Conrad Xiamen (厦门康莱德酒店) held grand opening ceremmony on August 20, 2016
The long-awaited Conrad Xiamen (厦门康莱德酒店) opened its doors in the 300-meter tall Shimao Straits Tower (世茂海峡大厦) on August 18, 2016. Occupying the 37th to 54th floors of the landmark building, Conrad Xiamen is the highest-elevation hotel in Xiamen. The hotel has sweeping, expansive views of the famous Gulangyu Island, historic downtown Xiamen, and stunning Yanwu Bridge.
Conrad is an international brand of luxury hotels and resorts founded by Hilton Worldwide and named after company founder Conrad Hilton 31 years ago. There are now six Conrad hotels in greater China.
WOX was invited to attend Conrad Xiamen's grand opening, and we took the opportunity to do a sit-down interview with the hotel's general manager, Mr. Michael Schmitt. Mr. Schmitt's resume is long and includes a list of prestigious general manager roles including the Hilton Adelaide, Hilton Hua Hin Resort and Spa, Hilton Dalian, and Conrad Dalian.
Mr. Michael Schmitt, General Manager of Conrad Xiamen
Strong connection with local culture
Given his experience working around the world, Mr. Schmitt was amazed by the beauty of Xiamen when he first arrived here. He appreciated Xiamen’s development in tourism, business, and culture, and added that he takes great pleasure in living and working in Xiamen.
As a global luxury hotel brand, Conrad has made a great effort to connect the hotel to the local culture. According to Mr. Schmitt, the hotel’s design took inspiration from Xiamen’s culture and the sea; the hotel buildings' unique twin-sail-shaped appearance connects the waters with the hotel. “All of our restaurants, bars, and rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide incredible views over Gulangyu Island and the bay, and the numerous bridges and ships in the distance,” said Mr. Schmitt.
The hotel researched some of the symbols that represent Xiamen -- the egret, the phoenix tree, and the bougainvillea -- and integrated them into the hotel's design. “You can see from our Chinese restaurant LUCHENG (which stands for "journey" as well as "the egret city"), egrets can be found on the China wares and the staff uniforms. We also try to have the color of the phoenix tree and the bougainvillea integrated into our designs as well. Everything we do is trying to show the connection with Xiamen and the sea,” said Mr. Schmitt.
Conrad Xiamen towers from the 37th floor of the twin-sail shaped Shimao Straits Tower,
boasting expansive views of the famous Gulangyu Island.
When asked about what makes Conrad Xiamen special in a city with so many great hotels, Mr. Schmitt attributed it to Conrad's intuitive, flawless, and timely service. He gave an example: “The team members take time to understand the needs and desires that make every guest unique. We really internalize that knowledge to create memorable, authentic, and inspired experiences. For example, every hotel has a pillow menu, and we further develop the pillow menu and create a sleep-well guide. In the guide, we have the pillow menu, the right temperature in the room, the fragrance, the tea, the lighting. Everything to ensure you have a pretty good night's sleep.”
Mr. Schmitt also emphatically described the Conrad 1/3/5 program, which connects the customers, the hotel, and the city together. He explained: “At Conrad, we believe travel is not just about the destination; it’s about the journey, and how you use every minute of it. That’s why we developed the 1/3/5 program to explore Xiamen. It gives you the best of local foods, culture, arts, and the adventures. It’s not about exploring the same things. It should be different things. It could be a little barbershop around the corner, or the beautiful library hidden somewhere in the alley -- the places you'll know about only if you have inside knowledge of the city. Our course planning team is very good at that.”
"As the latest hotel in the city, we have some of the largest rooms (average 60 square meters) with floor-to-ceiling windows and walk-in wardrobes, stunning restaurants all with incredible views, and Xiamen’s highest bar on the 54th floor. All these things packed together make Conrad Xiamen really special,” he concluded.
Tasteful dining experiences with stunning views
The fine-dining restaurant is one of the main factors that attract citizens and visitors to come to the hotel. Mr. Schmitt was quite sure that Conrad has the most stunning and stylish restaurants and bars in Xiamen, and one of the most important factors is their location.
Conrad Xiamen has five restaurants and bars from the ground floor to the 54th floor.
FRENCH KISS, on the first floor, is a Parisian Patissserie and eat-in/take-out fine food and coffee shop, offering delicacies that look pretty and make you feel good. You can come buy a cup of coffee and go straight to the visitor platform or the adjacent shopping mall.
PLUSH (38th floor) is an exquisite tea lounge during the day that transforms into a vibrant and stylish bar in the evening. PLUSH offers sensational drinks and snacks throughout the day and an exquisite Heavenly Tea Set.
Also on the 38th floor is PIER 38, a contemporary restaurant offering delicious Asian and Western cuisine with live cooking stations, amazing ocean vistas, and a comfortable setting. Guests can enjoy the sumptuous buffet while interacting with the skilled chefs as they prepare dishes to their liking.
Chinese restaurant LUCHENG presents seasonal Cantonese and Fujian cuisine, the very best Xiamen has to offer. It features a stylish a la carte dining area and eight private dining rooms, each with stunning sea views.
Last but not least is the Conrad's most exciting restaurant – COAST BAR & GRILL on the 54th floor. It specializes in prime seafood, superior imported meats, and other grilled delicacies. The separate bar area provides the perfect setting to enjoy pre-dinner drinks, sample wines from the hotel’s expansive wine list, or indulge in sensational cocktails in Xiamen’s highest-elevation bar. The restaurant features a senior bartender from Guangzhou who will wow diners with his amazing cocktails.
Pier 38 all-day dining restaurant
Lucheng Chinese restaurant
Coast Bar & Grill
As Mr. Michael Schmitt had a very busy schedule on the hotel's opening day, we didn’t have time to ask him more about the hotel. But he promised that more new exciting things are on the way. Why don't you come here and explore it yourself?