An interview with Mr. Ian Schrager, Founder & Chairman of Ian Schrager Company; Concept & Programming & Creative Director of EDITION Hotels
Since the 1970s, American entrepreneur Ian Schrager, Founder and Chairman of Ian Schrager Company, has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionised the entertainment, residential and hospitality industries, including the hotel as home away from home, the hotel as theatre, “cheap chic,” “lobby socialising” and the urban resort.
He opened Morgans Hotel in 1984, introducing the concept of the “boutique hotel” to the world. With his equally successful Royalton Hotel and Paramount Hotel, Schrager introduced the concept of “lobby socialising”, where the hotel lobby became a new kind of gathering place for guests and city residents alike.
EDITION Hotels, Ian Schrager’s partnership with Marriott International, marks the next chapter in the lifestyle hotel story. The already-opened Sanya EDITION combines the personal, intimate, individualized and unique lodging experience that Ian Schrager is known for with the global reach, operational expertise and scale of Marriott, and brings guests really unique and stylish offerings. SpaChina interviewed him.
What is the design philosophy of The Sanya EDITION?
We approached the design in a very unique and distinctive way. We wanted to create a hotel that could only be in Sanya. The Sanya EDITION is about having effortless living, which means the art of living where you have nothing to do but enjoy. With the resort, we wanted it to manifest the exotic, mysterious and cosmopolitan China that we know. The hotel is like a village with its own reality, we created different zones for entertainment. There are five different restaurants, five different pools, meandering walks and China’s first private ocean. And we have great entertainment on top of the Sky Bar.
How do you suggest guests experience the best of your hotel and of Sanya?
Guests can have a great time exploring the extensive grounds of The Sanya EDITION. Families can bond at The Playland with attractions that include a mini golf course, a kid’s club, and a bumper car racing track. Our spectacular private ocean, the centrepiece of the hotel, is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon swimming or discovering a water sport. For a truly restorative experience, we’d recommend the specialty treatments at The Spa to relax and unwind. For a gastronomic experience, guests can enjoy an idyllic boat ride to Xian Hai By The Sea to feast on locally-caught fresh seafood.
For guests who want to see more of Sanya, we’d recommend Wuzhizhou Island for scuba diving, where the waters are crystal clear with colourful reefs, and a variety of marine life, or Monkey Island to appreciate Sanya’s wildlife on a tropical island-type nature reserve, or go shopping at China Duty Free Mall (CDF), where hotel guests enjoy an additional 5% discount.
What are the highlights of The Spa at The Sanya EDITION?
The Spa at The Sanya EDITION combines authentic Asian healing traditions with innovative techniques and emerging trends. Spanning over 2,000m2 on two levels with extensive gardens, The Spa at The Sanya EDITION reflects a sophisticated approach to beauty and wellness that is equally attuned to modern living and local customs. Signature treatments include extensive heat and water therapies to enhance and restore natural well-being. Additional facilities include a retail boutique, male and female grooming and beauty outlets and a world-class fitness studio.
What do you think of the Chinese government’s plan for developing Hainan into a medical tourism industrial zone?
There is a huge demand for medical services in China, and the development of a special medical tourism zone would have a great positive impact. We foresee that there would be synergies between medical tourism and the hospitality industry, and it would increase growth in this sector. The Hainan’s tourism infrastructure would also improve to meet the demands of the luxury market, and would attract more tourists.
In which aspects should Hainan make improvements to further stimulate the tourism industry in Sanya?
The Sanya Tourism authority has developed a strong marketing campaign to position Sanya as a top destination for MICE and leisure tourism. In addition to participating in various travel fairs in China and abroad, promotional programs have been launched to showcase its unique tourism attractions, particularly its cultural offerings and exquisite natural surroundings. Sanya has continually updated its infrastructure so as to offer a high standard of facilities and services. For example, Sanya Phoenix International Airport is undergoing expansion to increase its capacity to receive more visitors.