Tag: Olympics 2008 HotelsView All Tags
Is it just us or did the 2008 Olympics go by too fast? We're sad that the closing ceremonies are on the very near horizon. In fact, the only thing that's keeping our chins up is the chance to see David Beckham carrying the torch for London 2012.
And this little bit of news is helping our post-Olympic depression : The kick-ass Bird's Nest Stadium will be adding hotel rooms soon, reports USA Today. The stadium will also host at least 60 soccer matches a year and add VIP Skyboxes, meaning that it will be possible to watch an event here and sleep here too.
Names will be floated around soon for the stadium but we think Bird's Nest Hotel is just fine.
[Photo: F u n k y !]
Michael Phelps / Hotel News / Beijing Hotels / Olympics 2008 Hotels / Hilton Hotels / Hotels Doing Good / → All Tags
Michael Phelps keeps on swimming in Beijing but his latest race wasn't for gold. It was for something even better.
Phelps jumped into the pool at the Hilton Beijing on Tuesday to swim 6,250th and final lap of the "Hilton Swim to Beijing Relay." The relay is a multi-city charitable event contributing $100,000 to the USA Swimming Foundation to fund swim education programs across the United States.
The race actually began back in November 2007 when Phelps kicked off the swim at the Hilton Universal City. It then went on to five other cities. So why 6,250 laps? Well that's the distance from LA to Beijing.
Hilton will be donating the money to swim education programs in the participating cities as well as $50,000 to the USA Swimming Foundation. We're pretty sure every kid in America is going to be asking for swimming lessons this year.
A pic of Phelps in action after the jump.
While it seems most of the ordinary and extraordinary visitors to Beijing are holing up at the Intercontinental, anyone with a ton of money will surely bypass all other hotels for the Pangu Plaza. That is, when it finally opens.
NY Times reports:
Shaped like a dragon -- and stretching the length of seven football fields -- is a colossal row of stone buildings that boast a high-rise office tower, shopping mall, seven-star hotel and what the developer insists is the world's first traditional Chinese "courtyard in the sky."
According to the website, the hotel has 270 suites that are "especially designed for top-ranking officials in the world, leaders from all fields and top riches in the world." Translation: You gotta be very important to stay here.
Indeed, dinner in the Japanese restaurant inside starts at $600 a night and the cost of the presidential suite is up to $30,000 per night. God, we'd hate to hear what the standard suite rates are like.
And you will probably get your money's worth if you stay here. All rooms will have killer views of the Olympic stadiums like the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube. Plus you will be able to do some world-leader spotting too.
It's just a shame the hotel couldn't open in time for the Games. Word is it will open in a few weeks.
[Photo: NY Times]
Hotel News Briefs / Meth Hotels / Hotel Hell / Olympics 2008 Hotels / Element Hotels / Hotel Dorms / → All Tags
There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Ultimate Meth Hotel Hell: A woman in Pensacola, Florida had a black backpack fall from the ceiling of her hotel room. Inside it? A portable meth lab. Oy. [AP News]
Beijing Hotels Still Empty: While swimming and NBC Olympics ratings probably had their best Olympics ever, Beijing hotels still are suffering. [BusinessWeek]
· Excalibur Goes Electronic: While the outside of the Excalibur Hotel & Casino still looks like bad interpretation of medieval fantasy, inside the poker rooms are going electronic! [Fox Business]
· Hotel Dorms Get Student Desks: Colorado State University has a shortage of housing for its frosh class so it's putting a few of them in hotels and giving them student desks. [Pueblo Chieftain]
· Element Heads to (Outside of) LA: An Element hotel will open in Palmdale, Calif. Yeah, we'll never go there either. [Green Meeting]
It seems that watching stacked Olympians win medals all over the place in Beijing makes us kinda hungry. We're pretty fixated on the hotel dining scene over in Beijing (hey, man, we don't have any world records to break), so we were thrilled when Matt and Meredith were feelin' what we were feelin' when they headed to China.
The restaurant's manager took the Today Show through the whole Peking Duck dining, uh, "process," and they seemed to love it. You can check out the whole segment here -- and we really hope the Grand Hyatt staffers don't actually stand over your shoulder while you're dining and yell "1, 2, 3 EAT!" like they do here.
Beijing Hotels / Olympics 2008 Hotels / Michael Phelps / InterContinental Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We know you've read this in 400 different places but: Michael Phelps eats 12,000 calories a day. This has been mystifying people all over the world this week, giving folks a nice little piece of commentary to add to watercooler recaps of the Olympics.
UK journalist Will Pavia decided to try out the Michael Phelps face-stuff-fest while over in Beijing covering the Olympics.
He took on the challenge at the InterContinental Beijing, and while we're certain there are more than a few places to score yourself 12,000 calories worth of food in the city, we now know for sure that the staff won't gawk at you or act like your multiple sandwiches and pounds of pasta are a big deal at all because they've already seen it.
We love blindly stumbling upon a random hotel mention in article about, say, "Students in Beijing hungry for a taste of home," because more often than not, it alerts us to a place we never heard of before. In this case, it's the Spring Garden Hotel in Beijing.
This eight-room hotel near Tiananmen Square doesn't have a web site (at least not one that we can find anyway), meaning you'll have to book through a third-party site. The absence of a web site also is indicative of how quaint the property is, a word that comes up a lot in guest reviews on TripAdvisor.
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On Monday we were sad to hear that the hip Hotel G in Beijing had been shut down by the Chinese government due to a Free Tibet protest that has taken place in one of the guest rooms, much to the dismay of the hotel staff.
The closing had been reported by a journalist from New Zealand who had taken part in the protest.
However, today the hotel has sent us a statement about the hotel's closing saying it was not done by the government at all. Instead, the hotel has had some "technical difficulties" in its soft-opening and decided not to take anymore guests during the Olympics.
An official opening date for Hotel G as not been announced so until then, the hotel remains closed.
Read the full letter from the hotel's rep after the jump.
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While we are sure golden-boy Michael Phelps is safely ensconced in the Olympic village somewhere, far, far, far away from any distractions that could derail his eight golden medals quest, the International Olympic Committee is kicking it at the Raffles Beijing Hotel.
And they aren't shy about letting you know that either. In fact, there's a press release on this which says that Raffles recruited the best of its employees from around the world to serve at the hotel during the Olympics:
In preparation, Raffles Beijing, which has 100% occupancy during the Olympics, has undergone more than 1,500 hours of Pre-Olympic preparation training since March 2008.
We were so excited when Hotel G opened in Beijing because it was a cool new hotel that wasn't a part of some big-box US hotel chain. Also, it opened a 25 degrees burger restaurant inside.
Yet the hotel's high hopes for high occupancy during the Olympic Games have been shattered. The Chinese government has closed down the hotel because one of its rooms was used for a Free Tibet protest.
From a news report:
The new hotel, near the Workers' Stadium, is painted a garish purple - a funky newcomer to the popular area around the stadium. Staff knew nothing about the protesters gathering in a room on the sixth floor. They were innocent bystanders who had desperately tried to stop journalists from accessing the room.
That didn't matter. The hotel has been closed, the guests shifted elsewhere. Chinese justice has spoken.
The New Zealand Herald has a blow by blow account of the relatively peaceful in-room protest. However, what really sucks is that hotel employees desperately tried to stop the protest even telling journalists "Please think of all the people who work in this hotel" to no avail. Now the hotel is closed down at least for the remainder of the Olympic Games or possibly for good. Sad.
Two days, just two tiny days to go until the 2008 Olympics kick off in Beijing, but not everyone in Beijing's hotels is thinking about sports right now. There are also a bunch of people keen to protest against China's treatment of Tibet, and some of these people apparently frequent the Golden Palace Silver Street Hotel in the Dongcheng District of Beijing.
The WSJ has hired U.S. Olympian Jason Read to do some blogging for the paper while he's in Beijing.
Our first immediate question? What athlete has time to blog for the WSJ? Turns out Read is an alterante for the U.S. rowing team. But don't feel bad for him--he already won the gold in Athens in '04.
Anyways, Read has given us the lowdown on the rowing team's hotel in Shinyu. He blogs:
Our hotel, the King and Queen Garden Hotel in Shinyu, is awesome! The food has been remarkably good. We were all a bit concerned when the managers of the team said to "bring as much food as possible."
I got my butt kicked the other day in table tennis by a cute Chinese girl who works at the hotel. Most of the hotel workers don't speak English. The ones who do don't let you know they do. The all love Olympic pins.
And there you have it. a first-hand report on the hotel scene from an Olympian. Um...thanks?
[Photo via USRowing.org]