‘Country house’ hotel on sale for 250m yuan

Owners expect the Zhejiang property to lure rich mainlanders and Hongkongers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2014, 4:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 3:34am

A hotel in Zhejiang province in the style of a French country house has been released for sale with an indicative price of 250 million yuan (HK$314 million).

Owners Christophe Peres and Pauline Lee began to build Le Passage Mohkan Shan in the Moga Mountains, about an hour's train journey from Shanghai, in 2007. After operating the hotel for two years, they decided to appoint property agency JLL to sell it.

"We are individual owners only. We want to find a professional company with hotel experience to manage the hotel," Peres said. "We believe the hotel will attract hotel operators from the mainland and overseas."

As a seven-bedroom owner's house is under construction on the site and the government restricts the building of houses, Peres said he expected rich mainlanders and Hongkongers to be interested in the project.

The hotel comprises a main house and five detached bungalows, with 52 guest rooms. The rooms measure 60 to 160 square metres.

It has a gross floor area of 7,835 square metres and is surrounded by 6.7 hectares of tea plantations.

The facilities at the hotel include a banquet room, restaurants, spring water pool, lounge and cigar room, meeting room, library, salon, cooking school, activity centre and a rose garden with more than 12,000 bushes.

With an average room rate of 5,500 yuan per night, the hotel is targeting the high-end market.

"There are some developers that built chateau hotels or hotels in golf courses and tea plantations in recent years," said Thomas Lam, head of valuation and consultancy at Knight Frank. "But there is a scant supply of these hotels because they have to be built in beautiful countryside."

The average occupancy rate of these luxury hotels was about 60 per cent, Lam said.

"The occupancy rate is high during the weekend," he said. "But it is hard to attract travellers during weekdays."

Since it usually takes more than an hour on average to drive from the countryside to the city centre, about 80 per cent of the guests are mainlanders.

"The major concern about this hotel investment is that the operating cost is higher than that of typical hotels. You have to hire more staff and it incurs higher maintenance costs," Lam said.