Langham Hotels International (LHI) plans to more than double its estate in the next 18 months, Caterer has learnt.
The group, which currently operates six Langham-branded hotels on four continents - in Auckland, Boston, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne and Pasadena - is aiming for 13 properties by the end of 2010.
The main area of development is in China, where the Langham Yangtze Boutique Shanghai is due to open in early 2009, and the Langham Xiamen in early 2010. LHI expects to sign up 20 branded properties in China by 2012.
Three new hotels under the "edgier" Langham Place banner are scheduled to open in Beijing in early 2009 at the airport, in the Chaoyang diplomatic district and in Changchun. There are two existing Langham Place hotels, in Hong Kong and the eco-resort Koh Lanta, Thailand.
The group also plans to expand in Thailand, where it has signed for two additional resorts in Phuket. It will go down the management contract route in the USA and Europe in order to combat higher land prices.
The expansion plans come out a time when the Langham London is undergoing a £75m three-year refurbishment programme.
Duncan Palmer, director of the Langham London, claimed the hotel would "rival the best hotels London has to offer" when finished early next year. "We have decreased the number of rooms from 420 to 380," he told Caterer. "We are looking to compete with the likes of Claridge's, the Mandarin Oriental and the Savoy in terms of grandeur and statement."
The Langham London hotel is being refurbished at a cost of £75m
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