THE prospect of a new five-star hotel opening in Hongkong is enough to give some rival hotels the jitters. But when the hotel is touted as a first-class resort ''getaway'', the jitters can be felt all the way to Macau. Hongkong's first resort-style hotel - the Gold Coast - is set to rival Macau as a destination for the territory's holidaymakers. The $2.2 billion project at Castle Peak Bay, in the New Territories, is also expected to take away a large percentage of the business travellers who usually flock to Macau for the resort atmosphere. The developers, the Sino Group, are confident the resort will attract the majority of Hongkong's business travellers. Sino Group executive in charge of hotels, Mr Charles Lee, said one of the advantages of the Gold Coast was the low transport cost. ''People won't have to travel, yet they are in a setting that feels like a faraway place,'' he said. ''They won't have to pay $250 for a two-way hydrofoil ticket, and there is no immigration, which takes an hour on a busy day. ''We will also have a ferry service for guests, and the resort can easily be reached by car.'' Mr Lee said the Gold Coast had first-class conference facilities, including a 6,000-square-foot ball room which holds 1,000 people. There are eight function rooms which can be used when business people want to break up into smaller groups. ''We have put in the latest audio-visual equipment. We will certainly have the edge over some of the older Macau hotels,'' he added. ''I've heard we are considered by the Westin resort in Macau as a major rival because we have similar facilities.'' ''But we have the advantages because, although our rates aren't very different to Macau's, we are closer to Hongkong, important for business.'' Mr Robert Chiang, director of sales and marketing at the Macau Mandarin, said business meetings were very important to the hotel. '' We rely very heavily on business functions. They are our bread and butter for mid-week occupancies,'' he said. ''We have thought about the Gold Coast resort as a competitor, but I think some businessmen will still go to Macau for meetings to get away from Hongkong.'' '' I'm not saying the Gold Coast won't affect us, because it will, but it will have more of an effect on the Hongkong resorts.'' The Hyatt's press relations manager Ms Therese Necio said Macau was still an ideal location to conduct business meetings. ''The Hyatt in Macau is seen as a getaway place for businessmen to conduct their meetings in a different setting. It's only one hour away from Hongkong, and it is a perfect leisure place for when the meetings are over. ''I don't think the Gold Coast will affect our business because, Macau has its own identity and its own winning ways. ''When people have business meetings in Macau, they do so because it is a unique placem, and it offers things that Hongkong cannot. ''I really couldn't see the Gold Coast as being a problem for us.''