With a skyrocketing number of new luxury hotels and a growing demand among Chinese travelers for unique travel experiences, an increasing number of the country’s luxury hotels are setting themselves apart with innovative architecture, interior design, and works of art.
Hotel Éclat Beijing features all of these elements, as well as private swimming pool suites with resort-like “micro-climates” to provide guests with a welcome respite from the city’s smog-choked air. The hotel’s extensive art collection features work by both Chinese and international artists, and many pieces can be viewed in the hotel’s public gallery.
In order to learn more about Hotel Éclat’s marketing strategies, we caught up with its general manager, Wessel Krauss, via email for a discussion of the differences between “boutique” and “design” hotels, the percentage of Chinese visitors staying at the hotel, and the amenities that help a hotel stand out in China’s booming luxury travel market.
What is the benefit of including valuable works of art in a boutique hotel?
Today’s executive travelers increasingly expect more of their hotels than ever before. In a world where the lines between work and leisure are increasingly blurred, our guests want a place to stay which is a reflection of their interests and personalities, regardless of the reason for their hotel stay. At Hotel Éclat Beijing, the inclusion of important works of art by Dali and Warhol as well as contemporary Chinese artists such as Chen Wenling, Gao Xiaowu, and Zeng Fanzhi means these works can be appreciated at leisure by guests creating an environment which is inspiring and thought-provoking. It is this kind of inspiration that can provide creativity and stimulate new ideas for our guests. In a world which is increasingly global and often the same, this collection of artworks forms an important cultural legacy which is unique to Beijing and specifically Hotel Éclat Beijing. By making important artists available in public and guest areas of the hotel, Hotel Éclat Beijing provides an important platform for promoting understanding of Eastern and Western art. Around 60 percent of our guests are Chinese and this hotel gives them exposure to world-class artworks from overseas which they might otherwise not see.
What percentage of your guests would you say are Chinese, and what percentage are international?
Currently we see that around 60 percent of our guests are from mainland China while the remainder comes from the United States, followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan, and then Europe.
What kinds of demographics are interested in boutique art hotels?
We do not like the word “Boutique” hotels. This terminology is not correct and especially in French it means something completely different. We rather use words like design hotel or small luxury hotel. Our demographics are difficult to capture: anyone that loves art or is interested in interior design, industrial design, or is a fan of modern architecture will find something that they love about Hotel Éclat Beijing. For Hotel Éclat Beijing, which is able to command premium room-rates, our guests tend to be slightly older. But having said that, we do tend to have a rather loyal following in the more hip and trendy crowd, and though they may not stay long with us, they do choose Hotel Éclat Beijing as their preferred place to stay in Beijing.
In addition to the art, what other special features set your hotel apart from large chains?
We try as much as possible to personalize the services offered. Bespoke dinner arrangements for up to eight guests in private (pool) suites, butler services, an art tour, our exhibition hall on the 10th floor freely accessible to the general public featuring exhibitions on artists like Wang Luyuan and Andy Warhol, and the art gallery where an outstanding collection of artworks can be purchased under the guidance of a highly specialized team of art connoisseurs sets us apart from many of our colleagues. Besides this, we have 21 suites each with a private swimming pool set in a unique micro climate that offers our guests a “resort” feeling the whole year round, and this in the middle of Beijing is something that makes Hotel Éclat Beijing a very special place to visit.
Look below for more photos of the hotel’s design: