A look at brands: IHG to revive fading luxury brand Regent Hotels

*** update April 13, 2020: The 503-room InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong (pictured), located at Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront, has announced its biggest renovation in 30 years to rebrand the property into the Regent Hong Kong. The hotel closure is scheduled on 20 April 2020 with the targeted reopening in 2022. The renovation will include all guest rooms and suites, all public areas, restaurants and event venues, as well as a redesign of building façade with a contemporary design. During the renovation, Yan Toh Heen, the hotel’s 1-Michelin star Cantonese restaurant, will remain open with access through the K11 Musea mall located next to the hotel ***

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announced Wednesday plans to acquire from Taipei’s Formosa International Hotels a 51% stake in Regent Hotels and Resorts for US$39 million in cash. IHG will have the right to acquire the remaining 49% interest in a phased manner from 2026.

“With the global reach, resources, marketing infrastructure and it’s existing portfolio of iconic hotels in key gateway destinations, IHG may just be the white knight at the right time that is needed to resurrect and put it’s muscle behind the sleeping Asian brand,” said Raymond Bickson, who was a GM and project manager for Regent in the late 1980s under the original partners Bob Burns, Georg Rafael and Adrian Zecha. “It can once again be a global luxury brand to be reckoned with.”

IHG will bring Regent into its brand portfolio at the top end of the luxury segment and will accelerate its growth globally with the intention to grow the brand from six hotels open and three under development today to over 40 hotels (10,000 rooms) in key global gateway city and resort locations over the long term. Growth will include giving some InterContinental branded hotels the opportunity to step up and rebrand as Regents.

IHG made an immediate splash with the brand by announcing that the original flagship in Hong Kong (pictured) will convert from InterContinental back to Regent in 2021 after an extensive renovation led by owner Gaw Capital Partnership. Originally built as The Regent Hong Kong in 1980, the hotel was rebranded to InterContinental Hong Kong in June 2001. There are a few other existing InterContinental hotels that might look to rebrand as Regent properties over time, but the vast majority of the growth will come from incremental hotels.

There are currently six hotels (Beijing, Berlin, Chongqing, Porto Montenegro, Singapore, and Taipei – together 2,000 rooms) in the Regent system and 3 hotels (Jakarta, Harbin, Phu Quoc – 900 rooms) are under development.

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