Competition among international hotels in Dalian is set to intensify, as several new hotels are scheduled to open next year, with the Hilton, Conrad and Sheraton groups adding to the 10 5-star hotels now in operation.
To stay competitive, major operators are looking to add facilities for discerning guests. One such hotel is relative newcomer, New World Dalian Hotel, which opened in 2009.
'The hotel will be creating a new executive club lounge in the guest room tower, which will provide excellent views across the city while also creating an exclusive, personalised environment for customers looking for that little bit extra,' says general manager Andrew Whitaker.
Among its key selling points, New World Dalian Hotel boasts of its location in the heart of the city, close to Zhongshan Square, Dalian Harbour and the financial district. It also has spacious and elegant guest rooms and sophisticated meeting and event facilities, including a Grand Ballroom that can seat 300 guests.
Hotel Nikko Dalian, another luxury city centre property, puts strong emphasis on Chinese culture and all the modern comforts one would expect.
'We have a shadow-boxing show in our lobby every morning from 7.50am to 8.50am and stage regular festivals showcasing traditional Chinese cuisines,' says Lucy Lin, assistant public relations manager.
The property offers the largest hotel spa in Dalian and has Japanese guest relations officers to serve visitors from Japan who make up a sizeable proportion of its clientele. Hotel Nikko Dalian also plans to renovate its guest and function rooms next year.
Other popular downtown hotels for affluent travellers include the InterContinental and Shangri-La.
Business visitors account for the majority of bookings in the city's 5-star hotels, but there are plenty of all-round attractions to delight visitors of all ages and budgets in Dalian.
Fabulous beaches make the city a summer seaside resort, while challenging golf courses draw visitors from Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.
From November to February, Dalian's ski resorts and hot springs become the region's prime winter attractions.