District stands tall
Two towering skyscrapers are rising in Dalian in a massive residential-hotel-commercial development that will transform the central Zhongshan district, the city's central business district, which is also known as Qingniwa Bridge.
An 80-storey tower will be the tallest in the city and, along with a nearby 60-storey structure, will incorporate two luxury hotels, serviced residences, offices and a commercial podium, with a floor area of 240,000 square metres.
The two towers are part of the five-tower Eton Place Dalian at the intersection of Zhongshan Road and Youhao Street, which includes three towers of 43-storey apartments, providing a floor area of 230,000 square metres. The whole project has a planned area of 800,000 square metres. To its north are the port of Dalian and the Dalian Bay, and to its south is the mountain range. Eton Place is expected to have an impact on the city's serviced residence markets when it opens in 2013.
Dalian has a steady stream of medium- to long-stay foreign business executives and managers, and demand for service-residences is strong. The first international operator to enter the market was the Singapore-based Ascott Group in 2003. Its 106-room Somerset Harbour Court Dalian has become a popular choice for travellers with its convenient location in the central business district on Renmin Road next to the Asia-Pacific Finance Centre.
Accommodation choices at Somerset Harbour Court Dalian range from studio apartments to one- and two-bedroom executive residences, all offering fully equipped kitchens.
All the rooms have free broadband internet service and essential modern conveniences ranging from central heating and air conditioning to refrigerators, microwaves and cable/satellite television.
In the heart of the city, the Shangri-La Residences Dalian on Changjiang Road has some of the most extensive facilities in town providing 195 apartments, including one- to three-bedroom options and the presidential suite.
All the residences are fitted with full kitchen facilities and a complete range of lifestyle conveniences. Guests can enjoy all the amenities of a 5-star hotel, from a business centre offering state-of-the-art equipment and round-the-clock service to recreational facilities, such as the indoor swimming pool, fitness centre and tennis courts.
Just down the street from the Shangri-La Residences, Hotel Nikko Dalian offers a similar range of facilities for long-stay guests, with options including four-bedroom units and furnished or unfurnished apartments. Another choice in the city is Shama Luxe Grand Central, situated in the heart of the Dalian Development Area.
Located within the Grand Central shopping complex, the property offers 195, one- to three-bedroom serviced apartments along with an extensive clubhouse, including a fitness centre, indoor swimming pool, indoor children's play area, and a fully-equipped business centre.