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April 10, 2017

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Attention to detail to keep the customers satisfied

SHANGHAI Centre’s Byron Kan and Grand Gateway 66’s Rico Yip reveal what makes two of the city’s best-known commercial developments tick and look at challenges ahead.

Could you first give a brief introduction of your property?

Byron Kan: Shanghai Centre is truly an iconic project that introduced the first modern commercial development to the city. It was also the first foreign-developed project and, for eight years, the tallest building in Shanghai. As a mixed-use development, we offer superior standards with an unprecedented range of facilities including 472 luxury serviced apartments, over 30,000 square meters of prime office space, an upscale tri-level retail plaza, a full-sized performance theater, a trademark exhibition atrium and the deluxe five-star hotel — The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai.

Rico Yip: Grand Gateway 66 Serviced Apartment is strategically located at the heart of Xujiahui above three major Metro lines (1, 9 and 11). Together with its versatile shopping mall and office towers, Grand Gateway 66 Serviced Apartment offers its residents unrivaled convenience and an exciting lifestyle. At Grand Gateway 66 Serviced Apartments, our formula for success lies in the full coverage hospitality experience we provide. We strongly believe in one core concept — “We do it right,” which stems from our corporate culture. Our team is well-trained to deliver this “right” concept in our service, creating positive and lasting memories for our residents. All residents at Grand Gateway 66 Serviced Apartment have full access to our exciting services including the spacious and luxurious clubhouse, comprehensive facilities, rooftop swimming pool, tennis courts and free WiFi connections.


Anything you have done recently to further improve guest satisfaction at your property or do you have any plans for that in the short to medium term?

Byron Kan: We recently completed a multi-year renovation of our serviced apartments, which included newly upgraded units, corridors and lobbies. And we are always improving retail mix by bringing in new food and beverage concepts (Saigon Mama, Hiroya, Lil’ Laundry and ACharcoal). With the installation of digital movie equipment we are also able to show the latest local and international blockbusters at our performance theater. Just last year, we transformed the Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge into the city’s most iconic bar/lounge. Combine this with our existing offerings (two spas, an international supermarket, a bar/lounge) and our residents, guests and visitors can spend the entire day at Shanghai Centre.


What’s the strength of your brand or how do you differentiate yourself from other international counterparts?

Byron Kan: Well, we started the industry and the whole movement to international service quality and management when we opened our doors 27 years ago. To this date, we are proud to be known as the city’s best-managed, most resident-friendly property. We want to make sure our residents truly experience “life at your doorstep.” They literally don’t have to leave the complex to take care of their daily needs: on-site preschool, a medical and dental facility, bakery, supermarket, dry-cleaner, post office, even a shoe-repair center. And residents do seem to appreciate our efforts as we were awarded “Best Overall Serviced Apartments” by several popular Shanghai publications (City Weekend, iDeal, Talk Magazine).


How do you perceive the city’s overall serviced residency market? What’s your plan to deal with intensified competition as more players are eyeing for a lucrative share?

Byron Kan: Competition comes not only from the traditional serviced apartment providers, but also from hotels that cater to long-term stays, as well as prestigious non-serviced apartments. We focus on our core competencies of offering the best international service and living environment to our mostly expatriate residents. With the recently completed renovations, we once again offer one of the most premium apartments available.

Rico Yip: As one of the largest serviced residence owners in town, we consistently focus on optimizing and updating our facilities and service to ensure our leading position in the market. Grand Gateway 66 aims to provide the best service to our prestigious residents with our sound central management system and warm hearts. We also provide the most comfortable experience to our residents in every aspect: Each morning when our residents leave their apartments, they will receive not only a cup of freshly brewed coffee, but also a warm greeting and a taxi waiting outside for them. We believe this kind of service is the key competence of Grand Gateway 66.


How do you expect the market to grow over the coming few years in terms of room numbers? As one of the major players in the city, do you foresee any challenges for the industry in the near term?

Byron Kan: The growth in serviced apartment demand has moderated in the past few years as international companies become more cautious in deploying expatriate staff in the current economic environment. Housing allowances have stagnated and, in some cases, are even being cut back. While the number of new serviced apartments has also moderated, as mentioned above, the challenges come also from the growing number of alternative residential providers. But so long as we continue to provide the best service and living environment, we remain optimistic with both our near-term and long-term potentials.

Rico Yip: According to Grand Gateway 66’s past accomplishments and experience, our major goal is to keep satisfying our honorable guests. We are very positive and confident to continuously playing our role as one of the market leaders with a vision to further improve our service quality, facilities and hardware.


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