THE ART OF JOYFUL JOURNEYS ARRIVES IN BOX HILL THE CHEN OPENS ITS DOORS
“You just have to believe in what you are doing before someone else will believe in you.”
Art Series Hotel Group has opened the doors to its eighth art inspired hotel, The Chen, in the burgeoning Melbourne suburb of Box Hill.
Named after and inspired by the Chinese-Australian abstract artist, Zhong Chen, the 100-room hotel was opened today with an official ribbon cutting by CEO of Mantra Group, Bob East.
It was a special day for the Mantra Group with the official handover of Art Series from Will Deague, CEO Deague Group, the final step in one of the biggest property portfolio acquisitions of the year.
A true expression of the Art of Joyful Journeys, The Chen reflects the artist’s fun and relaxed persona. Introducing a new level of luxury accommodation, the hotel also celebrates the ethnic diversity of Box Hill, with Chen’s bold art representing his own transcultural identity.
Following the ribbon cutting, Bob East spoke about the importance of Mantra’s first Art Series Hotel to the local area.
“Box Hill is emerging as a second CBD to Melbourne given its great transport links and The Chen will contribute to this evolution,” he said.
“The Chen already had a positive impact on the local economy with up to 500 construction workers on site every day during the build. The hotel will also directly employ about 120 people, with the knock on effect giving an economic boost to the surrounding retailers.”
The art-inspired boutique hotel boasts 100 self-contained open-planned and apartment style suites, a rooftop pool with sundeck, gymnasium, plus conference and events facilities.
Guests have the choice of two dining options, lashings of Chen artworks, in-house art libraries, and a dedicated art channel. For those keen to discover more about the hotel’s namesake, in-house art curators and advocates will offer free tours.
850 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
Reservations: 03 9131 0200
Helpline: 1800 278 468
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About Arts Series Hotel Group
Arts Series Hotel Group transformed the Australian hotel market when it launched in 2009. Inspired by and dedicated to Australian contemporary artists, each hotel takes design inspiration from the namesake artist. With original artworks and prints adorning the walls and halls, the multifaceted art inspired experience is complete with dedicated art channels, art libraries, art tours and art utensils on supply. Glass bottomed pools, private outdoor decking areas, state of the art gymnasiums, massive communal spaces and boutique conference and events spaces complete the picture. www.artserieshotels.com.au
About Mantra Group
Mantra Group announced its acquisition of Art Series Hotel Group in August 2017, which is due to settle 22 November 2017 (subject to customary conditions). Mantra Group is the leading Australian-based hotel and resort operator. Mantra Group’s portfolio consists of 128 properties with more than 21,500 rooms in properties under management, across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. Operating three well-known and trusted brands – Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree - Mantra Group operates the second largest network of accommodation properties in Australia (by room number). The Group is positioned to offer both leisure and business style accommodation ranging from full-service city hotels and self-contained apartments to luxury resorts and retreats. The Group successfully listed on the ASX in June 2014 and in its first year as a public company was elevated to the ASX 200.
www.mantrahotels.com; www.peppers.com.au; www.mantra.com.au; www.breakfree.com.au
About Zhong Chen
A sense of adventure underpins the extraordinary story of Zhong Chen which usually begins at the moment he arrived from Zhongshan in Adelaide at the age of eighteen. In just six years the artist would graduate with Honours from the Adelaide School of Art and win the highly coveted Samstag award, a scholarship to the Chelsea School of Art in the UK. Although Zhong’s journey to Australia has been a crucial part of his identity, an understanding of his steadfast gravitation to art is also key to understanding this singular artistic project.
Born in Zhongshan, China in the pre-boom era of 1969, Chen first discovered art through the lens of traditional Chinese calligraphy when, in the early eighties, his mother enrolled him in calligraphy lessons. A de-fining moment for the adolescent was a trip to Northern China to visit an international exhibition of contemporary Chinese calligraphy. It was from these experiences that the young artist decided to broaden his world and pursue art. When a plan to live in America was stymied by his grandfather’s concern about an uncle’s wayward habits, Zhong travelled to Australia. In 1989 he arrived in Adelaide to live with family friends who were also recently arrived immigrants. He first studied art in the TAFE adult education system and soon after proceeded to complete the Honours degree that would propel him to the Chelsea School of Art in London.
Zhong Chen was also awarded two Australian Council grants to participate in residencies in New York in 2001 and 2006. He is a three-time Finalist in the Archibald Prize, Australia’s most prestigious portraiture prize and a finalist in the Wynne Prize for landscape as well and The Doug Moran Portrait Prize and the Sulman Prize. In 2009 Zhong was awarded the People's Choice Award for the Portrait Salon Des Refuses Prize.