THE deluxe Regal Hongkong Hotel will have the soft opening of 210 rooms today, the first five-star property launch in Causeway Bay in 19 years. The $1 billion, 425-room hotel, financed through internal resources and bank backing, would become the Regal Group's flagship. The only other five-star hotel in the vicinity, The Park Lane hotel, opened in 1974. That alone made for good business sense in siting a property in the area, according to the new hotel's general manager Ike Perquin. ''Causeway Bay doesn't have a new five-star hotel, and the location is very good - close to the airport, business centre and lots of shopping malls,'' said Mr Perquin. He said the hotel would not compete with the chain's three other properties as they served different markets. ''We will be complementing rather than competing with each other as we are all after different markets and serve different needs,'' he said. ''The Regal Hongkong is a deluxe hotel while the Regal Riverside is a resort-type property, Regal Airport is a transit hotel and the Regal Kowloon serves the market in Kowloon.'' The Regal Hongkong would target a market mix of 80 per cent business travellers and 20 per cent tour and incentive groups, he said. Asia and the Far East would be the most important focus of marketing efforts, followed by Europe, North America, Australia and African nations. Bookings for the hotel have been brisk, with the limited 210-room capacity fully booked at the end of the month - 150 rooms taken up by Rugby Sevens fans. The 32-storey building, with all 425 rooms, was expected to be fully operational some time between April and May this year. According to Mr Perquin, the hotel would have outstanding decorations, featuring top quality paintings, sculpture and wood carvings. A highlight would be the roof-top swimming pool on the 31st floor, styled after a Roman bath.