Academic Programs

PolyU received a generous donation from Seal of Love Charitable Foundation Limited in support of the University’s development and advancement in hospitality and tourism education and research.   The premises of SHTM is named after the late Mr and Mrs Chan Chak-fu, a pioneer Hong Kong hotelier, in appreciation of the Chan family’s significant contributions.

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) Building, named after Mr and Mrs Chan Chak-fu, represents a global centre of excellence in hospitality and tourism education and research. It brings together the long standing excellence of the SHTM, and the University’s mission to continually support the global hospitality and tourism industry.

Adjoining Hotel ICON, the innovative teaching and research hotel of PolyU, the SHTM Building was officially opened in March 2011. The Building occupies a total net floor area of 6,400 square metres which can accommodate about 3,000 students. It houses world-class teaching and research facilities, including:

The Che-woo Lui Hotel and Tourism Research Centre, which is a comprehensive repository of a wide range of reference and teaching materials in hotel and tourism management;

Bistro 1979, which is a student-run, multi-function food and beverage restaurant unit providing a “real-world” restaurant setting for students to learn, experiment, experience and develop the skill sets required in the food and beverage industry;

Vinoteca Lab, which serves as a valuable facility to enhance food and beverage education, and prepare students for the demands of Hong Kong as a wine hub; and

The Samsung Digital Lab for Hospitality Technology, which is purpose-built for students to learn and practice the latest technology programmes and devices used in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Together with Hotel ICON, the SHTM offers unique fully-integrated programmes that inspire a new generation of passionate, well-informed pioneering hoteliers and students.

About Mr and Mrs Chan Chak-fu

Mr Chan Chak-fu (1918-2012), the eldest son of Mr Chan Kwan-tung and Mrs Chan Cheng Kwei-heung, was a pioneer Hong Kong hotelier who transitioned his family business from textile into hotels and real estate after graduating from the Lingnan University with a degree in civil engineering in 1942. He married Ms Esther Wong Chi-lan (1925-2015) in 1953, and together they had three children, Lawrence, Charles and Joseph.

A founding member of The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, Mr Chan was passionate about his hotel business and has built a large-scale global hotel network in six decades. In the 1950s, he founded the Capital Hotel on Nathan Road with only 30 rooms. In the 1960s, he built the Ambassador Hotel, one of Hong Kong’s most premier hotels at that time, which housed global dignitaries including former President of the United States, Mr Richard Nixon. In the 1970s, Mr Chan opened the 832-room Park Lane Hotel in Causeway Bay, which still stands proud today. He further built the second largest hotel in San Francisco with over 1,000 rooms in the 1980s, winning accolades from Senator Dianne Feinstein for contributing to the economy of the Greater Bay Area, including the prestigious Key to the City of San Francisco Award. His purchase of London’s Churchill Hotel in the late 1980s was then the largest single asset deal in Europe. His Business expanded globally with hotels, commercial and residential properties in New York, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Sydney, Indonesia and beyond.

As homegrown businessman, Mr Chan was committed to nurturing local talent and giving back to society through philanthropy. In the 1980s, he donated HK$4 million to launch a hospitality vocational training programme supervised by the then Hong Kong Polytechnic. Apart from serving as a Director of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, he had donated millions to support education and infrastructure in his hometown of Taishan, Guangdong Province.

A classical music lover and an avid sportsman, Mr Chan enjoyed sailing, water skilling, speed boating, bowling and hunting in his leisure time. As a schoolboy, he was a star runner and a competitive triathlete. No wonder he was a founding member of the Hong Kong Country Club. Married for over five decades and much loved by their children and grandchildren, Mr and Mrs Chan had set a fine example for their next generations by demonstrating the value of hard work, perseverance, and commitment to traditional family values.