Not even a decade old, Swire Hotels has already created quite the buzz across Asia’s high-end hospitality landscape.
With 2008’s opening of Beijing’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Opposite House, not to mention subsequent debuts in Hong Kong (2009’s Four-Star The Upper House), Chengdu (The Temple House in 2015) and Shanghai (soon-to-open The Middle House), Swire has shown a level of consistency and commitment to rival brands much older.
The trend only continues with the placement of Toby Smith, a 25-plus-year airline industry veteran, as Swire Hotels’ managing director. Forbes Travel Guide recently chatted with the U.K. native about his brand’s mission, Shanghai’s charm and Asia’s hospitality future.
Smith explained to Forbes that individuality, sophisticated design, and amazing service are at the core of Swire Hotels. Therefore, every detail is carefully planned to enhance these associations people’s mind while experiencing Swire Hotels.
The Opposite House and The Upper House are definitely two jewels to visit once in a life time.
They are part of The House Collective — which includes The Opposite House, The Temple House, The Upper House and soon The Middle House — and represent the quintessential intimate boutique hotels designed for the traveler who seeks both luxury and authentic local experiences.
From designer afternoon teas to gallery-curated art collections, The House Collective focuses on constructing a rhetoric of newness to engage the returning customer and surprise the new.
On a larger scale, Asia high-end hotel landscape is moving towards authentic experiences over material possessions and place a premium on convenience.
Smith told Forbes: “We are happy to see hotels taking an increased interest in art and design, fine dining and implementing new technologies to make guests’ lives easier”.
More specifically, Smith anticipated what travelers should expect from the Shanghai’s The Middle House, the seventh hotel from Swire Hotels. He said : “It will be an elegant and calm oasis amidst Shanghai’s historic Dazhongli neighborhood and next to fashionable Nanjing Road West”.
Designed by award-winning Italian architect Piero Lissoni, the hotel is a blend of Eastern and Western elements.
The hotel will also have many amenities, which will help our guests feel at home, such as an indoor heated swimming pool, 24-hour gym facilities and a wellness studio with classes like yoga by Lululemon. Guests can expect a selection of dining options, from the European café concept Café Gray Deluxe to the Italian eatery Frasca.
Food & Beverage is key in the hospitality experience, and Swire has also a restaurant division. It was founded in 2013 and includes a wide collection of dining experiences, such as French bistro Plat du Jour, contemporary restaurant Public, The Continental and modern steakhouse Mr & Mrs Fox. All of these are located next to the Swire Hotels in the connected mixed-use developments of Taikoo Li [in Beijing] and Pacific Place [in Hong Kong].
The concept behind the restaurants works around obtaining food from sustainable sources and using quality local ingredients.