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December 8, 2016

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Iconic The Peninsula Beijing reopens with style and luxury

OPENED in 1989 as one of the first luxury hotels in China, The Peninsula Beijing has always been a landmark in the nation’s history of development and opening. It was also where the first flagship stores of global luxury brands such as Chanel, LV and Hermes were opened and therefore holds a symbolic position in the capital city.

After a renovation project of more than one year and 890 million yuan (US$123 million), The Peninsula Beijing has outdone itself in providing guests a luxury hospitality experience.

The special treatment at The Peninsula Beijing starts once guests step out of the car. Instead of going to the reception and waiting in the lobby, they can directly go to the concierge and be guided to their rooms and check in there. The current all-suites guest rooms start at 60 square meters. The renovation combined 525 rooms of the old Peninsula Beijing and reduced the suite number to 230, each offering a separate bedroom, living room, bathroom and dressing room. They are also the most personalized guestrooms in the world, with proprietary in-room technology delivering hotel and city information and services in 11 languages.

The Peninsula Beijing’s restaurants follow a strict “farm-to-table” concept. JING restaurant, which features Mediterrean cuisine, and Huang Ting, which features the Peninsula’s signature Cantonese cuisine, work directly with 22 farms in China that supply sustainably produced vegetables, fruit, meat and honey on a fresh, seasonal basis. Chefs from each restaurant personally visit every farm on a regular basis to ensure the provenance and quality of the ingredients.

The Peninsula Beijing is also distinguished by its artistic touches. The recent renovation combines key elements of imperial Chinese architecture with sophisticated modern design interpretations and a museum-quality collection of contemporary Chinese art. Curated by Michael Suh, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing (MoCA Beijing), the hotel’s collection of original Chinese paintings, sculptures, installations and photography is combined with its Art Residency program, which nurtures promising artistic talent.

Before entering the hotel, guests are greeted by an iconic Chinese pailou archway, the type once reserved for royalty. Then the hand-carved onyx “Spirit Wall” conceived by artist Belinda Chow offers a glimpse into a typical Beijing courtyard home in the hotel’s lobby. The wall has two distinctive sides, with carvings representing the four seasons through images of lotuses, bamboo, plums and orchids, all of which are revered for their auspicious symbolism.

The most eye-catching artwork in the lobby is a pair of commissioned abstract ink paintings by Chinese contemporary artist Qin Feng. Qin’s five-meter-high paintings depict the sun and moon — referencing Beijing’s iconic Temples of the Sun and Moon — on a deep cobalt background, which symbolizes peace and spirituality in Chinese culture. Qin is considered a leading light in China’s contemporary avant-garde art movement.

The hotel forecourt presents an installation of six granite pieces by British sculptor Jon Isherwood. As a foretaste of the eclectic Chinese art exhibited throughout the hotel, the hand-carved sculptures combine undulating forms of granite with delicate Chinese peony flowers.

The elevator area is dedicated to art too. Here guests will encounter 11 paper statues by Beijing-resident artist Huang Zheng. Replicating the abstract imagery of the sun and moon from Qin’s paintings in the lobby, each statue was painstakingly crafted from more than one thousand pieces of paper in traditional Chinese style.

The Peninsula Beijing’s Art Residency program, hosted with MoCA Beijing, provides aspiring artists with an opportunity to live and work in the heart of Beijing. Each selected artist takes residence at a purpose-built studio and guest room, and artworks created during the program will be exhibited in a new gallery on the third floor. Guests can visit the studio to see the artist at work, and exclusive art dinners and events will also be held. The first resident artist of this program is renowned photographer Chen Man.


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