Global Financial Crisis Hits Beijing Luxury Hotels Hard - LA Times
A glut of new upscale hotels opened before the Olympics, and business has gone from bad to worse
Reporting from Beijing -- Financial crisis? What financial crisis? The owners of a new ultra-luxury hotel maintain an air of confidence in the face of adversity. The 234-room Pangu Plaza, which opened in December, charges as much as $17,750 a night for a suite. The sushi bar, where the cheapest lunch special is $265, cooks its rice in mineral water flown in from Japan. The walls in the hotel are covered with silk, the floors with marble -- Italian of course. "The Chinese new rich have plenty of money. We have Bentleys pulling up with no number plates. So you can tell that they're brand-new," room manager Dennis Seng said, scoffing at the suggestion of inauspicious timing for opening a luxury hotel.