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The Pangu 7 Star Hotel Beijing

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The name of one of Beijing’s newest luxury hotels, the Pangu 7 Star Hotel, could be seen as a little misleading by some, as 7 stars are not an official rating of the hotel’s quality, but, the hotel claims, the 7 Stars are an allusion to the seven stars of The Plough or The Big Dipper, the auspicious constellation that has guided travellers since ancient times. The name Pangu references the creator of heaven and earth in Chinese mythology.

The 234-room Pangu 7 Star Hotel overlooks the 2008 Beijing Olympic Park, and is part of the stunning Pangu Plaza development which will also comprise luxury offices, residences and the flagship stores of some of the world’s most luxurious brands. The complex sits adjacent to the historical central axis that stretches from the Forbidden City to the 2008 Olympic Park, and offers jaw-dropping views over the capital’s new national icons: the ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium and the ‘Water Cube’ Aquatic Centre. The Water Cube is just 180 metres from the hotel and is connected by a Ruyi footbridge over Pangu Gardens. Situated beside Beijing’s Fourth Ring Road, the hotel also enjoys convenient access via new highways to Beijing Capital Airport and all the city’s major attractions.

The iconic and imposing dragon-shaped Pangu Plaza was built by world-renowned Taiwanese architect C.Y. Lee, whose portfolio includes the 508-metre Taipei 101 Tower,  one of the tallest buildings in the world. So important is the Pangu Plaza development to the city of Beijing that local building laws were altered to accommodate the 39,361 sqm structure.

Designed in Lee’s trademark Chinese postmodernist style, the landmark plaza comprises five towers connected by a 411-metre-long Dragon Corridor and supported by 66 square granite columns. Atop each column stands a three-metre dragon carved from ancient granite and holding a pearl in its mouth. The building’s 191-metre coiling ‘dragon’s head’ houses a 45-floor 5A office tower, the ‘body’ contains luxury residences and a high-end shopping mall and restaurants. Occupying a 21-storey tower, the Pangu 7 Star Hotel is the pinnacle of Pangu Plaza.

The Pangu 7 Star Hotel’s interiors were created by Milan-based Italian-Brazilian designer Ricardo Bello Dias. Opulent but welcoming, the design strikes a masterful balance between Chinese classical tradition and contemporary European glamour.

No expense has been spared in the creation of the hotel. The swathes of marble throughout the building are entirely imported from Italy, and often embellished with traditional Chinese motifs hand-engraved by local craftsmen. The contemporary furnishings, lighting and technology were designed by leading global brands such as Baga and include Italian lighting consultants Metis, who work with Bvlgari hotels, luxuriant furnishings from Moroso adorn the restaurants while guest rooms are outfitted with Baker furniture, as featured in the American Presidential White House.

Pangu 7 Star Hotel has also been granted special permission from the Palace Museum to reproduce priceless artworks from the Forbidden City. These Tang, Ming and Qing dynasty masterpieces, by revered names such as Ren Renfa and Yun Bing, were recreated on copper panels in Italy and are visible in all guestrooms and public spaces.

To ensure the utmost comfort and privacy for guests, check-in at the Pangu 7 Star Hotel is conducted entirely in the guestrooms.

The hotel boasts 234 guest rooms, including 140 suites, ranging in size from 45 sqm up to a 488 sqm Presidential Suite. Soaring 3.5-metre ceilings heighten the sense of spaciousness, and the rooms are decorated with cream, deep-pile carpets and polished blonde woods. Chinese design influences include vermillion walls, moon-shaped door handles and painted dragon lampshades. On the king sized Sealy mattress beds, 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton bedding by Frette offers an unforgettable night’s sleep.

Enhancing the auspicious feng shui of the rooms, a circular, recessed ceiling feature with molded motifs represents ‘heaven above earth’. A colourful round glass piece leading to the bathroom is engraved with two dragons at play. Each room also features a long, flickering faux fireplace with dramatic marble mantle custom designed by Bello Dias, adding a homely feel to the grandiose rooms.

The spacious bathrooms are equally impressive, featuring hand-sculpted dual washbasins, monsoon rain showers and Ferre and Hermes bath products. A mirror beside the bathtub turns into a TV screen at the flick of a switch, and heated towel racks warm the luxuriant Frette bath towels.

High-tech in-room amenities include flat-screen TVs, a Bose surround sound speaker system and automatic light and curtain controls. Advanced IP phones allow guests to receive messages and even check their hotel bill, and the minibar is stocked with complimentary juices, soft drinks, beer and Evian water. For any other requests, guests can simply summon their personal butler.

Pangu 7 Star Hotel boasts three signature restaurants and two elegant lounges that are already making their mark on the capital’s dining scene.

Japanese kaiseki restaurant Kaden Minokichi is the first international branch of the 300-year-old Kyoto establishment that once served Japanese emperors. All chefs, staff and ingredients used at this 38-seat tatami styled restaurant hail from Japan. Set menus range from RMB1,800 to 8,000 per person and reservations are a must due to high demand.

Pangu Wenqi Chinese Restaurant offers private dining across two levels. Diners can choose from 26 individually styled private dining suites decorated in Chinese, British, French, Californian, Thai and Balinese style. The menu highlights prestigious Chiu Chow and Cantonese cuisine, and staff are trained in unobtrusive ‘silent service’.

Auspicious Garden is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant serving a buffet spread of Asian and Western specialities, plus a stellar dessert selection. The elegant lobbyside Karma Lounge is a fine place for high teas and evening aperitifs.

Alternatively, guest can sip creative cocktails at the double-storey Happiness Lounge on the 21st floor. One of Beijing’s most scenic drinking venues, the bar offers private enclaves, two alfresco terraces and jaw-dropping views of the 2008 Olympic Stadiums bathed in electric blue light.

High-level meetings and events facilities are conveniently located on the third and fourth floors. Five meeting rooms range in size from 68 sqm to 176 sqm. There are also two ballrooms: the smaller ballroom on the third floor is 738 sqm and can accommodate 400 people. The grand ballroom atop the Dragon Corridor on the fourth floor is 888 sqm, and can seat up to 500 people. Its staggering 15-metre-high ceilings are among the highest of any ballroom in Beijing.

For guests to unwind, the hotel offers high-tech TechnoGym fitness facilities and will also offer luxurious spa suites and an indoor pool (currently under development).

Pangu Plaza and Pangu 7 Star Hotel have been fully designed according to ancient Chinese feng shui principles to bring good fortune and wealth to their owners and inhabitants. Created in the form of a dragon – the most powerful and auspicious animal of the Chinese zodiac – the building’s ‘yang’ dragon is designed to complement the ‘yin’ of Dragon Lake in the adjacent National Forest Park.

Lying just off the capital’s historical central axis that stretches from the Forbidden City, Pangu Plaza is directly north of China’s seat of government at Zhongnanhai and the new National Theatre for the Performing Arts, a corridor known as the ‘Dragon Vein’. The Dragon Vein forms a triangle with Financial Street in the west creating a pyramid of world-class political, economic and social development.

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