Shepherds Bush in West London was a-buzz earlier this week as Dorsett Shepherds Bush hotel threw a party to remember, celebrating its official full opening. The new London flagship property is the newest addition to the Dorsett Hospitality International portfolio and the company’s first hotel to open in the UK.
In homage to the company’s Chinese roots, a fantastical east-meets-west themed party delighted guests, who included selected local West London businesses, council representatives from the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, corporate clients, VIP press from the UK, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia, and friends of the Dorsett brand. The hotel exterior was ablaze with colourful lights and guests were met by a London Beefeater and a Chinese terracotta warrior at the door before being ushered into the party.
The hotel’s lobby, the beautiful Jin bar and Pictures restaurant came alive with an Oscars-style red carpet, dramatic lighting, six red and gold lanterns suspended from the ceiling and quirky touches including china British bulldogs and lucky Fortune Cats as table decorations.
Guests mingled while sipping Champagne and enjoying a selection of dim sum, prepared by the team at Shikumen – the new Chinese fine-dining restaurant that has just opened adjacent to the hotel. Party-goers with a sweet tooth were spoilt for choice as Pictures restaurant was transformed with all the fun of the fairground, with stalls serving Dorsett-blue candy floss, a Mr Whippy ice cream machine, and a flowing chocolate fountain.
A glamorous string quartet provided musical entertainment throughout the evening and a group of Chinese drummers added drama to the proceedings. Aerial gymnasts dressed in sparkling gold leotards hung from the ceiling to top up guests’ Champagne in a novel fashion before performing a dizzying aerial display, suspended on billowing red silk ropes under the glass ceiling, high above Jin Bar. Fay Presto, a magician who has performed for the Queen and was previously voted “Party Entertainer of the Year” by Tatler magazine, performed mind-boggling magic tricks within the crowd as they enjoyed the party.
“We are celebrating the successful opening of Dorsett Shepherds Bush, and also Dorsett’s arrival into London….We are a young hotel group but so far the journey has been a really exciting one – the group has grown from strength to strength. We started with our first hotel in Kuala Lumpur to now, managing and operating 30 hotels with more than 8,500 rooms globally. Currently there are eight hotels in the pipeline including our second project in London, Dorsett City London in Aldgate, which makes us one of the fastest growing Asian hospitality companies. While we continue to increase our presence here, I believe it is equally important to connect with the local community where we operate,” said Winnie Chiu, president and executive director, Dorsett Hospitality International, as she took to the stage to welcome guests and thank the members of her team who have worked tirelessly to make the hotel and the opening event a true success.
A surprise video sent from the London Mayor’s office showed Mayor Boris Johnson welcoming Dorsett Hotels to the capital, and in typical pithy fashion declaring “Dorsett Shepherds Bush: I en-Dorsett”.
“I am delighted to welcome our guests to Dorsett Shepherds Bush, and to be bringing Dorsett hospitality to the UK for the first time. This evening is a perfect example of our ethos – British splendour and tradition meets Asian hospitality. We want to become a place to enjoy for guests and locals alike here in Shepherds Bush and look forward to showcasing the Dorsett brand here in West London,” said Hilary Cross, general manager, Dorsett Shepherds Bush London.
With their strong record of building, operating and managing 18 hotels in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia), Dorsett Hospitality International targets key cities with high demand and growth potential. Dorsett Shepherds Bush is the first of a number of London projects in the pipeline to open.