An international developer and operator of luxury hotels is targeting the competitive hotel market in Sanya.

Kerzner International Holdings Ltd, based in Dubai, whose flagship brand is Atlantis in the Bahamas and Dubai, will locate its first Chinese destination resort in Sanya, the company announced on Sunday.

The One&Only Sanya Resort with approximately 120 guest rooms and villas, will open in early 2014 and beside Tufu Bay, which is currently virgin territory for tourism.

The project is being co-developed by Hainan Gezhouba Industrial Co Ltd and assisted by Greentown Hotel Management Co Ltd. The project design team is currently in the process of reviewing plans, which will be submitted to the local authorities for approval.

The resort will be the eighth One&Only resort worldwide. The resorts are created exclusively for the luxury market. Two of them are located in Dubai. Others are in the Maldives, Mauritius, the Bahamas, Los Cabos in Mexico and Cape Town in South Africa.

"Many good reasons led us to Sanya, including the nice beaches, good climate, convenient communications and excellent infrastructure," said Sol Kerzner, chairman of Kerzner International.

Kerzner said the resort will target both Chinese and foreign customers, since the brand One&Only has many loyal customers worldwide.

The city of Sanya is already home to various international high-end brands, such as Hilton Hotels Corp, MGM Resorts International and St Regis Hotels and Resorts International Inc. Competition is stiff in the city.

Statistics from the local government show that only 9 percent of visitors to Sanya chose to live in high-end hotels during the past spring festival, according to, the official website of Hainan Daily newspaper.

However, Kerzner International is confident the market will get better in the long term, because Chinese tourists are looking for better traveling experiences, said Alan Leibman, chief executive officer of Kerzner International.

"It made perfect sense for our resort to be in China because so many guests from China have already experienced One&Only and Atlantis worldwide," he said.

The Atlantis in Dubai, which cost $1.5 billion and opened in 2008, charges the highest price in Dubai for its rooms.

SOURCE: China Daily
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