An interview with Mr. Jack Lim, The General Manager of
Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort
With people’s increasing interest in and investment into wellness, China is witnessing a prosperous development of wellness real estate projects which fall into different types and themes and target distinctive groups. For Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort, it’s the perfect encounter of TCM and Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts that has set it apart from others. Located by the estuary of the Zhujiang River in Hengqin, Zhuhai, overlooking vast wetlands, Ruilian Wellness offers a pure getaway, with holistic wellness and hotel services.
SpaChina interviewed Mr. Jack Lim, the General Manager of Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort. He pulls back the veil on this newly-developed wellness destination. Mr. Lim has over 33 years’ experience in hotel operations, travel management companies, leisure travel operations as well as regional hotel sales & marketing across Asia Pacific. Before taking the post at Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort, he worked for many famous hospitality and travel management groups including The Langham Hospitality Group, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Kempinski Hotels and more.
Please introduce Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort to us.
Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort is a new wellness concept project owned by “The Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park of Co-operation between Guangdong and Macao”, and managed by Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts. This project led and invested by the Government of Macao is scheduled to open in Q2, 2020.
Located in the new area of Hengqin, Zhuhai, Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort offers easy access to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Jiuzhou Port within “The Greater Bay Area”.
Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort features 214 wellness rooms/suites and 18 villas units, three F&B outlets focusing on varieties of wellness menu, and other wellness recreations and elements such as Rain Forest, Watsu / Water Taiji / Ayurveda, Singing Bowl and Pilates. The overall design layout adopts the modern contemporary concept of “energy awakening” to revitalize and relax the body and soul.
How do you integrate different facilities and services to give guests a smooth wellness experience?
Ruilian Resort features a holistic approach in wellness programs and activities that incorporate personalized services to enhance guests’ journey. We introduce different packages to target individual’s body conditions and health needs.
We take root in the culture of Traditional Chinese Medicine and our core service team is composed of a group of renowned TCM experts across China. To Chinese people, TCM is something engraved in their DNA. They can easily understand and accept this healing system that distinctively belongs to them. They can also benefit greatly from it no matter what period of their lives they are in. And to foreigners, obviously, nothing is more appealing than TCM in China’s culture.
Aside from activities and personalized services, we also blend into our overall wellness concept a variety of organic and health F&B options, innovative Traditional Chinese wellness cuisine and authentic Southern China dishes.
Who are your target groups? What health needs and trends have you seen?
As government entities continue to support the wellbeing programs for the health of the citizens, wellness travel appeals to more and more people.
Our target audience are the people who embrace services from Science to Spirit, who seek wellness experience and who enjoy a transformation to healthy lifestyle.
As I know, hot spring retreat, spa, organic menu, mental healing, ancient Ayurveda and TCM are some of the main interests amongst people of all ages.
Is this your first time to manage such a holistic wellness program? During the management process, have you met any challenges or something special? How did you deal with them?
Yes. I am very excited about this opportunity to manage such an amazing wellness project. It’s very challenging and also very meaningful.
This project gives a full display of China’s traditional wellness culture. Traditional Chinese wellness concept advocates to stay health and prevent diseases through daily health improvement in terms of food, housing and transportation. In our resort, we integrate food, accommodation, treatments, and fitness activities together to deliver a holistic health journey.
Every wellness project has its distinctive offerings, but I think the unchangeable key is to find the proper resources and talents who have a clear sense to the market and right mindset. Not only to find them, but also to train them and let them grow. For this reason, I am actively guiding and training my team. They are all full of energy and creativity.
China’s wellness real estate industry is showing a flourishing outlook. What are the unique features of Ruilian Wellness for it to be differentiated?
I am sure there are various wellness projects across the country each carrying its unique offerings. At Ruilian Wellness, we innovatively integrate three core elements: Preventive care, TCM healthcare program and a full service wellness resort.
We deliver novel Oriental healing experience based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, with international hospitality services carried out by Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts.
According to your observation, what is the current situation and prospect of wellness real estate development in China?
Wellness real estate refers to the type of property that can help people improve health and prevent diseases. At present, the major forms in China include hot spring resort, resort at the forest or by the sea, spa resort and senior care property. But medical resort, which are common in foreign countries, are not yet so often seen in China. I believe that as China’s aging population keeps increasing, the government will pay even more attention and have higher requirements to the development of wellness real estate, which will inevitably result in more investment and personnel involvement.
How do you see the role of hotel groups in the development of wellness real estate?
I think hotel groups have the chance and privilege to become a forerunner in this field. In Ruilian (Hengqin) Wellness Resort, for instance, we not only address health improvement, but also present Chinese unique characters – let TCM shine in a better platform. Surely, we are still on the path of exploration. We need to further understand the market’s needs and try to introduce TCM to our guests in a more comprehensible way. Apart from establishing Ruilian as a successful wellness resort, we also want to practice social contributions.