Branded hotel management company Artyzen Hospitality Group has announced that Edmond Ip has joined the group as vice chairman. Ip brings to Artyzen Hospitality Group a high-end hotel concept that he conceived back in 2007 and is excited that it has found a home within the group’s portfolio of lifestyle hotel brands. Zitan represents the “Soul of Chinese Modernity,” a position that aligns with the group’s operating philosophy of providing culturally rewarding guest experiences.
With 40 years in the hotel industry, Ip held senior executive and development roles across some of the biggest names in the business. Following the early days of his career with Hyatt International, where he headed the finance and accounting function globally, to his spearheading the growth of IHG’s business in Asia especially in Greater China, Ip later became chairman of Greater China, Hilton Worldwide. No stranger to innovation, Ip is one of the co-founders of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts. A philanthropist at heart with a pioneering spirit, Ip established the IHG Academy in China for local talents development and partnered with Project Hope in building schools for children in remote places and providing scholarship for those who are unable to afford education. Ip’s all-round contributions have been duly recognized with the Trailblazer Award by Horwath HTL Asia Pacific and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the China Hotel Starlight Awards and the China Hotel Investment Conference.
The seeds of Ip’s vision for Zitan started back in 2007 and the idea is to develop a brand whose whole essence stems from a Chinese cultural and hospitality provenance. Concepts drawn from one of the oldest cultures in the world, Chinese artistic and cultural references will inspire the contemporary look of the hotel and the progressive style of its service offering.
Ip feels that there is an opportunity to truly create something that emanates from a Chinese cultural soul, and in a progressive and contemporary way. He contends that there are global brands that provide service and menu offerings to appeal to a Chinese customer base, as well as China-based hospitality brands trying to emulate Western concepts and service standards. However, a brand born from a Chinese perspective is an entirely different idea.
“We look to Chinese history and cultural influences to create a brand that will provide discerning guests, with an experience based on Chinese characteristics but in a contemporary manner.” Ip explains. “Working in unison with owners, artists, and designers, we want to create a product that will always be the first one, because each Zitan will be original.”