The Beijing Tourism Group (BTG) and international hotel management group GHM have formalised a joint venture partnership and announced plans to launch an upscale resort concept branded Ahn Luh. The partners, together with a third investor, the Great Ocean Group (GOG), said the group’s first properties will debut in the next two-to-three years. This was announced in March at the signing ceremony for the new hotel group’s first project, the Ahn Luh Dujiangyan in Chengdu.
Created by BTG Chairman Duan Qiang, GOG founder Whitney Duan and resort visionary Adrian Zecha, who founded Amanresorts and co-founded GHM with Hans R. Jenni, the Ahn Luh brand will encapsulate the best while distilling the essence from the various brands that Adrian Zecha has successfully introduced over the years. Ahn Luh will cater to the world’s most discerning travellers, as well as the growing Chinese tourism market. According to the Secretary of the World Tourism Organisation, China is set to become the world’s most visited country and the planet’s top source of foreign tourists by the year 2020.
Said BTG’s Chairman Duan: “Resorts in the new Ahn Luh brand aim to promote and practice what we have termed the ‘China services’ concept. In essence, this concept marries internationally accepted standards of quality with distinct, local features. The result is the fusing of old-world Chinese hospitality with contemporary elegance to create value added products, while contributing to an eco-friendly environment.” The design at each Ahn Luh property will differ, with each handcrafted resort incorporating elements reflective of the arts and culture of its particular locale.
“The Ahn Luh Dujiangyan is a project where the historical and cultural elements feature prominently given that the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, along with Mount Qingcheng, are placed together on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” said Douglas Zhao, Executive Chairman of the Ahn Luh group. He added, “We’re planning to build on the great architectural traditions that have evolved in China over the past three thousand years, but at the same time, we’re looking to exude the enthusiasm and the innovative spirit that abounds throughout China.”
Ahn Luh is charting future developments in major cities and tourism destinations throughout China. In the pipeline are hotels in Beijing, the Pearl River Delta and Southwest China. Ahn Luh’s hotels will come to market as 50- to 100-room and villa properties, featuring 60-square metre rooms and 120-square metre suites. As a complement to each hotel’s spa, a resident Tai Chi master will manage an on-site Tai Chi Centre.
Other distinguishing features include ‘dian xin’ breakfast, an all-day Chinese-style tapas bar, indoor and outdoor pools, a library and cigar lounge, airport concierges and a fleet of Wi-Fi-enabled cars. Each hotel will also house a retail shop selling regional goods as well as traditional Chinese medicine. Some Ahn Luh properties will include private villas and residences. All will feature meetings facilities that provide intimate spaces for executive retreats.