conde Nast Traveler magazine and has been honored with the World Travel AAA Four Diamond Award, Conde Nast Gold List and Readers' Choice Awards.

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(China Daily 08/25/2012 page13)