Magazine article Global Finance

The World's Best: Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Inter-Continental

Magazine article Global Finance

The World's Best: Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Inter-Continental

Article excerpt

Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts was founded in 1960, growing from a single hotel to a prestigious company with 39 properties worldwide. The business-oriented hotels (as opposed to the resort properties) are typically mediumsize, located in major business and commercial centers, either in downtown areas or in suburbs with significant business infrastructures.

In 1992 Four Seasons acquired 100% ownership of Regent International Hotels, whose holdings were primarily in Asia. The company currently owns and/or operates 27 Four Seasons properties in the United States, Canada, Britain, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, and the Caribbean; and 12 Regent hotels in the United States, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. The two newest hotels are the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul, a 65room property in a converted historical building, which opened last summer; and the Four Seasons Hotel Berlin, which opened last month. It is part of a mixed-use complex in the Friedrichstadt district.

Shangri-La hotels began in 1971, when the Kuok Group, a multinational conglomerate with interests in commodities trading, shipping, agriculture, and real estate, built a hotel in Singapore. Until 1983 the management contract for the hotel was handled bv Westin, but thereafter Kuok Hotels changed its company name to Shangri-La International, and the new company assumed management. Rapid expansion throughout Southeast Asia followed. There are Shangri-La hotels in every major market there, including 10 in China.

Shangri-La has also launched a new "brand" called Traders Hotels. These are in prime locations with relatively smaller rooms and fewer food and beverage outlets than Shangri-Las but with comprehensive business centers, fitness centers, and 24hour room, laundry, and valet service.

Hyatt International, based in Chicago, operates 55 hotels and 17 resorts in 34 countries, with 38 more hotels under development. …

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