Daily Pampering: $9,000 presidential suite at The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street

ritz carlton beijing

What does $60,000 RMB buy you in Beijing? The glamorous presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street. Converted to about $9,000 USD (plus a 15% service charge), this room has everything fit for luxury living on the hotel’s 19th floor:

  • Scenic view of the city skyline and the beautifully landscaped park
  • Fully-equipped kitchen
  • A library equipped with a printer and fax machine
  • Dining table for eight
  • Three flat screen televisions
  • An entertainment center with DVD and CD Player
  • High-speed Internet access and wireless
  • A free-standing Aveo Villeroy & Boch bathtub
  • A special shower room offering three choices of rainshower experience
  • Sauna room
  • Bulgari bath amenities
  • Walk-in wardrobe

The 15% service charge gets you 24/7 Ritz-Carlton service, and maybe the granting of three wishes. The hotel is conveniently located next to some of the world’s best luxury designer stores so any additional cash can be spent properly with a day of shopping.

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Weekend travel media top five

Among the best travel stories this last weekend of October: emerging Armenia, undervisited Northern Vietnam, a rail journey across China, top spots to celebrate Halloween (start your research for Halloween 2011 here!), and a wine-free tour of St. Helena, California.

1. In the Financial Times, Teresa Levonian Coles writes about the emergence of Armenia as a tourist destination. Her piece is inspiring and right on the curve. Armenia (along with neighbors Georgia and just possibly an apparently unwilling Azerbaijan) are moving into the tourist limelight.

2. In the New York Times, Jennifer Bleyer writes a piece on Northern Vietnam, providing an exciting window into an underexplored region of ethnic diversity and few tourists.

3. In the Globe and Mail, Mitch Moxley takes an entertaining ten-day journey across China by train, from Beijing to the southern tip of the country and then back again.

4. In the Los Angeles Times, Judy Mandell writes about top Halloween destinations.

5. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Spud Hilton attempts the near-impossible with a wine-free tour of St. Helena, Calfornia.

[Image: retlaw snellac / Flickr]

First images: Langham Place, Beijing Capital Airport hotel

Asia is fast becoming a hotbed for hotel growth. From the Ritz-Carlton’s new hotel in Shanghai to the W’s entrance into Hong Kong, hotel companies aren’t shying away from Asia’s tourism growth potential. Now, the Langham hotel group is adding to its China collection.

The second Langham hotel to open in Asia this year, the Langham Place, Beijing Capital Airport brings new meaning to the “airport hotel.”

Opened on August 23, the hotel had one solid mission: to revolutionize the way we see airport hotels. Now, guests flying into Beijing who need a place to spend the night before boarding an early morning flight, or those who just want to experience something a little out of the ordinary, will only have to go as far as Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital Airport.

The hotel will feature DJ’s in the lobby, loft-style rooms and a 24-hour high-tech lounge for work and play. The hotel features a full service spa and indoor pool, available to hotel guests and open for bookings for those with long layovers. For those guests needing a little nourishment, step into one of the hotel’s four restaurants including Fuel, Ming Court or The Place, an interactive all day dining restaurant.

Nine-day, 62-mile traffic jam in China

Before you start the commute home for the day, consider how bad the traffic could be. Sure, you could get stuck behind a bus or on the train for an hour or so, but how about 9 DAYS?! Thousands of motorists have been stranded on the Beijing-Tibet expressway since August 13th as a road work project has stopped up an already-busy road, and they could be stuck for another few weeks until the project concludes. Heavy traffic is nothing new to the highway, as thousands of trucks pass through daily on one of the few routes into the capital, carrying cargo throughout the country.

Some enterprising (and price-gouging) locals have set up shop along the highway, selling food and drinks at steep prices, though police are patrolling the area around the clock and will remain until the congestion is alleviated. Bored drivers have suggested that “concerts should be held at each congested area every weekend, to alleviate drivers’ homesickness” and why stop there? How about a pop-up hotel or a food truck (though a food bicycle might be better to cut through the stalled vehicles) to ameliorate tension and hunger? There won’t be any traffic tweet-ups, as the government has blocked Twitter along with a number of other websites.

How would you pass the time in the world’s worst traffic jam?

[Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons]

Daily Pampering: The Peninsula Hotels’ $20,000 tour of China

The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula Beijing and The Peninsula Shanghai are offering China travelers a new way to see three of the country’s best city, thanks the “Tale of Three Cities” – the hotels’ collection of itineraries showcasing the very best of China.

Hoping to bring back the glamor in travel, the Peninsula’s are hosting above-and-beyond luxury experiences at each hotel that include accommodations, cultural tours, culinary and spa activities and sightseeing in style – via Rolls-Royce and helicopters.

The “Epic Tale” offer features Peninsula Suite accommodation and a host of benefits, while the more value-driven “Classic Tale” program also offers a range of distinctive advantages for the China traveler. Both programs include The Peninsula Academy, with its unique selection of heritage, culinary and lifestyle activities created to give guests a taste of Chinese culture.

“The Epic Tale” – starting price $20,000
Two nights’ accommodation in The Peninsula Suite (the premier suite in each hotel)
Airport transfers by Rolls-Royce Daily American breakfast
A selection of Peninsula Academy activities
Spa treatments at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA
Additional benefits in each hotel, including spa treatments, complimentary drinks, laundry, dry cleaning and more.

“The Classic Tale” – starting price $1,595
Two nights in a regular room
Daily American breakfast
Round-trip airport transfers by limousine
One Peninsula Academy program Spa credits at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA

The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Peninsula Shanghai and The Peninsula Beijing “Tale of Three Cities” programs are available through Dec. 29, 2010.

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