New IHG China-focussed Hualuxe brand to shake up Chinese hotels

By John Walton, March 26 2012
New IHG China-focussed Hualuxe brand to shake up Chinese hotels

IHG has explained its plans for its upscale China-centric hotel brand, now named Hualuxe, and business travellers doing business in China can expect to see the first hotels opening next year.

Devotees of Chinese culture (not to mention its fondness for firmer mattresses) might specifically book themselves into a Hualuxe, with others finding the hotel a reassuring blend of an international hotel with Chinese characteristics.

And in the tier 2 and 3 cities where Hualuxe is likely to bring the biggest changes to doing business in China, you're likely to entertain and be entertained in the hotels' multipurpose function and banqueting suites.

The name Hualuxe itself is a portmanteau made up of ? (hua), the character often representing Chinese culture or civilisation, and "luxe", as in "deluxe". And in terms of the "deluxe" price tag, expect an upper-midscale experience around the same style as IHG's Crowne Plaza hotels.

On arrival, you can look forwards to a traditional Chinese tea service if you're enough of a bigwig to get into the VIP lounge.
On arrival, you can look forwards to a traditional Chinese tea service if you're enough of a bigwig to get into the VIP lounge.

Business travellers can look forward to Chinese-style VIP arrivals, Club Lounges, authentic food options geared at the Chinese traveller, teahouses for informal business meetings and hotel styling that appeals to modern Chinese aesthetics.

The post-meeting focus will shift from bars to teahouses, with Hualuxe promising "a wide selection of high quality tea throughout the hotel - on arrival, in guest rooms and at authentic Hualuxe Tea Houses."

Personalised service is one of the mantras from Hualuxe, with dedicated staff looking after your business meetings and events.
Personalised service is one of the mantras from Hualuxe, with dedicated staff looking after your business meetings and events.

Of course, the idea that "Chinese people prefer enjoying a cup of tea rather than drinking in bars, as many Westerners do" may seem a little odd to anyone who's whiled away an evening with Chinese colleagues and business partners. "Ganbei" (the "bottoms up!" equivalent of "cheers" in Mandarin) doesn't exactly work with tea.

Hualuxe hotels will offer multipurpose meeting, banqueting and event rooms, allowing you to go from boardroom to banquet to belting out karaoke tunes within your group's private sanctum.
Hualuxe hotels will offer multipurpose meeting, banqueting and event rooms, allowing you to go from boardroom to banquet to belting out karaoke tunes within your group's private sanctum.

Inside your room, expect to see contemporary Chinese design with spa-style bathrooms and all the fittings of a modern hotel.

IHG has twenty sites lined up and in the contractual process, with the first Hualuxe hotel "expected to open in China at the end of 2013 or start of 2014", according to the hotel group.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on New IHG China-focussed Hualuxe brand to shake up Chinese hotels

Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 216]
Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]
Warning (2): Invalid argument supplied for foreach() [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]