Hotel operator: IHG Hotels & Resorts
Interior design: Cheng Chung Design / CCD
Furnishings: on design
Photo credits: Cheng Chung Design / CCD

Dongguan is located in the middle of the Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macau Great Bay Area. It has been known as the “factory to the world” for decades, reputed for its Made in Dongguan products and its once energy-intensive industry, which seems to have been recently completely reinvented, striving for innovation and sustainability.

The InterContinental Dongguan is the first five-star hotel in the city, situated inside an iconic shopping complex, whose proportions currently dominate the skyline. The design by the Cheng Chung Design studio is based on the coexistence of natural local elements like the Cantonese Hakka and Tanka cultural models, given new expressions and combined to revitalize the city’s image and demonstrate the growth of a refined, sophisticated modernism.

The first powerful impact is made at the entrance: the surface of a floor of water waiting to be rippled by the breeze, reflecting the pomegranate tree at its center, the moving clouds, and the sky. The lobby draws on the spatial layout of the Keyuan Garden, a famous local historical attraction made up of various buildings and spaces arranged at staggering heights. Here, a magnolia plant, the symbol of the city of Dongguan, is rendered a glittering work of art emerging from a central partition. The lobby’s back wall features the undulating shape of a traditional house of the Lingnan region: the wok-ear house, also known as the Huo’er house.

Next to the lobby is the executive lounge, infused with vitality and creativity by elegant lighting pieces, art books, and ceramic ornaments. The spiral staircase is defined by compact black, gray, and white curved lines, which create a dynamic rhythm for a pleasing visual effect.

The restaurant was inspired by the semi-pavilion surrounded by lychee trees in the Keyuan Garden. In the lightweight, immaterial motifs of the partitions, it suggests transparencies of the windows and grilles of traditional Lingnan architecture. The wall in the Chinese restaurant is red for energy and good luck, echoing the sandstone in the Lingnan Gardens, complemented by the green outdoor landscape. The legendary lantern on the peak of Mount Huangqi inspired the furnishing of the dining room, where the golden light from the light fixtures makes for a pleasing banquet atmosphere.

There are a total of 285 rooms, generally spacious and beautifully appointed: full surfaces and transparencies light and separate the rooms, while wood and marble are paired in an impressive harmony of colors. The walls behind the headboards rest incorporate the natural weaves made with artisan crafting of the cyperus malaccensis, a long thin sedge grass that usually grows in Vietnam and then is processed in Dongguan and has been significant to the development of the local culture and manufacturing industry.