Lakeshore Hotel aims to be cultural heart of Hsinchu city

Amber Wang,The China Post

The Lakeshore Hotel, a frontrunner in Hsinchu City’s fiercely competitive hospitality industry, has been developing a unique niche to promote leisure and travel culture in the area.

Situated on the shore of the scenic Chintsao Lake, the Lakeshore has no problem attracting a steady flux of guests from all over the world with its beautiful surroundings, user-friendly facilities and quality customer service.

But what makes the hotel special and different from its downtown competitors is that on any given weekend, one will see visitors taking photos in front of Windsor Castle or Leith Castle, two of the hotel’s elegant buildings, or a family from the neighborhood going for a nice relaxing walk around the lakeside hotel.

“We are very happy to see them enjoying the environment, and interacting with the local community,” remarks The Lakeshore Hotel Managing Director Hsueh-ying Chou with a smile. With a strong personal interest in arts and culture, Chou is keen to make the Lakeshore part of Hsinchu’s cultural scene by sponsoring a wide array of events in the city. One recent noted example was the hotel’s partnership with Hsinchu City Government to accommodate guests for the International Arts Festival and dancers from the Shanghai Dance Company led by famed artist Huang Dou-dou. In addition, the Lakeshore launched a children’s drawing, poetry and music competition last month which was greeted with an enthusiastic response from the local community, marking another of its savvy marketing campaign to project a classy and dynamic image for the hotel.

Chou adds that the hotel will bring in a group of aboriginal students from Taitung to perform traditional harvest festival songs and dance for one week next month. Under the leadership of Chou, a U.S.-educated MBA who started her career in marketing and promotion for Chun Fu Real Estate Co., the hotel’s parent company, the Lakeshore is well poised to build a reputation not only as a full-service business hotel but a first-rate resort hotel with a distinct cultural touch. To achieve that end, the Lakeshore has already expanded its operations with the opening of the Lakeshore Hotel Metropolis I earlier this year in the heart of the city, catering to the needs of business travelers from the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park with 238 rooms, a New York-style steak house and a health club.

Chou says the Lakeshore is confident and ready to compete head to head with hotel chains such as Hotel Royal Hsinchu or Howard Plaza Hotel Hsinchu in the downtown area.

At its Chintsao Lake headquarter, the Lakeshore is investing over NT$700 million for a 5000-ping scenic guestroom area with construction work scheduled for September, which will add 300 rooms to its current 205-room premises by September next year. Also on its expansion agenda is an 800-ping recreational site including a number of spas and a gym. When asked why the hotel would look into expansion when its market share is unstable amidst the current economic woes, Chou notes that crisis oftentimes is an opportunity to enhance one’s competitive strength, and the Lakeshore is doing so via diversifying its facilities and services.

Domestic travel has taken off with the implementation of the five-day work week, Chou adds, stressing that the Lakeshore also caters to the demands of leisure travelers from all over Taiwan with multiple recreational facilities. Chou also takes great pride in the hotel’s culinary team, featuring top chefs recruited from Kaohsiung’s Grand Hi-Lai Hotel and The Grand Hotel.

“One of the most remarkable features of the Lakeshore is our team of young chefs who take an innovative and creative approach in cooking,” she adds. The Lakeshore boasts a good dining selection from New York steaks, to Cantonese, Shanghai, and Japanese cuisine to European-style buffets.

The Lakeshore’s endeavors in expansion and innovation have evidently paid off with the prestigious “Global Views Monthly” magazine recently declaring it “the best hotel” in Hsinchu City. Moreover, the newly-opened Lakeshore Hotel Metropolis I was awarded an International Organization for Standardization (IOS) certificate, a recognition of those adhering to the highest standards of service in the hospitality industry.

A humble Chou credits her predecessor James Lee for taking the Lakeshore to nationwide prestige.

Chou, formally on the Lakeshore’s board of directors, took over as managing director in April last year. She has set the goal for the Lakeshore this year to achieve NT$450 million in revenue as well as providing its staff with a nurturing working environment and plenty of on-the-job training. And most importantly, to enlarge its base of loyal patrons. “Satisfaction does not necessarily translate into loyalty. So we listen to the opinions of our guests closely and make tremendous efforts to develop and market our services in order to cater to their individual needs,” she states. For guests staying at the Lakeshore this summer, chances are they will have a quite memorable experience watching performances by talented young musicians from the local community or visiting aboriginal students.