InterContinental Hotels Group and HBA set a new standard by rebooting the traditional business hotel in China.
Mainland tourists are emerging as a whole new demographic for the hospitality industry – and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is among the first to really tap into that with a new brand of hotels. Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts is aimed at this new Mainland market, and, as the first hotel in the chain, Hualuxe Nanchang in Jiangxi province targets the Mainland business traveller through its offering and its design.
Hualuxe Nanchang is located in a new, mixed-use architectural hub by SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill), and interiors for the 281-room hotel were conceived and created by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). The hospitality design firm – which was responsible for the interiors of the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing and NUO Hotel Beijing, along with Park Hyatt Hyderabad and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, at Galaxy Macau, among others – was commissioned to define Hualuxe’s design language with this debut hotel. HBA therefore took a contemporary approach to the interiors, while always keeping Chinese lifestyle and traditions in mind.
With Hualuxe Nanchang, IHG and HBA rethought the traditional hotel concept, presenting a refreshing take that considers the relaxation and business needs of the Mainland market. There are dedicated spaces for private dining, karaoke, mahjong and cards, and there is even a tearoom – a peaceful space that replaces your typical hotel bar.
The Summer Palace was a starting point for the design, with secluded zones and open areas inspired by the lakes, gardens and use of space at the royal park in Beijing. The hotel even features an indoor garden on the 36th floor: guests can enjoy water features and a living wall of bamboo. The guestrooms also reference the Summer Palace, with design that evokes the tranquility and greenery of traditional Chinese gardens.
“Fundamental to this project was localisation, and creating a space that resonates with Chinese perceptions of luxury, privacy and nature,” says Federico Masin, Partner, HBA Hong Kong. “By revisiting familiar design concepts in a way that is contemporary and fresh, Hualuxe fuses tradition and opulence with comfort and functionality.”