News Source: www.scmp.com
One of communist Chinas first luxury hotels reopens in Beijing as the BEI Zhaolong Hotel
News Source/Courtesy: www.scmp.com

Courtesy: Adam Nebbs | News Source: scmp.com

Hyatt recently launched the BEI Zhaolong Hotel in Beijing’s Sanlitun district, following an extensive renovation of what its opening press release describes as the “legendary” Zhaolong Hotel. The property was one of communist China’s first luxury hotels when it opened, in October 1985, a few months after Sheraton took over the running of the loss-making, state-managed Great Wall Hotel, just up the road.

The Zhaolong Hotel was paid for by Hong Kong shipping supremo

Pao Yue-kong

and was named after his father, Pao Zhao-long. Both attended the opening, along with paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. At the time of writing, the BEI Zhaolong Hotel is ranked 3,386th out of 6,050 Beijing hotels on TripAdvisor. It will be interesting to see how that number changes in the coming months.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in the US, holds Edward Hopper exhibition

In his 2002 bestseller The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton notes that American artist Edward Hopper crossed the United States five times between 1941 and 1955, staying in “Best Western motels, Del Haven cabins, Alamo Plaza courts and Blue Top lodges”. These were the kind of places – “whose neon signs blink ‘Vacancy, TV, Bath’ from the side of the road” – where he found inspiration for some of the greatest travel-themed paintings of the 20th century.

Starting with upbeat travel-trade magazine covers for the likes of Hotel Management and Tavern Topics in the 1920s, Hopper finally found fame presen­ting the stark solitude of life on the road in realist oil paintings such as Hotel Lobby (1943), Hotel Window (1955) and Western Motel (1957; above). On trains, too, he placed his always perfectly lit, pensive characters, in Compartment C, Car 293 (1938) and Chair Car (1965).

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in Richmond, has a new exhibition titled “Edward Hopper and the American Hotel”, hailed as “the first in-depth study of hospi­tality settings depicted in the works of one of the most celebrated American artists”. On show are more than 60 of Hopper’s pain­tings, drawings and magazine-cover illus­trations, as well as works in a similar vein by the likes of John Singer Sargent and David Hockney. Sadly, although the exhibition runs until February 23, various accommodation packages involving an over­night stay in a 3D recreation of “Western Motel” are already fully booked.

If you can’t get to Richmond (a couple of hours by road or rail south of Washington, which is served by Cathay Pacific), you may be interested to know the museum will publish a coffee-table book to tie in with the exhibition. Also titled Edward Hopper and the American Hotel, it is available for pre-order at

Amazon.com

You can discover more about the exhibition at vmfa.museum

Highest sky deck in the Western Hemisphere to open in New York City

Tickets are now on sale for access to Edge – the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere – which will open in New York on March 11. At the up-and-coming Hudson Yards develop­ment, the triangular platform (right) will provide sweeping views of Manhattan and far beyond, from a height of 345 metres. The Empire State Building, half a dozen blocks down 34th Street, offers indoor views from 381 metres up, but its outdoor viewing deck is at 320 metres. For a virtual visit and ticket sales, go to

edgenyc.com
.
Closer to home, the 230-metre-tall Shibuya Scramble Square opened in Tokyo on November 1. This 47-floor skyscraper is topped by Shibuya Sky, which is reported to be Japan’s largest rooftop viewing space, and looks down on the famously busy Shibuya Crossing. Visit  shibuya-scramble-square.com

for more information.

Hong Kong’s first observation deck, incidentally, opened on February 29, 1868, at the junction of Queen’s Road and Pedder Street. It was an octagonal cupola with eight windows, reached by a spiral staircase from the fourth floor of the new Hongkong Hotel, from where, it was reported, “a fine view is obtained of the harbour and island”. It would have been barely 20 metres high.

Deal of the week – two nights in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The recently opened BEI Zhaolong Hotel, in Beijing, China.The recently opened BEI Zhaolong Hotel, in Beijing, China.

The recently opened BEI Zhaolong Hotel, in Beijing, China.

Hyatt recently launched the BEI Zhaolong Hotel in Beijing’s Sanlitun district, following an extensive renovation of what its opening press release describes as the “legendary” Zhaolong Hotel. The property was one of communist China’s first luxury hotels when it opened, in October 1985, a few months after Sheraton took over the running of the loss-making, state-managed Great Wall Hotel, just up the road.

The Zhaolong Hotel was paid for by Hong Kong shipping supremo Pao Yue-kong and was named after his father, Pao Zhao-long. Both attended the opening, along with paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. At the time of writing, the BEI Zhaolong Hotel is ranked 3,386th out of 6,050 Beijing hotels on TripAdvisor. It will be interesting to see how that number changes in the coming months.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in the US, holds Edward Hopper exhibition

Western Motel (1957), by American artist Edward Hopper.

In his 2002 bestseller The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton notes that American artist Edward Hopper crossed the United States five times between 1941 and 1955, staying in “Best Western motels, Del Haven cabins, Alamo Plaza courts and Blue Top lodges”. These were the kind of places – “whose neon signs blink ‘Vacancy, TV, Bath’ from the side of the road” – where he found inspiration for some of the greatest travel-themed paintings of the 20th century.

Starting with upbeat travel-trade magazine covers for the likes of Hotel Management and Tavern Topics in the 1920s, Hopper finally found fame presen­ting the stark solitude of life on the road in realist oil paintings such as Hotel Lobby (1943), Hotel Window (1955) and Western Motel (1957; above). On trains, too, he placed his always perfectly lit, pensive characters, in Compartment C, Car 293 (1938) and Chair Car (1965).

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in Richmond, has a new exhibition titled “Edward Hopper and the American Hotel”, hailed as “the first in-depth study of hospi­tality settings depicted in the works of one of the most celebrated American artists”. On show are more than 60 of Hopper’s pain­tings, drawings and magazine-cover illus­trations, as well as works in a similar vein by the likes of John Singer Sargent and David Hockney. Sadly, although the exhibition runs until February 23, various accommodation packages involving an over­night stay in a 3D recreation of “Western Motel” are already fully booked.

If you can’t get to Richmond (a couple of hours by road or rail south of Washington, which is served by Cathay Pacific), you may be interested to know the museum will publish a coffee-table book to tie in with the exhibition. Also titled Edward Hopper and the American Hotel, it is available for pre-order at Amazon.com

You can discover more about the exhibition at vmfa.museum

Highest sky deck in the Western Hemisphere to open in New York City

A rendering of the Edge sky deck, which will open at Hudson Yards, in New York City, in March.

Tickets are now on sale for access to Edge – the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere – which will open in New York on March 11. At the up-and-coming Hudson Yards develop­ment, the triangular platform (right) will provide sweeping views of Manhattan and far beyond, from a height of 345 metres. The Empire State Building, half a dozen blocks down 34th Street, offers indoor views from 381 metres up, but its outdoor viewing deck is at 320 metres. For a virtual visit and ticket sales, go to
.
Closer to home, the 230-metre-tall Shibuya Scramble Square opened in Tokyo on November 1. This 47-floor skyscraper is topped by Shibuya Sky, which is reported to be Japan’s largest rooftop viewing space, and looks down on the famously busy Shibuya Crossing. Visit

shibuya-scramble-square.com

Hong Kong’s first observation deck, incidentally, opened on February 29, 1868, at the junction of Queen’s Road and Pedder Street. It was an octagonal cupola with eight windows, reached by a spiral staircase from the fourth floor of the new Hongkong Hotel, from where, it was reported, “a fine view is obtained of the harbour and island”. It would have been barely 20 metres high.

Deal of the week – two nights in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon is available as part of Jebsen Holidays’ package.

Jebsen Holidays’ two-night Ho Chi Minh City package starts from HK$2,520 per person (twin share) for a stay at the Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon, which is a fairly comfortable property located about halfway between the airport and the more popular downtown areas. A step up, at least in terms of location, is the New World Saigon Hotel, which is offered from HK$2,770, but the Caravelle is better overall, starting from HK$3,380.

Flights with Cathay Pacific and daily breakfast are included with these prices, which will be available until the end of the year, with occasional surcharges. For more hotel choices and other details, visit jebsenholidays.com

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