The Latest Hotel and Flight Developments From China

Above: Mövenpick Hotel Enshi’s Presidential Suite has a dedicated dining area for hosting affairs both lavish and casual.

Mövenpick Hotel Enshi’s Presidential Suite has a dedicated dining area for hosting affairs both lavish and casual.


From notable hotel openings, including some in less-visited cities and provinces eager for tourism, to new flights that will improve accessibility from the U.S., China is atwitter with travel news. We’ve rounded up some of the latest developments to keep you up to date on the destination.

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is making moves in China. In celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary, Mövenpick is set to open the first of several hotels in China. The first five-star hotel in the city of Enshi, in central China’s Hubei province, the new 14-story Mövenpick Hotel Enshi will have 240 rooms, including 27 suites and one Presidential Suite. Dining options will include the Lotus Garden Chinese Restaurant where 14 private dining rooms can accommodate between eight and 20 guests. The Chef Theatre will be an all-day dining venue and will serve a selection of steaks, Swiss specialties, Italian pastas and French desserts. Other facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. The Flower Spa will have nine treatment rooms, including five couple’s rooms and a Zen-infused relaxation area.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will be bringing a new hotel to Chongqing in 2015. The 361-room hotel will sit on the Yangtze River and will be part of a mixed-use development with residences and retail. There will be 331 rooms and 30 suites. In addition to a lobby lounge, dining options will include an all-day bistro, a two-floor Chinese restaurant, a Japanese restaurant and a rooftop bar on the hotel’s top three floors. The bistro will have live cooking stations and a host of different cuisines. The Chinese restaurant will have 19 private dining rooms, and the Japanese restaurant will have show kitchens serving up a range of Japanese classics. The rooftop bar will have cabanas, a VIP terrace lounge, a two-floor waterfall and outdoor fireplaces. Nice Touch: There will also be a Sense spa, Rosewood’s signature brand, with six treatment rooms, foot massage and mani/pedi lounges.

There’s a new Riviera in town and it’s right off the coast of Southern China. If Hainan Island isn’t on your luxury radar, it ought to be. Why? The destination is booming with luxury hotels. Most recently Raffles Hotels & Resorts announced that it will open its 10th property on Hainan. Raffles Hainan will open in Clearwater Bay with 299 rooms (starting at 861 square feet). There will also be 32 villas, all with private balconies and views of the ocean or golf course. The resort will also have a Raffles Spa, seven restaurants and bars, and more.

Kempinski has unveiled its 19th Mainland China hotel in Taiyuan, also known as Dragon City. The hotel is close to the city’s main shopping centers, such as Tianmei Plaza, Fashion Walk, Wangfujing, Parkson and Lufthansa Centre, as well as upscale office buildings. The hotel has 363 rooms and suites. Each room is equipped with a coffee machine, wooden floors, rainforest showers and bathtubs. Located on the 30th floor and the 28th floor, respectively, the Executive Suites and Diplomatic Suites have a separate living room and a sitting area, in addition to extra-large furnishings and bath amenities designed by French designer Blaise Mautin.

Guests in Executive Rooms have access to the Executive Lounge, which offers views of Taiyuan and privileges such as a complimentary breakfast, weekend brunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., free use of the lounge meeting room for two hours per day plus afternoon tea and evening cocktails daily.

Kempinski Hotel Taiyuan introduces global cuisines and brand new dining concepts to the old city as well. A selection of German, Austrian and Chinese delicacies and creative, freshly baked cakes is offered in the hotel’s seven restaurants and bars. With a complete set of miniature beer brewing equipment and a German brew master, Paulaner Bräuhaus is the place for enjoying homebrewed Paulaner beer and real Bavarian traditions. Grill & Wine offers diners authentic Western grilled dishes and the finest meats from around the world, all of which have been perfected by the Australian executive head chef. Elements restaurant, with views of the hotel lobby’s dangling crystal droplight, serves imported seafood, tastes from around the world and Shanxi noodles that are freshly prepared in the show kitchen. Long Yuan is a high-end Chinese restaurant with a touch of Western tradition. Kempinski - The Deli, the signature delicatessen shop, serves freshly baked breads and cakes.

On the seventh floor, the Fitness Center is equipped with high-tech facilities and an indoor heated swimming pool, and offers aerobics and yoga classes. Meanwhile, Kempinski The Spa offers treatments designed to restore the body’s natural equilibrium.

Design-oriented SLS Hotels is taking its modern look to China, as well. In July President Sam Bakhshandehpour announced that the company’s SLS brand would debut in China in the coming years. The first cities they plan to target will be Shanghai, Beijing, Wuxi and Kunming, with plans for additional cities in the pipeline.


United Airlines has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for approval to begin nonstop service linking San Francisco with Chengdu, China. United plans to use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to operate three-times-weekly service to Chengdu. The proposed flight schedule will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:35 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:50 p.m. the following day. Service from Chengdu will depart at 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco at 8:50 a.m. the same day.

China Eastern Airlines has launched a new flight between Qingdao and San Francisco, which will operate twice a week. Flight MU589 is scheduled to take off from Qingdao Liuting International Airport every Tuesday and Thursday. The return flight MU590 will depart from San Francisco on Tuesday and Sunday.

Air China has launched four weekly nonstop services between Beijing Capital International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. New Boeing 777-300ERs will be used for the Beijing-Houston direct service, which will start with four flights a week. With the launch of the nonstop service, Houston becomes Air China’s fifth gateway in North America, joining Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Vancouver. Air China will operate inside Terminal D at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston’s gateway for all foreign carriers.

Hainan Airlines has applied for approval to operate a Beijing-to-Boston direct flight seven times a week starting in April 2014. If approved, the route will increase Hainan Airlines’ international flight network and access to Beijing from New England.

New China Campaign

The China National Tourist Office in New York recently announced the launch of a new trade advertising campaign to reposition China in the U.S. market. The campaign was created following extensive U.S. market research, including an in-depth consumer survey of Americans who have recently traveled to or are interested in traveling to Asia.

Among the key findings were that China rated at the top of all Asian destinations for its history and “bucket list” sites such as the Great Wall and Forbidden City. At the same time, Americans appear to know very little about the multitude of other experiences they could enjoy in the vast country.

The new campaign focuses on four niches: luxury, soft adventure, educational and senior travel. Each advertisement, aimed at first-time and repeat visitors alike, focuses on the “Ancient Treasures. Modern Wonders” of China. The first trade ads have already begun to appear; these will be followed by a consumer campaign in 2014 that will adopt the same theme.

Deluxe room, Kempinski Hotel Taiyuan

Deluxe room, Kempinski Hotel Taiyuan