Hotel Online  Special Report



China World Hotel, Beijing, Receives Most Expensive
Facelift In Local Hotel History
Beijing (October 2003) -- The five-star China World Hotel, Beijing, one of China's most highly regarded luxury properties, has completed a US$30 million renovation of its public areas and 716 guest rooms. Dubbed the most expensive "facelift" in local hotel history, the renovation program has transformed the landmark into Beijing's most stylish property with its vibrant mix of Chinese and Western design.

Of the renovation, the hotel's general manager Stefan Bollhalder said:

"China World Hotel, Beijing has earned a reputation for providing world-class facilities and services, complemented by Shangri-La hospitality, since it opened in 1990. The scale of this renovation shows our commitment to maintaining the hotel's reputation for providing excellent services and to being at the forefront of hospitality in China's capital."

New Lobby
Evoking the grandeur of Imperial China, China World's new lobby is welcoming and memorable. The lobby's trademark monumental red lacquered pillars continue to stand sentinel but in a more regal style. Each pillar now has a sculpted marble base and a capital emblazoned in gold leaf and crystals. They stand in vivid contrast to the expanded lobby's light marble floors and two new skylights. The lobby's decorative gold-leaf theme continues on the latticed ceiling, which is also bejewelled with clusters of shimmering crystal chandeliers.

The lobby was designed by Wilson & Associates, an interior architechtural design firm well-known for its work with  ultra-luxury hotels such as the Venetian Resort and Hotel in Las Vegas, the St. Andrews Old Course Hotel in Scotland, Las Centanas al Paraiso and the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

The Lobby's Architectural Design Highlights Include:
  • Three large art pieces created by a team of Chinese artisans from "Dragon Pace" in Beijing.  The center wall mural depicts bamboo, which traditionally represents prosperity, achievement, progress and respect in Chinese society. The East wall mural depicts lifestyles of the Chinese imperial court. Both of the 16 by 19 foot wall murals are set in carved wood panels finished with a black crackle glaze, lacquer and gold leaf.  Hand-painted silk panels portraying birds, flowers, horses, architecture and traditional Chinese landscapes make up the third mural on the West wall. The West wall mural is framed with golden antique mirror tiles and carved gold leaf panels.
  • A Shangri-La signature, 10 majestic Bohemian cut-crystal chandeliers light the lobby. Each chandelier is made up of more than 8,000 pieces of crystal and weighs in at over 400 pounds.
  • The lobby's trademark monumental red lacquered pillars continue to stand sentinel but in a more regal style. Each pillar now has a sculpted marble base and a capital emblazoned in gold leaf and crystals.
  • More than 35,500 square feet of marble covers the lobby floors, walls and numerous columns. The marble was quarried from Italy, Turkey, France and Greece.
  • Intricate stone carving graces the edge of the marble floors in the skirting along the walls and the marble bases of the red lacquer pillars.
  • A spectacular curved staircase of carved marble glides up to the mezzanine. It features a  balustrade with a series of bamboo tree images on red lacquer and gold leaf panels and a handrail of traditional panel design with crystal cut inserts.
  • Gold leaf is used across the ceiling in a traditional lattice pattern and accentuates architectural components such as the skylights and column capitals.
  • Natural light has been enhanced by the addition of two large skylights. One of which is a glass dome that is decorated with a spectrum of colors, gold trim and hand-painted depictions of the signs of the Chinese zodiac.
The lobby's custom-made furniture draws inspiration from classic Chinese furnishings. The reception and concierge areas feature custom-designed desks with black crackle finishes inlaid with mother of pearl and gold leaf depicting traditional Chinese scenes. Oversized armchairs and plush sofas bring comfortable modernity to the lobby lounge. The fabric upholstery comes from a variety of luxury textile companies including Roselle Mont-Clair, Cetec, Jim Thompson, Jagtar and Sinclair fabrics.

New Lobby Lounge
The new 120-seat Lobby Lounge is the rendezvous spot in Beijing. Tranquil by day, the Lobby Lounge caters to business contacts closing deals and footsore shoppers relaxing over tea. By evening, the lounge transforms into a trendy venue for the enjoyment of fine cocktails and live entertainment.  The overall effect of the lobby lounge's chic plush seating, Chinese artwork and traditional Chinese detailing is one of refined luxury.

Scene a Café
Completely transformed during the renovation, the hotel's former casual restaurant is now an innovative entertainment venue. Seating 228, Scene a Café turns dining into an experience with its choice of eight cooking theatres where chefs are the performers and the open kitchens their stages.  The new restaurant showcases international and Beijing cuisine along with a dash of drama.

New Guestrooms
The 716 newly appointed guestrooms, including the 126 Horizon Club rooms found on four exclusive floors, are decorated with fabric wall panels, luxurious furnishings and upholstery and feature a contemporary Asian art style. The rooms offer an oversized work desk with arm's-length access to IDD facilities and complimentary broadband Internet. All bathrooms have been redone in white marble and offer separate bath and glass-enclosed showers. The hotel has also introduced Premier Rooms, a new room type, which provide guests an unparalleled 590 square feet of unsurpassed luxury with spacious living rooms, dressing areas and bathrooms.

Further New Features
The renovation programme has also brought a rich contemporary look to the hotel's other facilities. These include the refurbished 800-person Grand Ballroom and 18 function rooms, a business center, and a health club featuring Beijing's only rejuvenating "Oxygen Room". Additionally, the hotel has introduced a variety of innovative new amenities including airport butler service, pillow menus, foot duvets and 24-hour butler service for Horizon Club guests.

Strategically located in the heart of Beijing's diplomatic and central business district, China World Hotel is a major component of the China World Trade Center complex, which includes Shangri-La's Traders Hotel, two 38-story office towers, two international residential apartment buildings, an array of restaurants and a highly prestigious shopping mall and exhibition hall.

China World Hotel, Beijing is a member of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, which currently operates 41 hotels in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. 

Judy Reeves
Public Relations Manager, North America
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
1501 Broadway, Suite 502
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 382-3155

Also See: Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing Begins US$72 million Upgrade; Includes Construction of a Luxury Tower / Aug 2003

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