Author: Charu Suri
A luxurious hotel opens just in time for the Beijing Olympics.
Legendale Hotel, a Platinum 5 Star Hotel, has opened its doors to accommodate 20 of the 80 top overseas government officials expected to attend the Olympics.
Legendale Hotel chief executive and chairman David Chow Kam-fai said yesterday Beijing leaders were hesitant to build a 16th- century-style hotel in the capital's center of Wangfujing. But after much perseverance, the leaders gave into Chow's requests.
Macau-based Chow purchased the land for HK$900 million after it was announced in 2001 Beijing would host the Games.
"We had to tell them China was really opening its doors to the world and that when overseas VIPs and businessmen come here, they would expect to see a China that is open to different cultures and that they don't have to fear coming here. We even have people speaking French and Portuguese to them," he said.
The exterior is classical European, and the interiors house crystal chandeliers, lush chairs and sofas, ornate bed covers,, rugs and wall paintings from European designers in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese styles.
It will open to heads of state and other VIPs on August 2 until the end of the Olympics, and to the public in late September.