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Yang Sing Oriental Hotel closes down

One of the city centre’s only two boutique hotels falls victim to economic downturn

Published on March 2nd 2009.

Yang Sing Oriental Hotel closes down

Grim news from the hotel sector as the beautifully conceived and beautifully delivered Yang Sing Oriental Hotel closes with immediate effect.

Gerry Yeung, the boss of the city centre boutique hotel, told Manchester Confidential that there were a combination of factors all rooted in the economic crisis which have led to the failure of the business.

“We’re operating at 60% capacity at the moment which isn’t too bad but the problem is we can’t get the room rates we need. Even at 60% we’re discounting. In another economic time I believe we would have been fine, but we opened just as things start to get bad globally. We were ambitious too, we wanted to provide very individual accommodation, with 24 hour room service and five star customer service generally.”

The champagne runs out: The Yang Sing Oriental at 10.15am this morning

The refurbished textile warehouse, standing next door to the Yang Sing Restaurant, opened as a boutique hotel in July 2008. It also featured an elegant champagne bar called Oku. The design by Roberta Fulford was one of the more splendid seen in recent years in terms of spare yet lush elegance.

The Yang Sing Restaurant business is not affected by the closure in any way. That Manchester institution remains the core business despite the failure of this hotel.

As Gerry Yeung said to Confidential: “We have survived tough times before. We survived the fire that completely destroyed the restaurant in 1998 and we’ll survive this. People who stayed here loved the atmosphere they found in the hotel. We’ll be back. ”

Confidential sincerely hope this is true. The city centre can ill-afford losing businesses run to these standards and with these aspirations. Good luck to the Yeung brothers and their employees.

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73 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

JamesMarch 2nd 2009.

The Yang Sing Oriental Hotel was the best hotel in Manchester according to Tripadvisor so it's a real shame that people looking for a hotel in Manchester won't have it's top option.Banks who reward short term gains and failure are to blame, as is the government for failing to regulate effectively.

Arnie S HiraMarch 2nd 2009.

I am so sorry to hear this, I thought it was one of the best hotels in Manchester! It's a real shame. Gerry was and is so passionate about the project which I totally understand. Wish him the best for the future.

jonmMarch 2nd 2009.

sorry to hear the news, hope you'll definitely be back soon.

ChickMarch 2nd 2009.

Here we go. Why does every rant descend into personal attacks and bitching?

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2009.

The government have given the banks extra funding to spend it wisely- would you prefer them to pump it into struggling businesses for the sake of it or to extend facilities to the damn good good businesses still out there?

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2009.

I agree with Johnthebrief - my experience with the restaurant (even when obviously entertaining business contacts) was disappointing - even laughable on occasion. Therefore I have never recommended the hotel to anyone - in fact a contact cancelled their booking when I expressed some doubt in spite of me saying I had only experienced the restaurant. Maybe this was unfair but there is plenty of choice in Manchester so they probably felt it was not worth the risk.

Mark Garner, The PublisherMarch 2nd 2009.

It is well known that we are great supporters of the Yang Sing brand and we are sad indeed to see it go. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Gerry and Harry. But in this case Gerry, I have to tell you that you had everything right but the marketing.

playwrite27March 2nd 2009.

It's always a shame to see an independent business fail--but that's the reality of new businesses, an excessively large portion of them do fail, recession or no. The timing was night right? Well, it would have been, if more people had bothered to wrench their heads out of their bottoms, and paid true attention to what was going on in the world around them. People were in trouble--both job layoff's and credit-wise, as early as 2007. In 2008, the writing was on the wall, but unfortunately, people were too caught up still, in the death-throes of the "boom" years, and they refused to remove their greed-induced blindfolds and face reality...now, they pay the price. Lesson: get out of your bubble and pay attention to what's going on to the small fry---economic downturns always starts from the bottom up.

Steve InsideJobMarch 2nd 2009.

It was in the MEN which isnt a scandal rag ?

YoIntheKnowMarch 2nd 2009.

Steve it was Akbars and the Shere Khan, the Yang Sing claims were wrong.

MargaretMarch 2nd 2009.

Thought I'd try the restaurant this lunchtime and see for myself. Got quite excited but now feel a bit disappointed. Not as good as I expected for both food and service, in fact not good value at all but still has that mystique of somewhere special. The hotel next door was shut - sad really.

Simon CarringtonMarch 2nd 2009.

I read the ManCon every time I get it and Ive never heard of this hotel either. Ive eaten at the Restaurant too and still never seen it. Like the comments previous such a shame it was too well hidden.

A RealistMarch 2nd 2009.

A lot of people are blaming the banks but at the end of the day if the hotel was that good then people will want to stay there. They didn't and in the end it shut down, which is a shame. I am all for Manchester businesses which have started from scratch and we should all support people who risk everything they have on creating something but at the end of the day it has to be viable.

crazyjohnMarch 2nd 2009.

I was due to stay there tonight with my girlfriend for a treat for her birthday. Now it looks like an hourly rate at Sashas will have to be suffice.

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2009.

This is such a shame. My husband and I stayed here not very long ago and had a wonderful time. The hotel is stunning and we were very well looked after. We were already planning a return trip with friends and now this. So sad.

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2009.

Gutted! I hope Gerry Yeung can get through this & re-open as soon as possible! I agree that there should be more independents such as this.

markMarch 2nd 2009.

chris paul is right there is no human right to credit but it should be fair and the baks should have been allowed to fail by their own mistakes like the rest of us the gov could have then stepped and ensured normal activity was restored and re privatized the banks when things improve what we have now is the tax payer bailing out a load of condescending fat cats. no other business would receive this level of help and how do they react by screwing every small business they can get there grubby hands on. ba****ds!

F7March 2nd 2009.

Can sumone teech Prof Rob Right how to spel? Fank koo. I neva met a prufessa who cud not spel.

PeterMarch 2nd 2009.

Lovely decor but silly prices for somewhere to sleep. Not exactly a Richard Branson approach.

ADMarch 2nd 2009.

Are Bankers now even less popular than parking wardens?I should think the banks are in enough trouble without being expected to subsidise a loss making luxary hotel through a most likely prolonged recession.It is a shame when any business closes, for the owners, the investors but more than anything for the now unemployed staff.

johnthebriefMarch 2nd 2009.

I must confess to being surprised that the hotel closed down, rather than burned down, once it became clear it was failing

Nick O BrianMarch 2nd 2009.

glad it closed! I spent a fortune in there in there most expensive room, for 3 days and it was the worst service ever. No surprise this has not survived, I feel sorry for the staff but the owners deserved it.

Carole FosseyMarch 2nd 2009.

What a great shame. Typical of todays stories re lack of support from the banks, unfortunately. The timing was just wrong for this venture through no fault of Gerry's - what he created was amazing and this is the kind of place that Manchester needs. Lets hope it can come back at some point in the not too distant future.

ChickMarch 2nd 2009.

This is a real shame - Harry put a huge amount of his own money into this venture - you should read some of the comments on the MEN web site - people are delighted that this hotel has closed. An awful lot of hidden envy being shown. The brothers have worked hard for the local community for almost 30 years and local businesses should be supported by local banks. As far as the reason for failure is concerned, (or one reason of maybe many); the location stinks - literally. Shame on MCC for allowing China Town to become so awful - A RAT ON EVERY CORNER - The same can be said about the Curry Mile. Two areas of Manchester that should be promoted to tourists to the city. Shame

scoteeeMarch 2nd 2009.

To Mark Garner- just out of interest Mark how would Manchester confidential assist a hotel in Manchester to increase it's occupancy? As one of the 3000 readers I live in Manchester so wouldn't really need to use the hotel.Surely any marketing needs to be uk/internationally promoted, not locally driven?

Fred the ShredMarch 2nd 2009.

I agree - the hotel will soon be back up and running. Too many interviews and publicity for it not too!! Just a way to clear debt and deadwood like the banks - let the poor people pay while the rich get richer. Read it in a fortune cookie next door!!

Juanita YauMarch 2nd 2009.

Gerry, you have done a fantastic work on your hotel and I hope that your hotel will be back on business in the near future. Good luck and all the best.

Karl and NicMarch 2nd 2009.

Our best Wishes to Gerry and his wife. It wasn’t just about creating a business. From the start Gerry wanted to create an amazing experience for his guests and a hotel that the city could be proud of. I held a business dinner at the hotel in December and the Hotel looked after my guests fantastically. My wife and daughter were also made to feel very welcome and at home.

Jonathan SchofieldMarch 2nd 2009.

Howard exactly that's the spirit. I'm thinking of going on Friday. This city needs ambitious people more than ever rather than snipers. I'll check out the service as well, see how it is.

deli llamaMarch 2nd 2009.

Chris Paul.... needs considering.... looks like common sense...I like the idea of not assuming the banks are the problem.

IanMarch 2nd 2009.

Owning a hotel in Manchester I can't understand how the current situation is effecting well run hotels. We are full nearly all the time as people are looking for the best priced hotel which offers good service - they obviously didnt !!

Julie Lee'sMarch 2nd 2009.

I stayed with a friend in the most expensive suite this hotel, nearly £600 per night and we stayed 3 nights, I have to say that despite that when we arrived everything seemed lovely, attentative and polite,it had all gone down hill within the first night, the mini bar was half empty and cheaply filled, the room service was poor and limited (which is bizarre as this is part of the amazing restaraunt line) in all its all very disapointing, u had to ask for the room to be cleaned, when it was, it was badly done, and after asking for basics to be sorted, ie no tea etc in the room, remember it was the 'best room' they had, the hotel manager, couldnt have cared less and seemed to think that 'teething problems' such as no one bothering to restock or clean rooms, or get back to you if you make a complaint, is acceptable behaviour, all the reception and bar staff agreed that there were a lot of problems yet the management refused to even make any ammends despite a near 2K bill, I would really AVOID and go to the Midland instead, its a very poor mans Mandarin Oriental, bad attitude and bad service.”

Chris PaulMarch 2nd 2009.

There are some weird expectations around about banks and lending. Don't know the business case for this hotel but banks have got into trouble with lending at the wrong rates to the wrong people, sometimes based on over-optimistic business planning and too-soft operation. I have never run a hotel, but I have run many, many ticketed events.You have a gross potential of X seats by Y pounds and P seats by Q pounds etc etc through different price points. There may also be figures for paid guests lists, sponsor seats, house seats, whatever.You do the sums for a sell out (or if the venue is over-sized best case potential) and get what's called a gross potential and from there if the event is VATable net potential. Your sales are then expressed as a percentage of THAT figure. Not of the number of bums on seats which is pretty meaningless.In some ticketing schemes you could be at 80% of bums on seats and only 50% of potential.Next time Gerry opens a hotel he needs to express his targets and actuals in terms of this financial potential and not some mixed up hybrid of room occupancy (60%) and average rate achieved (say 50% is not bad in hotelling) giving just 30% of potential.Probably not good enough. There is not human right to credit and if Gerry doesn't offer iron-clad security and/or a realistic business plan the banks are right. Even if it feels like they're wrong.So, so many restaranteurs and the like blaming banks at the moment. There is no right to credit. And there shouldn't be.

MildredmoptonMarch 2nd 2009.

This is very sad news. My husband and I have stayed at the Yang Sing hotel many times since opening and loved the fact that it was so unique and the rooms were lovely. It is such a shame and really do hope that they will soon return. It really does speak volumes that we should all try and support the local and independant businesses in and around Manchester.

GordoMarch 2nd 2009.

Lips being licked....

MargaretMarch 2nd 2009.

I feel sorry for the staff and suppliers who will not be paid. Mr Yeung will probably buy the hotel back for a lot less ,debt free and start again with all his money but what about the little people who loose out?

foxMarch 2nd 2009.

blimey! it was the number one reviewed hotel on tripadvisor!!shame!

Howard SharrockMarch 2nd 2009.

Time to show Gerry some love. Lunch at the Yang Sing anybody?

John McrMarch 2nd 2009.

Your right I don't, I check lots of other sites and read quite a lot which is why I was surprised I had never heard of Yang Sing having a hotel, Marketing extends much further than having a review on ManCon (although it helps!)

scoteeeMarch 2nd 2009.

to A Banker-Hang on a minute,sureley the banks are a business too? and failing themselves and their chosen customers by virtue of their own poor business models and lack of research.Do you intend to take any accountability?

EditorialMarch 2nd 2009.

Rob you're back with your Birmingham hatred of Manchester. We heard about how naughty you were on the BBC Manchester website with your odd dislike of our city, and we got it on here didn't we for a while? Then we warned you off and you left. Now you're back, bless you. Your next comment will be removed by the way. And for the record we think Birmingham is great city.

Paul MMarch 2nd 2009.

"Now our bank has refused to provide further support to see the Hotel through the current crisis.”I thought that's why the taxpayers gave the banks billions of pounds?

Fred the ShredMarch 2nd 2009.

Too right - didn't the warehouse storing the new furniture for the hotel catch fire too? Don't worry I'll bet the hotel is back up and running soon as if nothing has changed.

andrew hoeMarch 2nd 2009.


johnthebriefMarch 2nd 2009.

Oh dear, I'm going to be labelled a sniper.... Jonathan, for you the service will be fine, because they know who you are and they've always been good at looking after "special" customers. They can, when they want, turn out a fabulous meal. My problem with the place is that they don't usually bother, and if you are an "ordinary" customer off the street (rather than say a magazine editor, food writer or corporate group) you get treated like ****, served distinctly acerage food, and fleeced into the bargain. It's for that reason that I will never again pay any of my own money to the Yang Sing, and it's for that reason that I have never booked any of the many people I bring to Manchester on business into their hotel. There are plenty of other places in town (both restaurants and hotels) that look after all their customers, not just the high profile ones, and they are the businesses I will support.

John McrMarch 2nd 2009.

This is sad news that any business has to close in the city centre but I've got to say I've lived here all my life and never heard of it? thumbs down to the person in charge of marketing the place.

NeilMarch 2nd 2009.

Got to agree with much of the above. Lots and lots of hotels and hotel chains across the country and across the price ranges are struggling at the moment and you can't expect bankers to extend credit for ever and ever. I imagine the Yeungs are quite well-off themselves and it may (I'm guessing here) be a similar case to Anthony Worrall-Thompson in London who complained that banks wouldn't support his six restaurants whilst he wasn't willing to put up his £1.5m house as collateral. Two points on this case...what is going to happen to the actual building as flats don't seem like an option and what about the other boutique hotels (I count more than two; this one, St John Street, Abode, Arora...never mind the City Inn and Malmaison and all the other 4/5*s) in the city centre.

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2009.

I'm not too surprised... the finish in the rooms was a bit shoddy - holes in the toilet walls, paint on the floor, wine on the sofas.

BrionyMarch 2nd 2009.

Truly saddened to see this hotel go, I stayed at the end of January and was very impressed. I hope to see this hotel back in the future! It really was in a completely different rank to all other Manchester hotels. I also believe their biggest downfall was in the marketing.

Prof Rob RightMarch 2nd 2009.

The concept was all wrong, who in their right mind would want to stay in a luxury hotel in Manchester? Posh people would never cosider Manchester as a destination.

IheartMUFCMarch 2nd 2009.

John Mcr obviously doesn't read ManCon often enough... was on here when it was first anounced and then on here again when opened. Very sad news.

A bankerMarch 2nd 2009.

Don't blame the banks. Why should we support a clearly ailing business by throwing good money after bad and losing even more than we are already? The business model was wrong, it was a bull market idea and it was never marketed properly either in Manchester (people who live here do like to stay in hotels occasionally) or outside of Manchester. I hope it gets taken over by a hotelier who knows the business and makes a success of it. In the meantime I'll bet the next business to go bust is an overpriced bar/restaurant on John Dalton Street.

KTMarch 2nd 2009.

Nooooo, too much MSG and attitude. Try the Red Chilli, food and welcome are great.But for real value and a treat try the one above Wing Yip - now thats proper. YS has been and gone.

EditorialMarch 2nd 2009.

Click on the bars section on the left hand column and the Oku bar review is about six down on the left hand column. We also mentioned is a few times in the round-up.

Dermot FinniganMarch 2nd 2009.

This hotel is second to none. It has style and class unmatched. It is a testiment to the vision and hard work of Gery and his team and they should be proud of all their efforts in bringing such class and style to Manchester. I am confident Gery will fulfill his dream and can only wish him and his team all the very best

Simon TMarch 2nd 2009.

Mark Garner says to Gerry "you had everything right but the marketing". That's a big flaw though isn't it???? The economic crisis is finding out the weaker businesses; a good, well run business will survive.

markMarch 2nd 2009.

would love to know which bank pulled the plug? a real shame nice hotel

steve inside jobMarch 2nd 2009.

EDITORIALLY REMOVED: can't have unsubstantiated comments like that flying around Steve.

CastlefieldMarch 2nd 2009.

I have to say the comments blaming the banks are rather bizarre and reflect more on a population using a gang mob mentality to blame everyone and anyone else.Having been to the Yang Sing restaurant many times, I'm quite sure that's a money making mine. Mr Yeung nevertheless lent money from the bank to finance his new venture. He was that confident it would go well that he started a seperate limited company so when it did go tits up it wouldn't affect the restaurant. Just like he did with his other venture the Dim Sum bar on King Street that went tits up owing the banks money. This is a business failure, it happens. Why should the locals 'support' it? Mr Yeung has never said 'well as a gesture of thanks to everyone who helped make my fortune by paying the high prices at my restaurant, I'll give away free food to them all!'.

johnthebriefMarch 2nd 2009.

Chick - cos it's fun ;-)

Carrie OkieMarch 2nd 2009.

I completely agree with 'johnthebriefs' comments. The Yeungs were far too ambitious for their own good, they've got away for far too many years serving average non-authentic Chinese fare to the masses at over inflated prices. I am Chinese myself and have been in the catering industry for many years but bear no grudge against the Yeung brothers. I'm just simply voicing my own views on the matter. This time was a bridge too far in an industry they knew little about. Speaking as a friend of an ex-Yang Sing employee, they (The Yeungs) don't treat there staff very well either!

Fred the ShredMarch 2nd 2009.

So it wasn't the banks pulling the plug after all, it was too much debt!! The suppliers and employees loose out big style and the 'entrepreneur' skips off, scot free, to start again. We can all gamble with other peoples money and livelihoods but there doesn't seem to be much morality in that. How long before Mr Yeung opens the hotel back up - but with someone else paying for his egotistical mistake ??

johnthebriefMarch 2nd 2009.

I know I sound like a broken record about this, and I have every sympathy for those who have lost their jobs, but from my experience of the Yang Sing restaurant, this was always going to happen. Businesses that treat the ordinary customer with contempt will not survive. The Yang Sing has been trading on an out-dated reputation for too long, and if the management style of the hotel was the same as the restaurant, then I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

Mark Garner, The PublisherMarch 2nd 2009.

Scoteee, we actually have 250,000 readers of whom 86,000 take our daily email. What i meant by the 3000 figure are the people who we have identified over the years as being in charge of booking in visitors to their companies into hotel rooms here in Manchester and across the North West. They tend to be PA's and Secretaries and are the lifeblood of our readership when it comes to giving our advertisers value for money.

Jake TaylorMarch 2nd 2009.

Hold the front page: The MEN isn't a scandal rag. Are you mad Steve?

Property editorMarch 2nd 2009.

Very sad to see this hotel close, it was an oasis of individuality in a sector that loves to build bland, drab boring buildings.

PaulMarch 2nd 2009.

As Gerry Yeung said to Confidential: “We have survived tough times before. We survived the fire that completely destroyed the restaurant in 1998 and we’ll survive this. People who stayed here loved the atmosphere they found in the hotel. We’ll be back. ”........I bet he survived the insurance cheque.

Jamie TrickettMarch 2nd 2009.

I am very upset at the closure of this hotel, not only did I nearly work for it, but whenever i had clients to take out I would always go there for its impeccable design and service. I work in the industry and it is very upsetting to see such beautiful boutique styled hotels suffering in this way. My commiseration's go to Jerry, Dean and all of their teams. A very sad day as far as I am concerned.x

Rob JewellMarch 2nd 2009.

We were extremely sorry to hear this news and hope Gerry and Joanne will be able to pick up some of the pieces and recreate the project in the future. It was very ambitious but we certainly enjoyed our recent visits there. The prime failing was certainly in marketing which I think was a worry for them as far back as September. However I am sorry to read so much ignorant comment and silly ranting against the banks from your correspondents. Yes the bankers have made serious errors and some have certainly been greedy but attacks on them have now become a witch hunt fanned by politicians who have an axe to grind in distracting attention from the gross policy errors of government and our regulators. It is them who should be answering for the economic mess they allowed to develop and failed to control. Business men can only plan on the basis of reasonable expectations and few new business plans can cope with the ground being kicked from under their feet as it has in the last 10 months.

Ben JacksonMarch 2nd 2009.

Watch some other cash rich chain come in and ruin the unique style that the Yang Sing gave to Manchester. Good luck to the Yeung family

simon bMarch 2nd 2009.

We stayed there last year for our anniversary and thought it was a fantastic hotel. It's such a shame that the banks have caused yet another good business to crash whilst they remain propped up. It's time we took to the streets. The Yeung brothers have a great track record in business and I can't believe that it wasn't well run. The banks have changed everything and whilst, we all suffocate,they're kept on a very luxurious life support machine. It's like they've come into the room and sucked all the air out and then asked us to run faster on our treadmill so we generate the energy for them.I hope the hotel can be mothballed and brought back in the future. Manchester needs independents!

A bankerMarch 2nd 2009.

Didn't something burn down in Alderley Edge last year after the costs had escalated?

Burt CodeineMarch 2nd 2009.

I had heard of this place from the day the idea was piped out into the media (and was excited that one of the few remaining warehouses in the city was to be renovated), so I'm not sure the initial marketing etc was wrong. However, from the outside the place never really looked 'open'. Aside from the pedal power 'rickshaws/tuk-tuks' which garnished the small entrance for a short while it frankly looked like a closed shop (the main double door entrance on facing Portland street looked locked - the half hearted Princess Street entrance appeared to be an afterthought). There was scant signage on the rest of the building too. Cliff's Aurora (very similar building) just down the road looks more like a hotel. But sad news all the same and I wish them the best - despite the critiques on the current day Yang Sing, the Yeung brothers are part of the city's fabric and have, in their own way, helped put the city on the map.

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