Bright horizons: Victoria Cruises
navigates the Yangtze
The world’s most populous country, and the
designated host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, China has become a
magnet for foreign currency. In response to a growing stream of
investment from around the world, the hospitality industry
continues to blossom in the capital city of Beijing as well as
cosmopolitan Shanghai and just about everywhere else in the
Victoria Cruises, which runs four- and nine-day sailings
along China’s storied Yangtze River, upgraded two of its ships in
2003 and plans to add a new vessel to the fleet later this year.
According to the company, scenic journeys through the famed Three
Gorges will not be affected by the controversial Three Gorges Dam
project, a massive public construction effort taking place
downriver, near Yiching.
Two new dining options recently opened at the
Grand Hyatt Beijing, a 531-room property in
walking distance of the Forbidden City. The
Redmoon is an after-hours wine and jazz bar. Made
in China, a restaurant patterned after a traditional tea
house, lets guests watch chefs perform in an open kitchen.
The China World Hotel completed a $30 million
renovation in October, which included a revamped lobby, a new
first-floor lounge and updates of all 716 guest rooms. The hotel’s
ballroom also was refurbished, along with its 18 function
TheShangri-La Hotel, Beijing,
began a $72 million upgrade in August that included a redesign of
all 657 guest rooms and public areas. In 2006, the property will
add a 200-room tower with a grand ballroom and 18 meeting
The Palace Hotel in September was renamed the
Peninsula Palace Beijing. As part of the change, the hotel added
new dining options, remodeled its lobby and renovated all 530 guest
The 212-room Renaissance Beijing Hotel opened
last January, featuring three meeting rooms and 4,800 square feet
of function space.
The 478-room Crowne Plaza Park View Wuzhou
Beijing opened in October next to the Beijing Convention
Perched on the 86th floor of the Grand Hyatt
Shanghai dubbed “the highest hotel in the world” a new
restaurant recently opened to the public. Master chefs at Club Jin
Mao offer tempting Shanghai specialties as well as towering views
of the city often referred to as “the Paris of the East.”
Mainland China’s first JW Marriott opened in November. The
342-room JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai has 18,000
square feet of function space, two ballrooms and 13 meeting
The Renaissance Shanghai Pudong Hotel also
debuted here recently. Near the New International Expo Center, the
375-room property offers a ballroom and five function rooms.
Following a renovation of its ballroom and meeting rooms, the
564-room Portman Ritz-Carlton recently installed
wireless Internet access in its function areas.
The 492-room Kempinski Hotel Chengdu will
open in April in this capital city of Sichuan province. Event space
will accommodate groups of up to 800 people.
The Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu is set to open in
November 2006. With a 22,600-square-foot ballroom, the 580-room
riverside property will feature the city’s largest event