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by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | July 18, 2012

The Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou in ChinaLast month was a busy one for brand-expansion news, with four hotel companies announcing strategic plans to grow their product internationally -- and none of them was among the top U.S. players.

Like its much larger competitors, Dallas-based Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has its sights set on Asia. First up for the luxury brand is the 279-room Rosewood Beijing, scheduled to open in summer 2013. Set in the city's central business district, the hotel will debut a new meeting space concept for Rosewood called The Pavilion, which management says will be a signature feature at all of its future properties in Asia. The Pavilion will feature residential-style meeting and function space offering lounges, a bar, dining spaces and several show kitchens, much like you would find in luxury private homes. Combined, the hotel and The Pavilion will have almost 33,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 8,252-square-foot ballroom. What's more, Rosewood, which has so far kept its product within the Caribbean, Mexico and the U.S., says it is on target to add another 10 properties in Asia within the next five years.

Also looking to grow internationally is New York City-based hospitality management company Morgans Hotel Group, which announced plans to grow its three brands -- Delano, Hudson and Mondrian -- internationally.  Currently numbering just one, the 807-room Hudson New York, will be joined by the 200-room Hudson London in early 2015. "We are looking forward to bringing the spirit of our celebrated New York property to a global stage and elevating Hudson into a truly international brand," said Morgans CEO Michael Gross in a statement. No word yet on where we can expect to see more Hudsons popping up.

The Delano brand (also currently standing at just one, the 194-room Delano South Beach) will add the 73-room Delano in Marrakech, Morocco, set to open later this year. It will be followed in 2014 by one property in Turkey and one in Los Cabos, Mexico. Expansion plans for Morgans' Mondrian brand, which currently numbers three properties, include London, Qatar and Nassau in the Bahamas; stay tuned for additional details.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts, which rolled into New York City last month as part of a multi-city general manager tour attended by the Hotel Insider, also is embarking on a new phase of expansion. The ultra-luxury chain will grow its portfolio by more than half in the next two years with the addition of five hotels, for a new total of 13 properties worldwide. "These are very exciting times for Raffles," said Raffles president John Johnston. "Our hotels are not large, but we would definitely like to add more group business. And the I think the locations of our new hotels will be very attractive to that market." Set to open in the next two years include Raffles properties in Istanbul, Turkey and Manila, the Philippines.

Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, meanwhile, has 17 projects under development, comprising 11,000 additional rooms. In 2013, this iconic luxury brand will plant flags in Guangzhou and Shanghai, in China; Milan, Italy;  and Taipei, Taiwan. The first to open will be the 340-room Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou, which will feature six restaurants, a full-service spa with nine treatment rooms, and extensive meeting facilities. The group also is eyeing key markets in the U.S., including several projects in Los Angeles.