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First look: Hualuxe Nanchang High-tech zone

3 Jun 2015 by Tamsin Cocks
Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) unveiled its second Hualuxe-branded property at the end of May. Hualuxe Nanchang High-tech Zone is located in the capital of Jianxi province in southwest China. The luxury hotel occupies the 36th to 56th floor of a multi-purpose building in the National High-tech Industrial Development Zone on the outskirts of the CBD, about 40 minutes from Changbei International Airport.

Hotel exterior

Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts, first launched in 2012, is billed as “the first international hotel brand specifically designed for Chinese consumers” – a rapidly growing demographic. In particular, the target consumers are “guanxi activists” - industry leaders who consider business entertainment an important art.

This core philosophy runs through every element of the hotel, beginning with a traditional greeting from girls dressed in traditional qipao dress and an open lounge area for VIP guests to see and be seen.

Other notable differences include the deliberate absence of a hotel bar. Instead, this has been replaced with a tearoom, where customers can enjoy watching time-honoured tea rituals, or simply conduct informal business talks in a relaxing environment.

Qipao-clad girls performing a tea ritual

The combined Luxe Gathering area is an innovative entertaining space: a one-stop destination combining fine dining, meeting and entertainment. This includes a dedicated karaoke room, mahjong room, and private dining area.

On the fifth floor of the building there is also a more traditional 800sqm pillarless ballroom for business events and weddings, with a large, airy foyer that opens onto an outdoor terrace.

There are three restaurants, plus a number of private dining rooms. These include Fu Lin Chinese restaurant; Xian Yan, offering a mix of eastern cuisine with interactive open kitchen spaces; Tai & Ko, featuring modern Asian cuisine on the 40th floor; plus a Noodle Bar that serves up fiery handmade noodles until 2am.

Chinese comfort food - noodles served until 2am

The hotel features a design inspired by nature. The 37th floor lobby is quite stunning, with massive floor-to-ceiling windows letting sunlight stream in and featuring “living” walls, real bamboo and water features. At night, ambient lighting ensures the lobby is still a beautiful spectacle.

Hotel lobby inspired by nature

This design ethos is continued throughout the 281 guest rooms. A recurring pattern of plant motifs, such as bamboo, plum blossom, chrysanthemum and orchids, add detail to a light “oriental” colour scheme, while sliding doors make for a very clever use of space, to create open plan or private arrangements as individual guests prefer.

Superior room

Facilities in all guest rooms include high-speed internet, flat screen TV and a selection of Chinese tea and bespoke teaware set.

A luxury spa AQHUA is also available for guests. with a tranquil foot massage zone, private treatment room as well as a number of card rooms.

Richard Solomons, CEO of IHG said: “At IHG we think differently and look at the different needs of our customers – it’s that understanding that allowed us to create the Hualuxe brand”.

According to Solomons, the number of outbound Chinese tourists reached 100 million in 2014, or 10 per cent of all international travellers, which highlights the need for such a brand.

So far Hualuxe has signed 24 hotels, representing more than 7,000 rooms, and all of these will be new build properties. The first stage will be to establish a brand presence in China and develop customer loyalty before taking the concept abroad.

For more information, visit: ihg.com

Tamsin Cocks

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