Hotel and resort operator Hilton International has said that the success of its Hilton Odawara resort in Japan could well lead to the company making further investment in the country.
Hilton took over the lease of the 172-bedroom resort just outside Tokyo earlier this year, officially opening it on 23 April.
It boasts an extensive spa facility, bowling alley, gym, sports arena, 18-hole putting green, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, karaoke rooms, 14 banquet rooms and four restaurant/bars and since Hilton took over, has seen occupancy increase by 10 per cent.
“We need to evaluate how successful Hilton Odawara is,” Paul Harvey, Hilton’s vice president for Japan and Micronesia, told Spa Business, “It takes a little bit of time to get a clear view on that so we’ll review it towards the end of the year.”
However, he said the company is looking for opportunities in Japan, but is seeking management agreements or leases rather than buying hotels.
“The concept of spa treatments for both men and women is something that’s pretty new in Japan and really only exists in a few hotel spas in Tokyo, where there’s a large number of international guests,” said Harvey. “The passion of the Japanese is Onsen. To interest them in treatments will take time, but it ill happen.”
“I’d like to see broader wellness facilities in our city centre hotels; at the moment we have fitness and some sort of massage service, but it’s something I’d like to expand. International customers certainly want it and, with time, Japanese customers will want it as well.”
The company’s next opening in the region will be a super-deluxe Conrad Hotel in Tokyo, in May, which will include a wellness facility, although it has not yet been decided which brand the spa will be operated under.
For more information on Hilton Odawara, see Spa Business, Q3 2004. Call +44(0)1462 471913 to subscribe, or visit www.leisuresubs.com