The Sands China Vice-President of Integrated Marketing & Communication, Cristina Quental, indicated today that The Londoner Hotel is expected to be “fully completed” in July 2020.
The new The Londoner Hotel will replace the Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central, with 1,200 rooms turned into some 600 one-bedroom suites and with the former hotel team to be re-trained for the next property.
According to Ms. Quental the decision to reduce room space for quality was a “lesson learned” after improvements were decided to be implemented at The Parisian months after its opening – with 600 rooms converted into 300 suites – due to guests “demanding more”.
“We learned our lesson and we will make sure The Londoner rooms are spectacular from the get-go […] We drew inspiration from British artisan craftsmanship picking the most famous bespoke tailors on Savile Row and in Mayfair and we will try to make everything unique”, Ms. Quental said in a presentation introducing the new project organised by the French Chamber of Commerce.
The group intends to make the rooms stand out from its current portfolio in terms of what it offers to high-end customers, not necessarily on size but in its materials, finishing and artworks.
The hotel is part of the US$2.2 billion (MOP17.7 billion) project to gradually reconvert Sands Cotai Central into the Londoner Macao in Cotai between 2020 and 2021.
“Between the second and third quarter [of 2020] you will see a lot of amenities coming online, the restaurants, gaming facilities. The hotel will be fully completed in July and then the retail area will be opened portion by portion”, Ms. Quental added.
The whole façade of the project is expected to only be fully completed by the end of next year, but with renovation works on the Sheraton side of the building to carry on into 2021.
“The complexity of this project is that everything will come up online as it is built. The last thing that will come through is the façade because the construction period is much longer”, she noted.
According to Ms. Quental, The Londoner Macao project is part of Sands China plans to target a growing premium mass and family market.
“VIP is exactly where we see the highest demand growth. We’re not so dependent on the VIP segment as other concessionaires, we’re mainly mass but we are really focusing on the premium mass segment. That’s where we’ve seen the largest growth in the last two years and that’s why we believe that there’s enough demand out there to upgrade all our room products, all our service levels to definitely cater to that audience,” she noted.
The Sands China representative also noted that, as Macau has become a more family-friendly destination, the group is looking to not just provide suites but also two-bedroom suites.
Sands China was said to currently offer 12,500 rooms, with 600 rooms removed as Holiday Inn closed down but with the new grand suites at Four Seasons and The Londoner apartments to compensate that loss.
The Londoner apart-hotel on the back of St. Regis Hotel is expected to add 368 apartments – said to be designed by British footballer David Beckham – with the future Four Seasons Tower Suites Macao to add some other 290 suites.
In total, The Londoner Hotel, together with the current Conrad Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, and St. Regis Hotel in Sands Cotai, will provide over 6,000 hotel rooms and suites after the renovation.
“We’ll end up with almost the same number of keys but with what we call luxury room inventory, a much larger one. We’re letting go of entry market room inventory to make room for premium, that’s the trade-off”, Ms. Quental said.
Ms. Quental also noted that restraints from the 2008 economic crisis led to the Sands Cotai Central project not being developed as intended, with the company now looking to improve it and increase the time guests stay in the property.
The high number of hotels in the property was also said to lead to internal competition, not seen for example in the case of The Venetian and The Parisian.
The project will feature classic British landmarks such as a façade modelled on the Palace of Westminster and Houses of Parliament and a 96-metres full-size Big Ben replica with Ms. Quental noting there would be “surprises” inside the tower.
A replica of Piccadilly Circus’ Shaftsbury Memorial Fountain and Crystal Palace-style atrium – to be ready around May  – a renovated shopping mall, a new 6,000-seat arena, is also included in the project.
“The arena will be amazing for our MICE offering because it is perfect for large groups and will allow the Venetian arena to be more available for concerts”, she added.
Dining will also include a gastropub inspired by British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, a fusion Thai restaurant named The Mews and a buffet restaurant named Churchill’s Table.
In total, The Londoner Macao will offer 13 ballrooms, six meeting rooms, three spas, four health clubs more than 20 dining options and over 200 shops.
It will also include a 34,000-square-metres gaming space with 450 table games and 2,000 slot machines, plus VIP rooms.
The Sands China representative also noted that, during the group’s studies to determine what city theme should be selected for the new project, Sydney was considered the most popular choice, London being the second favourite and one of the group’s chairman favourite choices.