A luxury hotel at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park will receive its first guests in early 2019 after being delayed for about six months, according to its developer.
Peter Lam Kin-ngok, chairman of Lai Sun Group, which developed the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott, said on Monday the HK$5 billion (US$641 million) hotel would undergo testing and trials in the next two to three months before its grand opening.
The 471-room hotel was meant to have opened in June but was delayed because of a number of reasons including its cash-strapped contractor, Lam said without elaborating.
“It would be a bit of a rush to launch it in December,” he said, adding that the hotel would be a handy option for those who wanted to visit Ocean Park and Admiralty, a four-minute train ride away.
Rooms will cost about HK$2,100 on average.
Contractor Hsin Chong Construction, which started work on the project in late 2014, faced financial problems early last year. It was also the contractor on the city’s visual art museum M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District art hub until it was fired in August.
The Ocean Park Marriott would help boost visitor numbers at the 41-year-old loss-making theme park, which was searching its soul for a new position in the increasingly competitive tourism sector in the “Greater Bay Area”, lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said.
The Greater Bay Area is the central government’s scheme to link Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong province into an integrated economic and business hub.
The addition of the Marriott would help the park raise its game as rival Disneyland on Lantau Island added its third hotel earlier this year and was on a HK$10.9 billion expansion drive, Yiu added.
“The Marriott hotel is good in two ways – it eases the bottleneck of Hong Kong’s hotel supply and will help bring in more visitors and make them stay longer at Ocean Park,” he said.
“But in the longer run, the theme park needs to transform itself into a more competitive product as you can see competition heating up in the Greater Bay Area.”
He said the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and high-speed rail service brought the city closer to mainland China, but it also meant more competition.
The hotel, located beside the Ocean Park MTR Station, includes a ballroom of about 14,000 square feet which can hold at least 80 tables for a banquet. That would make it one of the largest and newest hotel facilities for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.
Yiu said demand for hotel beds had exceeded supply, with 80 per cent occupancy in non-peak seasons such as summer and 90 to 100 per cent during high seasons between October and the Lunar New Year, in either January or February.
The Marriott is one of two high-end hotel projects at the Wong Chuk Hang theme park, with the other, a Fullerton hotel, due for completion in 2021. A HK$2.9 billion water park attraction is slated for opening at the end of next year.