A Pioneer of China’s Cultural Boutique Hotels
Blossom Hill, a house hidden in flowering shrubs, an embodiment of happy living methods; a place for people to feel happiness, enjoy their hobbies, and experience a life that belongs to themselves… this is what Blossom Hill is endeavoring to present to its guests.
With its first hotel opening in 2009 in Lijiang, Yunnan, Blossom Hill boasts a distinctively stylish aesthetics. Each Blossom Hill has integrated local culture, custom and historic heritage and each is a perfect combination of high-end boutique hotel service philosophy and local natural views, folk house and culture. It indeed deserves to be called a pioneer of China’s cultural boutique resort and hotel industry.
With a core philosophy of spreading the beauty of Chinese culture, Blossom Hill attaches great importance on protecting local culture and custom and on delivering them to guests. Each Blossom Hill inn, hotel and resort is a platform to share and connect with local culture and custom. Local historic tradition, cultural landscape and creation, relaxation and entertainment activities, and tourism resources are well integrated into each Blossom Hill, with the purpose to present guests a new pleasant and stylish cultural and relaxed holiday model.
Vice President of Blossom Hill Hotels & Resorts, Rose Wang, graduated from Cesar Ritz Colleges Switzerland. She joined Blossom Hill as director of sales and marketing in 2012 and was promoted to Vice President in 2015. Prior to joining Blossom Hill, Rose held positions of sales director for several five-star hotels and accumulated rich experience in hotel brand promotion, sales channel development and sales strategy planning and execution. Now as Vice President of Blossom Hill, Rose is fully responsible for the group’s operations, management and sales and marketing strategy. In this issue, SpaChina interviewed her.
What is the core philosophy of Blossom Hill?
With a core philosophy of “Live a beautiful life to your heart’s content”, Blossom Hill is endeavoring to share the brand’s good vision on life and holiday with our guests. Blossom Hill is not simply a hotel that offers accommodation, but also journey mate for each guest. Here, guest will feel like being at home, where they stay, interact with others and share interesting things and good things of life with others. This is the core philosophy the whole Blossom Hill team is following all these years when we are doing operation and product design.
Who are the major target guest groups of Blossom Hill?
Major target-guest groups of Blossom Hill are females aged from 25 to 40. Most of these people boast good life taste, they are more likely to pursue inner heart satisfaction and they like personalized, tasty, elegant and interactive experience. This is quite different from those of traditional hotels. The reason we choose females as our major target-guest is because females always play a dominant role in deciding family travel issues, particularly regarding which hotel to stay at. The male guests always follow the female guests; most of them do not have the final say. As long as the kid and wife like the hotel, they will pay the money.
Each Blossom Hill has a very poetic and beautiful name. What are your considerations when naming a Blossom Hill hotel or resort?
There are many different stories behind the names of Blossom Hill hotels and resorts. Some were inspired by ancient stories of the hotel building, for example, we named Blossom Hill Pingjiang as Tanhua Mansion because the hotel building used to be the house of a distinguished local Suzhou family with the surname of Pan, and the house is renowned for collecting two national treasures: “Great Yu Tripod” and “Big Grams Tripod”. The original house owner once won “Tanhuan”, which means the third place in imperial examination in his time. That’s exactly the inspiration of the name of Blossom Hill Pingjiang.
Also some Blossom Hill hotels are named after our prospect on the lifestyle we want people to experience at the hotel, such as Blossom Hill Lijiang Aromaland. The hotel is a quiet and delicate courtyard next to the bustling Zhongyi Market. It offers guests a mystery feeling of an ideal hermit living in a noisy market. No matter how a Blossom Hill inn, hotel or resort is named, you can always find a great story or a kind of lifestyle we want to deliver to our guests in its name.
What is special about Blossom Hill’s design?
Blossom Hill attaches great importance to local culture. Each Blossom Hill inn, hotel or resort’s design is affected by local culture, history background and natural resources. For example, at Lijiang, Yunnan, our Blossom Hill hotel is even an embodiment of the culture of the street where the hotel is located. And local culture is not merely embodied in our hardware, it is also manifested in the hotel’s space, landscape and furniture design as well as relevant service details, such as F&B, staff garment and activities.
Early next year, a new program will open in peach flower island, Yangshan Wuxi. That will be the first hot spring-themed Blossom Hill resort and a quite sophisticated resort product of Blossom Hill. Regarding the design and overall plan of the upcoming program, apart from integrating local culture and custom traits of Yangshan, we also invited professional hot spring designer and design team from Japan with the purpose to create a really great hot spring vacation land.
How did you come up with the idea of creating a stylish and mild-luxury hospitality brand like Blossom Hill?
Among Blossom Hill’s co-founders, there are several people previously engaged in the hospitality industry, but they mainly focused on traditional commercial hotel. When they were planning to set up a new hospitality brand, market competition in the hospitality industry is extremely hot, all the renowned high-end hotels are international franchise brand, we barely had any chance. On the other hand, a lot of economical and fast express hotels were in danger of being eliminated from the market and there was rarely chance for development. So, founders of Blossom Hill really wanted to create something different, so they went to visit different places all over the nation. Finally, they went to Lijiang, where they found the local culture is undervalued and came up with the idea of creating a hotel that could embody local culture and offer stylish experience for guests.
The weather in Lijiang is always pleasant, the sky is blue and the air is fresh. At Lijiang, just simply staying in the sunshine, doing nothing, can make people feel happy. Also, Lijiang’s local old building and Naxi culture are enlisted as world cultural heritage. The Naxi minority group has done quite a great job in passing on and reserving their own culture, which quite conducive for us to offer our guests a really extraordinary experience.
Lijiang itself is a perfect embodiment of our vision on Blossom Hill: a place for people to relax, vacation, or simply stay there doing nothing. So, while planning the hotel building’s renovation and space layout, we tried our best to make the internal hotel space fit maximumly people’s daily life habits so as to offer ultimate comforts for the guests while still maintaining elements of traditional local culture in the hotel design and service details. This is exactly the very start of Blossom Hill.
How does Blossom Hill embody the concept of mild luxury?
For Blossom Hill, we are more focused on value for guests’ time and money spent. We are not simply seeking ultimate luxury in internal space, environment and equipment and facilities, we are more willing to enrich guests’ cultural experience, enable them to enjoy services like being offered by old friends, establish mutual trust and interaction with guests, share good things with each other, the ultimate purpose is to let our guests feel more comfortable and cozy, like being at home. A typical example of this is all our guests can book rooms without guarantee, check-in with no deposit, check out without our staff checking the room. Different from traditional hotels, we are not simply selling a bed, but a happy time and a stylish vacation life at Blossom Hill.
How do you integrate Blossom Hill’s brand concept into your spa and spa program and services?
The most outstanding trait of spas at Blossom Hill is we have designed different spas and spa programs based different hotel and local resources, which enables guests to experience different stylish spa experiences. For example, at Blossom Hill Huangzhou Xixi, all the spa therapists were trained at a professional spa college at Thailand. And the Thailand Royal Classical Massage SPA can enable guests to relax the body and mind quickly. And in the plain village with no luxury ornament, guests will learn to slow down their life and feel the harmonious co-existence between human being and nature.
And the spa at the upcoming Blossom Hill in Wuxi is a cooperation with Le Furo from Japan. It will introduce mineral geotherm and mineral essence and fog shower wellness method into China for the first. Le Furo adopted advanced extraction technology to refine more than 30 kinds hot spring minerals essence from hot spring mineral stones at Japan’s well-renowned hot spring Tamagawa onsen. Eventually the essence will be used in rock basin fog bathing, offering guests a really rare and pleasant hot spring wellness experience.