Mission Hills Haikou & Lan Kwai Fong Group embark in new projects
Just when Mission Hills, the world’s largest golf club, seems to have achieved everything in size and status as China’s golf market leader, the 22-course two-resort innovator is embarking on new projects at its Haikou property on the tropical island of Hainan.
Late next year, Mission Hills will open a joint-venture hotel, shopping and entertainment project with Hong Kong-based company, Lan Kwai Fong Group, while in October this year it will start building a 1400-acre movie theme town in conjunction with Chinese film production and record company, Huayi Brothers.
The hotel, shopping and entertainment project with Lan Kwai Fong will add 300 high-end shops, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotels, ice-skating and ten-pin bowling to the resort that is home to the world’s largest collection of volcanic golf courses – all built on a bed of lava from now extinct volcanoes that last erupted more than 200,000 years ago.
Other partners in the project are US bowling alley operator the Brunswick Group, international ice-skating company Ice Castle International, Japan’s eXcape Entertainment Group and Chinese language film company Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment Limited.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mission Hills Group, Dr Ken Chu, says, “Each of the four business partners is a leader in its own field. This collaboration presents a win-win for each party.”
The $US158 million movie theme town, to open in early 2014, will feature settings from movies made by the “father of Chinese New Year films”, Feng Xiao Gang. As well as having its own movie-theme, each area of the movie town will feature numerous dining, entertainment, shopping, cinema, cafe, bar and hotel facilities.
Construction of the project will begin in October, with a grand opening scheduled for the 2014 Lunar New Year.
Meanwhile, Mission Hills’ resorts at Haikou and Shenzhen/Dongguan have become members of The Leading Hotels of the World, the world’s largest luxury hospitality organization with more than 430 of the most iconic independent properties in more than 80 countries as members.
In welcoming Mission Hills, The Leading Hotels of the World president and CEO, Ted Teng, told a press event at Haikou: “What unites our members is their unvarying quality and attention to detail and it’s clear this is present at Mission Hills resorts.”
Last October, for the first time, Mission Hills Haikou hosted golf’s biennial World Cup and will continue to be the venue for the prestigious event for the next decade. In October this year, the second World Celebrity Pro-Am tournament will be played at the Blackstone course. Formerly called the Star Trophy when held at Haikou in 2010, the charity event will raise funds for UNICEF’s 'Believe in Zero’ project, which aims to improve child life expectancy, welfare and disease prevention in China and elsewhere.
The event has attracted a bevy of celebrities, including football’s Brazilian superstar, Ronaldo, Chinese basketball player Yao Ming, who is the event’s charity ambassador, former world number one snooker player Stephen Hendry, past US Masters golf champion Ian Woosnam and numerous film, TV and music stars.
Mission Hills Haikou, which opened in 2010 with 10 golf courses, a 518-room resort hotel and aquatic park, last year added Asia’s largest mineral springs and spa complex to the site.
Opening of the mineral springs and spa facility has already considerably boosted the resort’s appeal. Meandering over almost a kilometre in length, it features five themed zones – representing Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania and the Middle East – with a total of 168 pools, each with a different mineral treatment, and a vast array of pavilions and special features.
The spa centre was created in traditional Fujian style with a spectacular bamboo ceiling, houses 90 suites and offers treatments including day spa rituals of up to 190 minutes, face and body treatments and a one-hour lava shell massage.
Mission Hills’ current development emphasis at Haikou is part of a drive to grow golf and leisure tourism to the resort and to Hainan island. The government in Beijing has afforded Hainan visa-free status for foreign groups of five or more, provided they enter and exit through Hong Kong.
Billed as China’s Hawaii, Hainan’s year-round climate makes the island a major attraction for mainland China visitors – and others from north Asia – especially in winter, as well as from Asia/Pacific, Europe and North America throughout the year.
Mission Hills also has become the first golf operator in China to receive international ISO 14001 accreditation in recognition of its commitment to building a sustainable and environmentally-responsible tourism business.
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