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Tangla Hotel Brussels, HNA group, a concept dedicated to Chinese clientele

The Chinese group HNA, which received a lot of press in the hotel world recently with the takeover of Carlson Rezidor and different equity stakes, opened its first hotel in Europe last month in the Belgian capital under the brand Tangla, which it developed itself. Zoom on certain characteristics of the property that are intended to meet to the needs of Chinese clientèle.

In April 2016, the Chinese operator HNA received a great deal of coverage when it bought the operator Carlson Rezidor, enriching the business portfolio of this highly diversified conglomerate (learn more about its sprawling growth from our dossier), and already very present in the hotel industry through its investment in NH Hotels (30%), Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs (10%), Red Lion Hotels (15%)...

At the same time, it also inaugurated the first address in Europe for the hotel brand that it developed: Tangla Hotels. According to the group, the name of the chain "Tangla" takes inspiration from the legend of Tanggula, a paradise nestled into the mountains of Chinkiang (on the border of and Qinghai), blessed by the patron saint of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. According to popular belief, Mont Tanggula rises into the skies (to an altitude of 6,621 meters and has the highest altitude railroad in the world, through the Tanggula pass at 5,072 m), and three rivers flow out of it, bringing abundance and tranquility to the land below.

The Chinese brand chose Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, in the East of Brussels, to open its first European location. The hotel has 187 rooms including 37 suites, a presidential suite ("Presidential Tàofáng") and a duplex ("Duplex Tàofáng"), a Cantonese restaurant ("Tang Dynasty"), a contemporary restaurant (LeCinq), a lounge area (TLounge), a grocery / delicatessen (My Little Basket) and seminar and events areas, including a 440 m² "imperial" ballroom. Other shops (Thollot watches, The Diamond Factory jewelry) and a  1000 m² with a swimming pool, spa and fitness area still under development.

While it is adapted to its European environment in terms of overall design, the hotel clearly counts on a few particulars that translate the Chinese DNA of its property:

  • The rooms are called "Fáng" and "Tàofáng", which are Mandarin terms that respectively mean room and suite; the category names of the rooms are followed by numbers indicating the size of the rooms: Fang 25[...] for rooms 25 m², Fang 27[...] for 27 m²... although the hotel has adopted western style numbering without following the Chinese style in which the number 4 is often suppressed (as its pronunciation resembles that of "death")
  • Carpeting in rooms is decorated with plum trees, China's national flower, against a more neutral background blue/green background "inspired by mountain landscapes"
  • The restaurant offers Cantonese cuisine (the regional Chinese cuisine with the highest renown) and is decorated like a traditional Chinese home: dark parquet, low ceiling, orange silk on the walls, woodwork decorations, carpeting with stylized dragons. It has 5 private dining rooms, for confidentiality, and an "Emperor's table" for 20 at the center of the restaurant's main dining room. Food is directly imported from China and prepared by 4 chefs, each of whom specializes in one of the four styles of Chinese cuisine
  • In the suites, paneling (inspired by the Summer Palace) and especially contemporary works of art produced exclusively by Chinese artisans, from several regions of the country,
  • In the lounge, decoration focuses on traditional and contemporary Chinese accessories for tea preparation, centering on a giant teapot, and of course a tea menu carte with more than 40 varieties in addition go representing 40 regions worldwide and where carpet with cloud symbols for good luck; along with Chinese sculptures and chandeliers with more than 29,000 pieces of crystal.

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