China Travel Guide

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Did The First Lady Really Have to Stay at The Westin in Beijing?

Where: Beijing, China
March 25, 2014 at 9:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

And no, we're not asking that question because the room rate was so outrageous at $8,400 a night and because taxpayers might be footing the bill. instead, we're asking that because you can be sure that if we have nearly ten grand to spend on a hotel room in Beijing, it's not going to be at the Westin Chaoyang. That's for sure.

We'd rather spend our money at the Opposite House in Sanlitun or try out one of the suites at the just-opened Waldorf Astoria. Wait, what are we thinking? Clearly, we're going to lay our head down on the pillows at the Peninsula Hotel. See, there are plenty of other better choices than a Westin if you've got $10,000 to spend.

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Are We Ready For This? Karl Lagerfeld to Design The Fashion-Branded Hotel in Macau

Where: Macau, China
March 7, 2014 at 1:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

We seriously thought Missoni Hotels would be a contender for the "fashion-branded" hotel opening at the Lisboa Palace, a hotel casino complex coming to Macau. But then Carslon Rezidor Hotel Group announced that Missoni Hotels would be closing down as of this June.

We thought Armani Hotels might also be a contender, especially since it could somewhat complement the Palazzo Versace from Donatella Versace that's also to open in the Lisboa Palace. But it turns out, our last suggestion was very right.

Also, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel has been dabbling in the hotel design arts as of late. Perhaps the Cotai Strip could be his very first Karl Lagerfeld-branded Hotel. But remember, NO SWEATPANTS ALLOWED.

That's right, Karl Lagerfeld is designing his very own hotel in Macau. Here's what he had to say about it.

"An entire hotel designed by me. It's the first time for me! I think the idea is great!"

Of course you would.

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Which Fashion-Branded Hotel is Opening in Macau?

Where: Cotai, Macau, China
February 17, 2014 at 3:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

Just like hotels stacking a few different brands into urban skyscrapers,, multiple hotels combined into one massive resort seem to be a "thing" these days. We've seen it happening down in the Bahamas with Baha Mar hotel wonderland which will include Rosewood, Mondrian, Grand Hyatt and Melia hotels, along with the Baha Mar Resort and Casino. And now we will see it in Macau at Cotai with the Lisboa Palace which just recently broke ground. (It's opening next to Steve Wynn's new Wynn Palace.)

The destination, designed by firm WATG, will include the five-star Lisboa Palace with over 1,450 rooms, the Palazzo Versace Macau with up to 270 rooms and a "fashion-branded hotel", also with 270 rooms.

But what fashion brand could this be? Actually, the Palazzo Versace is from Donatella Versace and it will be a spin-off of her Gold Coast hotel. So the question really is--what other fashion-branded hotel could co-exist with Versace?

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The Waldorf Astoria Beijing to Open on March 1

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 5-15 Jinyu Hutong Wangfujing Dongch, Beijing, China, 100006
February 13, 2014 at 5:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

The upcoming Waldorf Astoria Beijing actually wasn't on our radar when we released our Master List of Hotel Openings last month (mea culpa!) But with its March 1 opening just a few weeks away, we're honing in on what is expected to be the brand's most contemporary and art-conscious hotel to date.

Located in downtown Beijing, across from the Peninsula Hotel and within walking distance to the Forbidden City, the Waldorf Astoria is a brand-new building with an unusual bronze exterior, giving it a crazy cool effect. And according to general manager, Marlene Poynder, the bronze will cause the exterior's color to change over time. Even cooler.

Poynder also filled us in on some of the amenities expected inside the 176-room hotel such as AppleTV hookups (not available for sale in China), Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries and Samsung tablets that controls nearly everything inside the room.

The hotel's interiors were done by design firm Yabu Pushelberg but they still incorporate elements of Chinese design such as traditional dressers, intricate rugs and silk-paneled walls. The hotel is also filled with contemporary Chinese art including the Waldorf Astoria Clock (found in each Waldorf Astoria hotel) which "appears weightless while resting in its glass cabinet, creating the illusion that it is floating, or of 'time being suspended.'"

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W Beijing and W Shanghai Get Hit With Major Delays

January 8, 2014 at 10:12 AM | by | Comments (0)

There is no stopping W Hotels: Amsterdam, Milan, even Reykjavik may get a W outpost in the next few years, and then there is the branching out into ski resorts too.

Way back in 2012, we snapped a few pictures of another newcomer: the W Beijing Chang’An, hoping it would be ready for what then seemed an eternity away – the first day of 2014. That, unfortunately, did not quite work out as planned, with the hotel now pushed back until late June. New Year’s day of 2014 was going to be a double party, with the joint opening of sister property W Shanghai – The Bund, but there we’re looking at June next year before we get to go inside. At least we have some glimpse of what the hotels look like for you now.

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David Beckham To Create Dining and Retail Concepts for Las Vegas Sands...in China

Where: China
December 2, 2013 at 12:50 PM | by | Comment (1)

David Beckham made his name as a top footballer in his younger years but now in his retirement, he's become a man of many leisurely pursuits such as underwear modeling, cologne-making and tattoo collecting. He's also dabbling in the hotel world.

Last week, the Las Vegas Sands Corp., announced that Beckham would be assisting in the development of "dining, retail and leisure concepts" at the Sands properties in Macao and Marina Bay, Singapore. Much of the press release about the partnership is a bunch of "we're so excited" type of statements yet the details are scant on what exactly Beckham will be doing.

Our guess is that someone else is going to come up with these new concepts which will obviously have a luxury element to them for which Beckham will lend his face and body. We're thinking David Beckham Steakhouse, David Beckham Watch Shop, David Beckham Cigars, David Beckham Men's Intimates, David Beckham Noodles To Go. Er, maybe not that last one.

However, given that Becks is now the global ambassador for Chinese Football, we're sure at least one of these concepts will have to do with the sport itself. All "Bend It Like Beckham" jokes aside, we're quite curious to see what they, er, he, comes up with.

[Photo: Las Vegas Sands Corp.]

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Spaced-Themed Hotel Staffed By Robots: What More Could a Geek Want?

Where: Shenzhen, China
November 25, 2013 at 8:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

Every time a cool new app comes out promising guests to check-in or check-out via their phone or table or use their handheld as a room key, we always wonder how much longer it will be before human hotel staff become obsolete. Well, at The Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel in Shenzhen, China, that time is here.

The Nanfang Insider reports that the hotel is nearly entirely staffed by ROBOTS. Robots greet you at reception and at the front desk and even serve you drinks and food in the lobby lounge. However, there are some humans on hand in case the service, um, short circuits.

As for the rooms, they cost just $11 a night because as the hotel name suggests, they are capsule rooms. These tiny little pods are tricked out with blue mood lighting, WiFi, flat-screen, ports galore and according to this pic, the privacy to view some adult movies on your iPad.

[Photo: Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel]

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Robert De Niro's 'Talkin' To' BD Hotels Again

Where: Shanghai, China
October 25, 2013 at 9:22 AM | by | Comment (1)

DeNiro, with his other partner in Nobu Hotels, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

Robert De Niro must have been pretty happy about his experience working with BD Hotels on The Greenwich Hotel because he's partnering with them again to develop a new five-star boutique hotel...in Shanghai.

The hotel will be part of what is being called Project 179 a 850,000-square-foot complex on the Bund that will also feature retail space, restaurants "led by accomplished restaurateurs currently operating distinguished establishments in the United States," a performance center and multi-screen cinema. Let's hope the first screening at this new cinema is a Taxi Driver/Raging Bull double-bill.

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Rosewood Beijing Will Have a Mountain Profile, Bangkok Sky Villas With Plunge Pools

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: No. 1, Hujialou, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, 100020
October 21, 2013 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

Not only did we ogle Rosewood London last week (hopefully just phase one in Europe for the group), we also picked up some additional news: a first few snapshots of the rooms at Rosewood Beijing (coming next year) and the exciting update that another hotel is being planned for Bangkok.

Both hotels sound like they will be rather unique; the building in Beijing “will recall a mountain profile with contrasting volumes and shapes” and Bangkok promises 650-square foot Pool Sky Villas, with large terraces and private plunge pools (!!).

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The Mandarin Oriental Pudong Will Boil Your Chinese Herbs, No Questions Asked

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 111 Pudong Road, Shanghai, China, 200120
September 30, 2013 at 5:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we checked the HotelChatter Flickr Pool this morning for some new additions, we found this snapshot of the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai from member BenLee123, a well-traveled man with a taste for the finer hotels in life.

The hotel just opened in April and as we expected the luxury hotel looks pretty luxurious filled with lots of high-tech amenities.

BenLee123 dropped in a few more photos of the hotel and he also posted a link to his lengthy TripAdvisor review. But this paragraph stood out for us:

No request is too much trouble. Some examples: I was on medication during this trip and asked the hotel to prepare and boil some Chinese herbs which I brought along twice a day. That’s something out of the usual service request and any lesser hotel especially in China, the answer will be an immediate NO. In this case, the staff immediately agreed to prepare this for me without a second thought or the need to “consult with management”.

Xie xie indeed!

The hotel is still offering its opening offer which gives you a complimentary second night and free internet. We found rooms on the 11th of October for just $277 USD a night.

Got a cool hotel photo to share? Drop it into our HotelChatter Flickr Pool and maybe next Monday, we'll be talking about your photo instead!

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The MGM in Cotai Will Have an 'Over The Top' Mansion

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Cotai Strip, Macau, China
August 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

MGM Resorts International is planning their second property in China, this time it's a massive resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau, China's answer to Las Vegas. Except Macau is bigger and wealthier and way more intense when it comes to gambling.

In a quarterly earnings call yesterday, Jim Murren dished on a few details for the property, which is about halfway through the excavation stage.* The property will have an atrium three times the size of the Bellagio's and it will feature its own "over the top" Mansion.

If you don't know what The Mansion is, allow us to educate you. The Mansion is a super secretive hotel within the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Most people, including those who work for MGM, have never seen it. Others don't believe it exists. However, it's real. We saw it with our own eyes last month. We even went to the bathroom there.

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Forget Free Bikes, Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai Wants to See You On a Segway

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 111 Pudong Road (S), Pudong, Shanghai, China, 200120
August 1, 2013 at 10:49 AM | by | Comment (1)

We've told you about some hotels that want to send you exploring their city on a free bike and now we have a property that has the need for a bit more speed. Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai has bypassed the bicycle and gone straight for guided tours of the area via the futuristic Segway.

The new hotel is perfectly located on the banks of Shanghai's Huangpu River and is an ideal location to catch some great photos ops of the towers financial district or the historic Bund across the waterway. These personal transporters make seeing the vast city a whole lot easier while reducing sore feet and the need for rest breaks; although, if your 'dogs' start barking, a trip to the hotel's garden-themed spa wouldn't disappoint.

Each 30-minute tour will kick-off as the heat begins to wane at 3:30 with the last tour leaving the hotel at 6:30pm, just in time for some stunning snaps of the setting sun making the city sparkle with colored lights. If your confidence on the two-wheeler isn't as great as you'd like, don't worry because there is free practice riding lessons at the start of the day's tours, giving even the least tech-savvy riders the ability to scoot down the promenade safely.

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