South China Morning Post – Artyzen Hospitality Group embraces culturally rewarding, premium lifestyle experiences
17 December 2021
The premium lifestyle brand experience pioneered by Artyzen Hospitality Group (the Group) goes beyond stylish, cosy accommodations to encompass unique immersion into local heritage, culture and tradition.
Artyzen Grand Lapa Macau Hotel Entrance
Catering to lifestyle-savvy and experience-oriented Gen Z and millennials, the Group differentiates its distinctive premium experiences through the meticulously nurtured relationships between guests, locals and the community, and the delivery of cultural offerings so that its hotels become the destinations of choice for diverse activities and events, beyond simply accommodation.
The distinctive local cultural heritage is unique to the community where an Artyzen boutique hotel is located shapes the one-of-a-kind guest experience. To let guests appreciate the beauty of local tradition and heritage, Artyzen hotels connect with the community to discover its cultural offerings. “We also bring in local artists to participate in cultural events, such as art exhibitions and music events, to engage the guests,” says Peter Wynne, Senior Vice President of Artyzen Hospitality Group, which has crafted a portfolio of brands. They include: “Artyzen Hotels & Resorts” focuses on the contemporary re-interpretation of craftsmanship, traditions and heritage; “Artyzen Habitat” that features hip and stylish aesthetics evocative of modern residential comfort; while “The Shàng by Artyzen” is designed to provide thoughtful modern comforts for the sophisticated urbanites.
The Group’s premium lifestyle brand experiences echo its philosophy of “embracing art, culture and emotional wisdom,” says Wynne.
Local cultural heritage is infused into each Artyzen hotel via several aspects, including the staff and community. For instance, events held in collaboration with local art galleries contribute to the overall guest experience at Artyzen Habitat Dongzhimen Beijing, thanks to its proximity to the renowned 798 Art Zone. The hotel’s staff well-versed in local knowledge are eager to share with guests information about the best noodle restaurants in the vicinity, among other ‘locals’ best-kept secrets’.
At the recently rebranded Artyzen Grand Lapa Macau, the city’s unique blend of cultures is evident. The hotel immerses guests in the distinctive Sino-Portuguese and Macanese-inspired experience through the architecture, arts and designs, down to the staff’s uniform emotive of the local heritage, Wynne adds. “The Group’s independent collection such as Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel and The Plantation Inn in Maui, Hawaii, are renowned as ‘Hawaii’s most Hawaiian hotel’. Home to a team of cultural practitioners ʻAlihilani Guest Services’ are dedicated to offering authentic, cultural experiences through a range of complimentary family-friendly cultural activities including teaching of traditional navigational techniques – pānānā, Hawaiian for Compass. These are just a few examples of the customised guest experiences according to the location.”
Wynne adds that the premium lifestyle experiences delivered by the Group’s brands are distinctly Asian. “We celebrate local tradition, covering the locale and the people in the community, arts and culture, and the stories of the heritage and tradition. This is part of our DNA and how we bring these elements to life as part of the guest experience.”
A subsidiary of the Shun Tak Holdings Limited, the Group is a fast-expanding boutique hotel specialist operating more than seven hotels in Macau, Beijing, Shanghai and Hawaii. On the pipeline are 12 properties to be opened in China and Singapore in 2022 and 2023.
While the Group is based in Hong Kong, Shanghai has become its launch pad for strategic expansion because most of the Group’s six properties to be opened in 2022 will be in the megacity’s fast-developing districts. They include Qiantan in Pudong, which is considered ‘Shanghai’s newest CBD’, and the Lingang Special Area, a free trade zone featuring high-tech manufacturing and excellent MICE facilities.
From the experience’s perspective, the Group goes back to basics by the Chinese axiom for living and lifestyle, by way of ‘clothing’, ‘food’, ‘house’, ‘walk’ and ‘music’. Through original re-interpretation and re-imagining, the Group transforms these elements into its unique premium lifestyle brand experiences.
‘Clothing’ is about personal style whereby guests experience unique culture and heritage of the locale through interior design, decor and curated programmes. Flagship pipeline opening “Artyzen Singapore”, in a site on Cuscaden Road (near Orchard Road) originally belonging to a Peranakan gentleman orchid trader, is a purpose-built hotel with contemporary re-interpretation of the Straits Chinese heritage. The aesthetics and cuisines will reflect the Peranakan heritage with influences from Malaysia, Portugal, Goa and Spice Islands, says Wynne. “We take elements from the culture and bring them to life in a contemporary setting.”
‘Food’ connotes culinary innovations, reflecting the heritage stories behind the cuisines. The “Boa Vida” programme (enjoying the good life in Portuguese) at Artyzen Grand Lapa Macau best illustrates this cultural lifestyle experience. The recently rebranded luxury hotel has long been the local elite’s favourite venue for celebrating special occasions. Café Bela Vista serves authentic European/Portuguese cuisine and its collaboration with the Association Casa de Portugal Macao to present ‘Fado Nights at Café Bela Vista’ is part of the cultural experience, Wynne notes. “Fado is the national treasure of Portugal, a beautiful performance genre incorporating live music with traditional tapas and wine, capturing the authentic history, culture and identity of Portugal. It is part of the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage,” he says. “We go deeper than generic flavours and feature local Macanese derivatives. We want guests to experience the stories behind how the Macanese art and culture came about.”
‘House’ focuses on modern-day living and connections. The Townsquare, a signature experience featured in the modern residential-inspired Artyzen Habitat, is built around a bistro or cafe where people get nourished, refreshed and connected with one another. “The Townsquare showcases modern and progressive food culture for special meals and celebrations,” Wynne says. Reminiscent of the vibe of a university’s campus, the spacious area features curated collections of furniture, arts and decors, with nooks and workstations for people to hang out and get connected. “It’s a restaurant environment where people feel comfortable working and meeting others,” he adds.
Exploration and discovery are encapsulated in ‘Walk’. At the soon-to-be-opened design-oriented boutique hotel “The Shàng by Artyzen” in Qiantan, Pudong, across from the new NYU Shanghai campus, its hotel team has been occupied with gathering information on the unique attractions in the neighbourhood, such as some mom-and-pop stores that only locals know, Wynne says. “They are building relationships with these shops. There may be special offers for our guests in the future. This is great for the sustainability of the community. We want the community to grow together with us.”
‘Music’ is an essential element for the enjoyment of life. It covers events and activities that engage and entertains guests and locals as well as the curated soundtracks for different hotel brands and special live music performances and DJ events. In addition, the full manifestation of ‘embracing art and culture’ will be realised with “Artyzen NEW BUND 31 Shanghai” in Qiantan, scheduled to open in 2023, as the NEW BUND 31 Performing Arts Center (the largest indoor theatre in China) also resides at the NEW BUND 31. “There’ll be incredible spaces for cultural, entertaining activities and events to happen in and around the hotel,” Wynne says.
With creativity, Artyzen Hospitality Group re-interprets and re-imagines ‘lifestyle’ with the five essentials for living so that it resonates with the Gen Z and millennials. The Group represents a new frontier in hospitality where guests experience a culturally rewarding lifestyle and connect with one another and the community.