Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced this week that it has partnered with Chinese property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties to bring a new hotel to Suzhou, China in late 2023.
The city is the second largest city in the Jiangsu province after Nanjing and one of the many cities known as “Venice of the East” because of its canals and stone bridges. The city is about half an hour by train or an hour by car from Shanghai.
The new Four Seasons property will comprise a 22-acre section of a private island in the middle of Jinji Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country located in the central part of Suzhou Industrial Park, connected to the city via a private bridge. Plans call for over 200 rooms, suites, and private villas, along with a spa, full gym, lakeside jogging track, indoor and outdoor pool, and a Kids for All Seasons facility.
Four Seasons is also planning a number of dining experiences, including a Chinese restaurant with seven private dining rooms, an all-day dining restaurant that serves international cuisine, along with a lobby lounge and bar that offers guests a panoramic view of Jinji Lake.
Four Seasons has seven properties in China and Hong Kong, including hotels in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macao, and Tianjin.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Four Seasons president of Global Business Development and Portfolio Management Bart Carnahan said that “China is an important market for us” and future trends could make it even more critical.
While that market is still struggling—Phocuswright said that the China travel market is not anticipated to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024—an increased population and a desire to travel (the number of ordinary passport holders in China continues to increase) could make China’s inbound and outbound markets some of the most important for the travel industry worldwide.
"China is an important market for us, and it is with great excitement that we expand our portfolio with this exceptional project in Suzhou, giving international and domestic guests a new and unique opportunity to experience Four Seasons in the region,” Carnahan said.