Resorts and hotels for world-class brands Rosewood, Renaissance and Regent, including the creation of Regent Place Xi’an and the redevelopment of the flagship Regent Taipei, are current highlights of the group’s China portfolio.
BLINK, founded in Bangkok and with studios in Singapore and New Delhi, has not looked back since opening an office in Shanghai’s prestigious French Concession in November 2012, on the heels of winning one of architecture’s most prestigious awards, the Hospitality Design (HD) Magazine Award for the World’s Best Luxury Hotel for the Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay Resort.
BLINK founder and senior creative director Clint Nagata said opening the Shanghai office had proven “absolutely the right thing to do” to offer better service for BLINK’s growing roster of Chinese clients and to provide the firm with a business development foothold in China.
“We are delighted to have 10 serious hotel projects in China on the books and more in the pipeline, for a ‘who’s who’ of hospitality brands,” Mr Nagata said. “As well, over 90% of our business is coming from referrals and repeat business, results of what we set out to achieve in the beginning – creating a collaborative partnership with our clients and offering luxury that’s handcrafted.
”We were intent on targeting China, but the response from clients in China and the word-of-mouth in the development community about what we are doing has been gratifying as well as humbling.”
Under construction now are: Rosewood Clearwater Bay Resort & Residences, Sanya; DoubleTree by Hilton, Benxi, a 200-key property set to open in the famed hot spring resort in 2015; Renaissance and Courtyard by Marriott Resort, Hailing; Qianshen Spa & Hotel, Hefei; and Sheraton Beijing West Mountain Resort.
Projects in the design phase comprise Dongxian Lake Ningbo Resort; Marriott Wenchang, Hainan Island; Courtyard by Marriott Jiujiang, Guangdong; Regent Place Xi’an; and Miaonong Resort, Ningbo.
Mr Nagata said credit was due to BLINK’s new managing director, Christopher Chua, who had been instrumental in getting the Shanghai office open and quickly humming.
Mr Nagata said he relished the challenges of working with the ‘realities’ of mainland China. “It is forcing us to adapt and change for sure,” he said. “They might not have the depth or heritage in modern five-star luxury compared to more mature markets, but there is a great thirst and enthusiasm in China for high quality and bold hospitality design. .