Tasked with defining a unique, contemporary Chinese-inspired design aesthetic for Intercontinental’s (IHG) newest brand, Hirsch Bedner and Associates (HBA) has carefully designed the 281-room property to cater to the preferences of the mainland business traveller. Incorporating elements such as a modern twist on classical Chinese gardens, tailored leisure facilities and careful consideration of private and public spaces, the firm has created a space that will speak directly to Chinese guests while remaining attractive to all.
Housed inside a new mixed-use building created by American firm SOM, HBA took direct inspiration from Beijing’s Summer Palace for the hotel’s layout. Blending open landscape with intimate seclusion, the interior also features a selection of artworks that include traditional scroll and ink paintings that explore the relationship between man, nature and space.
Federico Masin, Partner, HBA Hong Kong commented, "Fundamental to this project was localisation, and creating a space that resonates with Chinese perceptions of luxury, privacy and nature. By revisiting familiar design concepts in a way that is contemporary and fresh, Hualuxe fuses tradition and opulence with comfort and functionality."
Paying particular emphasis to the Chinese sensibilities regarding privacy and space, guests enter the property through a street-level atrium, where express elevators whisk them up to the reception area on the 36th floor. Complete with an intricate interior of carved screens and wooden furniture, and attended by staff in traditional qipao, the reception is flanked by one of the hotel's most impressive design highlights: an indoor garden, complete with water features and a living 'green wall' of bamboo.
Throughout the guest bedrooms a recurring floral motif features, evoking the pastoral elements of classical Chinese gardens. A range of textiles and sliding doors create a relaxed-yet-opulent environment, with the latter allowing for variations in floor plan dependent on the needs of each guest.
A hotel bar has been replaced with a tea-room, a space for relaxation and appreciation of one of China’s most revered traditions. Comprising a series of open kitchens, all-day dining destination Xian Yan recalls the colourful canal markets of the nearby city of Suzhou, while two other restaurants offer modern pan-Asian cuisine.
Hualuxe Nanchang's entertainment and leisure facilities are nuanced to cater to Chinese tastes. The Luxe Gathering area, for example, comprises private dining, a dedicated karaoke room and spaces in which to play mahjong and cards. For larger gatherings, an 800 sq-m pillarless ball room opens onto an outdoor terrace, and can be used for weddings and functions. The property's tailored approach extends to the luxury spa AQHUA, whose offerings incorporate elements of traditional Chinese medicine, with a particular focus on the rejuvenating qualities of foot massage.