Marriott’s 30-floor hotel in no man’s land

The latest Courtyard by Marriott – the second one in Hong Kong and largest in Asia – is in Shek Mun, a 40-minute ride from city centre plus a five-minute-walk from a station that is on the Wu Kai Sha branch off the East Rail line.

It’s in the middle of nowhere, to say the least.

But Simon Cooper (pictured), president and managing director of Asia Pacific at Marriott International, sees opportunity in the cross-border tourists, corporate travel and leisure travellers who can take advantage of the future MTR lines.

“If you doubt us, just look at Hyatt Regency Shatin,” he said, citing the competitor hotel located at University Station on the East Rail line that has been heralded for its food offerings, spa and view of to Tolo Harbour.

“Seventy percent of visitors last year came from the mainland, so that is definitely one of our focuses. Our goal is to bring business into the Shatin district, and we want to do that by leveraging on Marriott’s reputation.”

But until the new MTR line comes to play, how will the hotel market itself over the already-successful Hyatt, which, too, serves corporate travels with more or less the same offerings?

Breakfast, which is allegedly is the core of the Courtyard brand, and banking on its 42 million Marriott award members, customers on its e-commerce site as well as campaigns on local magazines and PR activities.

“There is enormous growth in travelling – whether it’s the Chinese outbound market or inter-Asia travel in both business and leisure travel,” said Daniel Ford, executive director communications at Marriott International in Asia.

“With Courtyard, we want our guests to have a hotel stay as unique to them as possible: a hotel that really reflects where they are. And we believe this one does that well.”