Chinese firm oversees $60 million renovation of Pasadena hotel
Updated: 2014-09-02 04:53
By CINDY LIU in Los Angeles(China Daily USA)
Photo shows the upgraded hotel DusitD2 Constance Hotel in Pasadena, California. [HUANG XILIN FOR CHINADAILY]
A Pasadena, California landmark, the historic Hotel Constance, will have a grand opening in September under a new name DusitD2 Constance Hotel following a $60 million renovation project.
The hotel owner Park Place Commercial and its developer, the Chinese American real estate investment and services firm Singpoli, are spearheading the project.
Singpoli was established in Southern California in 1991. Founded by Herman Hui, a professor of structural engineering at Tongji University in Shanghai, Singpoli began as a construction company in Hong Kong in 1977. Over the next 14 years, Singpoli participated in the construction or renovation of many landmark properties in China, including the Great Hall of the People and the Beijing 1990 Asian Games Village.
Located in the heart of Pasadena's central business district, the hotel has been a historic landmark in the city for decades since first opened in 1926 as The Constance Hotel by Constance Perry.
"There have been no new hotels in Pasadena in over 20 years. Today's travelers are young and everybody uses a smartphone. Plus, there are more Chinese immigrants living and working in Pasadena but there are no high-end Chinese restaurants in Pasadena. We know this market is huge and we want to offer a luxurious and comfortable hotel stay for young travelers. We also want to present the best part of Asian culture to local Americans, "said Kin Hui, CEO and president of Singpoli.
With Singpoli's makeover, the hotel, now under its new name DusitD2, will define contemporary style and sophisticated hospitality in its balance of modern elegance with traditional Thai warmth. It offers 136 luxury accommodations, including 12 suites, boasting comfort, style and the latest in technology.
Each guest room features tech-savvy amenities like an iPad touch system, which serves as a virtual concierge and allows guests to adjust room controls, make housekeeping requests, arrange dinner reservations and even shop online.
The biggest guest room, the 1,100 square-foot Constance suite is equipped with the iPad touch panel system, Smart HDTV, two outdoor terraces with lounge seating and offers views of the Pasadena skyline and the San Gabriel Mountains.
DusitD2 is a brand of Dusit International, a Thailand-based hotel management company that operates luxury properties in several countries including Thailand, China and the United Arab Emirates.
Dusit International was founded in 1949 by Honorary Chairperson ThanpuyingChanutPiyaoui, whose first hotel was the Princess on Bangkok's New Road.
The hotel and its attached restaurants and bars are opening in September. A second phase of the hotel's development, slated for completion in 2016, will include 25 club-level guest rooms with fitness center, a club lounge, a rooftop pool and other features.
"We are just finalizing a few more details and getting ready to hold our grand opening in September," said Anna Whitlow, account director at Murphy O'Brien Public Relations, which handles PR for Singpoli. Whitlow said in addition to the $60 million, Singpoli is going to spend another $25 million to finish the second phase of the renovation.
The second phase has begun and is expected to be finished in 18 months. There will be 25 more hotel room suites, more parking, stores, clubs and high-end Chinese restaurants when completed.
The third phase will be a seven-floor modern office building to replace the current Bank of America building located at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Lake Avenue.
"Not just the hotel itself but also the whole business area within several blocks will be new, fashionable and high-tech, " said Kin Hui. "My goal is to provide the whole package of working, living and traveling experiences to local residents and worldwide travelers who are young and tech-savvy.
"For example, we will be very selective as to what Chinese restaurants will be open here. We want to introduce the best part of the Asian culture, especially the Asian culture to Chinese consumers as well as the American people. "
DusitD2 Constance will create up to 1,000 jobs for local residents when the second phase is completed, said Kin Hui.
Chinese investors have bought large hotels in California, including the Sheraton Universal in Universal City, the Crowne Plaza in Burlingame near the San Francisco airport and the Hilton Ontario in Ontario.