18 March 2012

IHG launches first hotel brand designed for the Chinese consumer - HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts


IHG, the world’s largest hotel company, today launched the first upscale, international hotel brand designed specifically for the Chinese traveller – HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts.  HUALUXE translates from Hua, which means majestic China and luxe, representing luxury.

The HUALUXE brand has been developed in response to three core growth opportunities that IHG is tapping into - consumer demand for an upscale international hotel brand that demonstrates pride in Chinese customs and reflects local tradition; the domestic China opportunity, whereby the number of domestic travellers is expected to reach 3.3 billion in 2015 and the China hotel market is projected to grow by 5-8% annually by 2030* and the international opportunity, where outbound trips from China are projected to grow from 10 million to more than 100 million in the next 10 to 15 years*[1].

Richard Solomons, CEO IHG, commented: “Building on our proven ability to build, develop and nurture brands, we are very proud to be launching HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts - a genuine first for the industry and a unique brand developed by our Chinese team that we know will resonate with the very important, fast-growing, Chinese consumer base.  HUALUXE takes the best aspects of renowned Chinese hospitality and applies IHG’s international scale, powerful systems and unparalleled insights into the Chinese market to deliver a traditional high-end consistent experience.”

IHG is already the largest international hotel operator in China, with more than 160 hotels across 60 cities and sees the opportunity for this brand to be in over 100 cities in China in the next 15-20 years. IHG has already signed over 20 letters of intent which are now being converted into contracts and we expect the first hotel to be open in late 2013 or early 2014.

Keith Barr, CEO IHG Greater China, commented: “IHG was the first international hotel group to enter China nearly 30 years ago, which gives us a deep understanding of the market and its consumers.  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.”

HUALUXE will offer guests a more traditional experience based on four priorities that Chinese travellers want from an upscale hotel:

Tradition - Long-celebrated traditions are reflected in every aspect of the physical hotel design and are brought to life through a refined welcome experience, deep-rooted tea culture and signature food & beverage throughout the hotel from our Fu Lin restaurant to late night noodle bar

Rejuvenation - Natural surroundings from the green arrival, to the lobby garden and resort inspired bathroom helps our guests break away from the pressures of their busy lives and be reinvigorated for the challenges ahead

Status - Recognition and respect are fundamental in Chinese society.  A seamless VIP arrival, a unique Club Lounge experience and specialty food and beverage ‘hosts’ throughout the hotel serve to underpin the importance of our guests and ensure the hospitality they receive and in return give to their business partners is flawless

Familiar Spaces - A range of public/private spaces are thoughtfully set out across the hotel.  From multi-function suites, rejuvenation centre and tea house we’ve created a unique set of facilities for a wide range of social interactions and business meetings

HUALUXE will launch initially in Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities and resort locations in China and in time, will open in major cities elsewhere in the world so that Chinese travellers can have the same experience abroad.  With a multi-million dollar investment behind brand development, HUALUXE will follow IHG’s managed operating model, similar to its other IHG brands currently operating in China and will be supported with brand development and marketing funds in the first few years.  

[1] China National Tourism Administration Predictions

Media contacts:
Sharona Tao, IHG, Tel +86 21 2893 3309, sharona.tao@ihg.com
Sarah Shilling, IHG, Tel +44 (0) 1895 512 398, sarah.shilling@ihg.com
Joanna James, IHG, Tel +44 (0) 1895 512 112, joanna.james@ihg.com
Michelle You, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Tel +86 5109 7070 x312, michelle.you@hkstrategies.com

Notes to Editors:

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with nine hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, as well as our two newest brands, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 63 million members worldwide.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,400 hotels and more than 658,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, and has more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline. 

IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 new people worldwide across its estate over the next few years and is committed to gender balance throughout its business. We aspire to continue retaining a minimum of 25% female representation on the Board.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.priorityclub.com for more on Priority Club Rewards. For our latest news, visit www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihgplc or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.


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