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When did the Big Hotel chains first open up in Asia

When did the Big Hotel chains first open up in Asia

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Old Sep 22, 18, 9:34 pm
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When did the Big Hotel chains first open up in Asia

One is constantly reading of the ever increasing footprint of hotels from the major chains all across Asia. Was intrigued as to when the Hotel majors (Intercon, Hilton, Sheraton, etc...) first made their move into Asia. Tried to find info on the same in the usual spots, but couldn’t find anything credible.

Any information on when & where the first Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Hyatt opened in Asia ?
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Old Sep 22, 18, 10:04 pm
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Anecdotally: I stayed in a LM in Tokyo (not currently a LM) in the early 1990s, before there was a Starwood. I recall the ANA, a bunch of Prince hotels, and some traditional ones such as the Imperial and the Palace hotels, although the Palace badly needed renovation at that time. There were a couple very expensive and service oriented distinguished small traditional hotels (not ryokan) in Ginza.

In the late 1990s shortly before the handover, Hong Kong had major chains such as IC, Sheraton, etc., but of course this was before the W and RC (and the airport express train as the old airport was still being used).

By about 2000, the major chains were present in Seoul (Hilton, Hyatt, RC, etc.) and seemed better and to be better regarded than the equivalent chains in the USA, but I don't recall international chain hotels in Pusan (but I might not have been staying in the same neighborhood). Smaller cities and local resort areas seemed to have primarily independent or local chain hotels.

In the early 2000s, Taipei had a very well regarded Hyatt and a traditional LHW property that was good but barely four star in quality.

In 2008, the "best" hotel in Guangzhou was supposedly owned by someone in Hong Kong and it was a fine four star property with some luxury touches, such as in room check in. There were some new American chain hotels over by the convention center. Also at that time, Shanghai had a very respected StR (now the Hongta LC) before its downfall, plus I recall the LRM, at least one Marriott, a Howard Johnson's (!), etc. However smaller cities (say, of a population of around only four million) were mostly local hotels, with some respected French chain properties IME.

Somewhat surprisingly, NRT still doesn't seem to have *foreign* chain hotels.

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Old Sep 22, 18, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Anecdotally: I stayed in a LM in Tokyo (not currently a LM) in the early 1990s, before there was a Starwood. I recall the ANA, a bunch of Prince hotels, and some traditional ones such as the Imperial and the Palace hotels, although the Palace badly needed renovation at that time. There were a couple very expensive and service oriented distinguished small traditional hotels (not ryokan) in Ginza.

In the late 1990s shortly before the handover, Hong Kong had major chains such as IC, Sheraton, etc., but of course this was before the W and RC (and the airport express train as the old airport was still being used).

By about 2000, the major chains were present in Seoul (Hilton, Hyatt, RC, etc.) and seemed better and to be better regarded than the equivalent chains in the USA, but I don't recall international chain hotels in Pusan (but I might not have been staying in the same neighborhood). Smaller cities and local resort areas seemed to have primarily independent or local chain hotels.

In the early 2000s, Taipei had a very well regarded Hyatt and a traditional LHW property that was good but barely four star in quality.

In 2008, the "best" hotel in Guangzhou was supposedly owned by someone in Hong Kong and it was a fine four star property with some luxury touches, such as in room check in. There were some new American chain hotels over by the convention center. Also at that time, Shanghai had a very respected StR (now the Hongta LC) before its downfall, plus I recall the LRM, at least one Marriott, a Howard Johnson's (!), etc. However smaller cities (say, of a population of around only four million) were mostly local hotels, with some respected French chain properties IME.

Somewhat surprisingly, NRT still doesn't seem to have *foreign* chain hotels.

1. Beijing
-the GW Sheraton opened in the mid 80s
-the original Shangri-La opened around 1990 (bad location, but it was near my university, and I loved their brunches)
-China World (also Shanri-La) trailed it by a few years, and Kerry opened in ~1998

2. Shanghai
-the JA Hilton was the first Western hotel tmk
-the Portman opened about 10 years later as a Shangri-La, but RC took over management in 1997
-I also recall the Sofitel on NJ East Road, but it was never a really good property
-the Peace Hotel has been around for ages, but honestly wasn't nice until Fairmont started managing it

3. HK
-there have been good hotels there since before I was born
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Old Sep 23, 18, 5:30 am
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Intercontinental was originally Pan Am's in-house hotel chain. Hotels were usually setup in conjunction with the airline's routing. Back in the days when overseas flights and stays were marketed as something glamorous.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 6:39 am
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Hong Kong Hilton was opened in 1963. Had the first ever in room minibar. Was closed and demolished in 1995.

My best friend speaks of staying in the Hong Kong Hilton while on leave while serving on a carrier during the Viet Nam War. His impressions and photos of Hong Kong in the early 70s were pretty amazing.

I think the Hilton Tokyo (Shinjuku) opened in 1963 as well.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post

Somewhat surprisingly, NRT still doesn't seem to have *foreign* chain hotels.
The airport or the town? Both Hilton and Radisson have properties in Narita.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
By about 2000, the major chains were present in Seoul (Hilton, Hyatt, RC, etc.) and seemed better and to be better regarded than the equivalent chains in the USA, but I don't recall international chain hotels in Pusan (but I might not have been staying in the same neighborhood).
Deluxe western-style hotels appeared in Seoul in the 1970's. The Shilla (1979), Plaza (1976), Chosun (1970 in its current form, no Westin affiliation until IIRC early 2000's), Lotte (1979), and Hyatt Regency (1978, to become a Grand Hyatt later) were the only 'respectable' places to be seen for well-to-do locals at the time, with the Hyatt mostly popular among expats for its large outdoor pool area. The Shilla, although probably the poshest, was less popular among the business crowd than the Chosun-Lotte-Plaza trio due to its less central location.
The Millenium Hilton opened in 1983, but apart from its eateries, was not considered quite in the same company as the above.
No idea about the Gangnam hotels which include all the big western chains; the area was certainly not desirable in the 70's-80's.

The (eventually Westin) Chosun in Busan opened in 1978. It and the Commodore were the best hotels in town in the early 80's.
Western chains were late to the game there, with the Park Hyatt opening in 2013, and the Hilton last year. Still no Marriott or IHG presence.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 10:15 pm
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Hilton Singapore opened in 1970, the Hyatt Singapore was not long after that.

Last edited by nzed; Sep 23, 18 at 10:16 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Sep 23, 18, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
Hong Kong Hilton was opened in 1963. Had the first ever in room minibar. Was closed and demolished in 1995.

My best friend speaks of staying in the Hong Kong Hilton while on leave while serving on a carrier during the Viet Nam War. His impressions and photos of Hong Kong in the early 70s were pretty amazing.
.
Hi bitterproffit

Any chance you could ask your friend for some of those photos, and start a new thread with them? Would love to see photos of Hongkers from the early 70's
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Old Sep 23, 18, 11:43 pm
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Originally Posted by monahos View Post
Deluxe western-style hotels appeared in Seoul in the 1970's. The Shilla (1979), Plaza (1976), Chosun (1970 in its current form, no Westin affiliation until IIRC early 2000's), Lotte (1979), and Hyatt Regency (1978, to become a Grand Hyatt later) were the only 'respectable' places to be seen for well-to-do locals at the time, with the Hyatt mostly popular among expats for its large outdoor pool area. The Shilla, although probably the poshest, was less popular among the business crowd than the Chosun-Lotte-Plaza trio due to its less central location.
The Millenium Hilton opened in 1983, but apart from its eateries, was not considered quite in the same company as the above.
No idea about the Gangnam hotels which include all the big western chains; the area was certainly not desirable in the 70's-80's.

The (eventually Westin) Chosun in Busan opened in 1978. It and the Commodore were the best hotels in town in the early 80's.
Western chains were late to the game there, with the Park Hyatt opening in 2013, and the Hilton last year. Still no Marriott or IHG presence.
I wouldn't count these "western style" hotels as being chains when they were established: Shilla, Chosun, Lotte, Plaza. I'm aware of them, and aware that especially the Shilla and the Chosun (in its prerWestin form) existed much earlier.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 6:18 am
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Originally Posted by seavisionburma View Post
Hi bitterproffit

Any chance you could ask your friend for some of those photos, and start a new thread with them? Would love to see photos of Hongkers from the early 70's
Great Idea. I will hit him up and see if he wants to scan them for me.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
Hong Kong Hilton was opened in 1963. Had the first ever in room minibar. Was closed and demolished in 1995.

My best friend speaks of staying in the Hong Kong Hilton while on leave while serving on a carrier during the Viet Nam War. His impressions and photos of Hong Kong in the early 70s were pretty amazing.

I think the Hilton Tokyo (Shinjuku) opened in 1963 as well.
Interesting Stuff..!! Wonder if the Conrad resides on the same spot as the old Hilton. Doesn't look like there's a regular Hilton in Hong Kong any more.
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Old Sep 25, 18, 2:13 am
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Hilton HK was first April 1963
Hilton Tokyo (>Capital Hilton > Capital Tokyu) July 1963 was second

Everything else was quite a bit later.
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Old Sep 25, 18, 4:44 am
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Originally Posted by quarryking View Post
Interesting Stuff..!! Wonder if the Conrad resides on the same spot as the old Hilton. Doesn't look like there's a regular Hilton in Hong Kong any more.
The original Hilton was torn down in the 90s and a high rise is in its place. It was in the Central district.

According to wikipedia, it was replaced by the Cheung Kong Center. Its the building that is between the Bank of China tower and the HSBC tower.
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