WHAT’S NEXT FOR ADRIAN ZECHA: AHN LUH RESORTS
Few hoteliers have had as profound an impact on contemporary luxury as Adrian Zecha, founder of Aman (which is opening Amanemu, its Japanese onsen resort on Ise Shima this week) and co-founder of GHM Hotels, known for its Chedi brand and resorts like The Nam Hai Hoi An and The Legian Bali.
Now, Zecha is turning his attention to the place where many hotel brand expansion dreams are made: China. Ahn Luh Resorts & Residences is an ‘urban resort brand that epitomises a contemporary China meaningfully influenced by a long history of cultural traditions’ that wants to ‘redefine luxury for the hospitality sector in China’.
While international expansion is part of the plans, the seven resorts currently listed are all in China, including its first, now in soft opening: Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao, with 35 villas built in traditional Chinese style in a suburb of Shanghai.
This is what that looks like, a small neighbourhood with low-rise buildings and courtyards, bordered by water on two sides. At its heart is ‘Wu Feng Lou’ (Court of Five Phoenixes), a 600-year old courthouse from the Ming Dynasty turned into the lobby.
Each villa has its own courtyard and private garden, while four villas have their own heated outdoor pool. They start at a massive 120 square meters (1,300 square feet).
Aside from all the usual amenities you’d expect at a luxury resort, Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao will have a Tai Chi Room with resident Tai Chi master and a traditional Chinese Medicine service desk.
This rather beautiful courtyard and room rendering are from Ahn Luh Lanting in Shaoxing, half an hour from Hangzhou near Kujaii Mountains. Historic ‘Hui-style’ homes are incorporated in the hotel, which will have 99 rooms.
Ahn Luh Dujiangyan will be located in Zhongxin Town, near Chengdu. Spreading over an area of 15,000 square meters (160,000 sq ft), all 80 rooms will have views of QingCheng Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage site (where Six Senses also recently opened a resort).
Listed for this year and next are Ahn Luh Thousand Island Lake, Ahn Luh Yanming Lake, and Ahn Luh Xunlaio Bay (a beach resort on Delta Bay a few hours from Shenzhen). Ahn Luh Yichun is one year later, situated in the Heilongjiang province in the far northeast of China in an area which has the world’s largest Korean pine primeval forest and a considerably chilly annual average temperature of 1C (34F). Given that we can’t book directly on the Ahn Luh website yet and various pages still talk about 2015 openings, we’ll take all of these as tentative dates.
[Photos / Renderings: Ahn Luh Hotels]