IHG ups China stakes with Hualuxe

INTERCONTINENTAL Hotel Group (IHG) has unveiled Hualuxe, its upscale hotel brand catering to the Chinese traveller.

The new brand, which was first divulged in January by IHG’s chief executive Asia, Middle East & Africa, Jan Smits, was conceptualised in response to an increasingly discerning Chinese clientele as well as growing numbers of Chinese travellers – both domestic and abroad.

Hua means majestic in Chinese, while luxe connotes luxury.

Focusing on four service areas of ‘tradition’, ‘rejuvenation’, ‘status’ and ‘familiar spaces’, Hualuxe hotels will feature Asian-style amenities such as tea houses for meetings, lobbies with gardens, late-night noodle bars, as well as VIP check-in and Club Lounge areas for premium guests.

Keith Barr, CEO, IHG Greater China, said: “We have had great success over the years with the five brands we already have in this market, and we will now leverage our experience, and the strong relationships and reputation we have with customers and owners to establish and grow Hualuxe.”

IHG has already signed over 20 letters of intent that are now being converted into management contracts, with the first Hualuxe expected to open in China in late 2013 or early 2014.

The brand will roll out in over 100 tier 1, 2 and 3 Chinese cities over the next 10 to 15 years, before opening in major global cities to cater to Chinese travellers going abroad.

Earlier this year, Accor revealed a re-engineering of its Grand Mercure brand in China to cater to the domestic travel market.

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