The 82-room hotel opened this week in London and may soon be followed by other brand hotels in âkey target citiesâ such as Paris, New York, Singapore and Bangkok. The next confirmed opening will be a hotel in Guangzhou, China, in 2020.
Outside of Japan, Prince Hotels owns properties of several brands in Hawaii and Taiwan, but this is its first property in Europe.
âLondon is well known as one of the top three tourist and business destinations in Europe and is a major financial center, so this was a rare opportunity to operate a hotel here,â said Masahiko Koyama, chairman of Prince Hotels. “We are very honored to be able to launch our new luxury brand overseas here.”
In London for the hotel launch, Koyama said TTG he wasn’t worried about the capital’s overcapacity or the impact of Brexit on the market.
“We believe that business and tourism continues to increase in the UK and do not believe there are any issues that will negatively affect our progress with the hotel,” he said.
Following a multi-million pound transformation of the former The Arch hotel to create an ‘urban sanctuary’, Prince Akatoki presents the design of London-based B3 Designers; Tokii, a seasonal Japanese-inspired restaurant; and The Malt Lounge & Bar, which will offer a wide range of Japanese teas during the day and rare Japanese whiskeys and sakes at night.
Akatoki comes from an ancient Japanese phrase meaning sunrise or dawn and was selected to “represent the new era and incorporate a sense of Japanese culture,” Koyama said, adding that the hotel’s general manager , Ray Geotz, had spent time with the company in Japan to learn about Japanese culture and traditions, while a chef came from Japan to train Tokii staff.
Koyama stressed that well-being is also important for the hotel brand. âIn Japanese culture, we always wish for the success and well-being of others and we reflect this in all of our hotels. As a large company in general, Seibu [which Prince is part of] takes well-being seriously.
The hotel, on Great Cumberland Place near Marble Arch, has as a focal point in each room a wall hanging inspired by fusama panels, synonymous with traditional Japanese interior design.
Koyama said that in Japanese culture, hospitality is seen as a “unique opportunity to welcome someone the best you can, in case you don’t see them again” in a “calm, caring and sophisticated rather than flashy. .
âWe sincerely hope that what we have created with the hotel fosters an even stronger recognition of Japanese culture and helps us become better known as a Japanese hotel brand here in the UK,â he said. .