Boutique hotels tap growing interest
Updated: 2011-05-27 10:37
By Fu Yu (China Daily European Weekly)
Du Ge is an entrepreneur in China's fast growing boutique hotels sector.
Du Ge gave up a career in international trade to open a boutique courtyard hotel in Beijing's Nanluoguxiang Hutong area, near the Forbidden City. [Provided to China Daily]
The country's middle class is increasingly looking for an individual urban chic experience for weekend breaks and holidays.
The former executive, who is in her early 40s, gave up her career in international trade to launch a boutique courtyard hotel in 2008.
The hotel, named after its owner, is in Beijing's trendy Nanluoguxiang Hutong area, a short distance from the Forbidden City.
"I am providing a unique Beijing heritage and cultural experience and not merely a place for rest," she says.
According to Ctrip.com, one of China's leading online travel companies, the number of boutique hotels in China it offers to customers on their website has tripled in the past three years.
Shi Yuzhuan, marketing director of the hotel division of Ctrip.com, says boutique hotels are becoming increasingly popular with China's burgeoning middle class.
"They want something different from the conformity of internationally branded hotels and want a more personal experience," he says.
Many of China's boutique hotels are in unusual locations such as converted old banks, factories and historic buildings.
Shanghai is believed to have the largest number of boutique hotels, including the Shanghai UBRN Hotel, which is based in an old prosthetics factory.
One of the best-known hotels in Beijing is The Emperor, which dedicates each of its rooms to a different Chinese emperor.
Du Ge's hotel has six bedrooms and is designed around the architecture of the 300-year-old courtyard garden.
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