Shangri-La by the river

Updated: 2014-08-08 07:00

By Bao Wanxian (China Daily USA)

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It stands amidst one of the largest commercial complexes in Tianjin and is probably one of the most anticipated openings in the city this year. Bao Wanxian reports on the latest Shangri-La Hotel.

Best known as the mother river of North China's Tianjin municipality, the Haihe River flows through the heart of the city, helping to nurture its 600-year cultural heritage. It has also become the golden artery linking the city's historic past with its glittering future.

One of the latest stars to shine along the river is the Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, which opens for business today.

 Shangri-La by the river

The Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin opens on Friday, becoming a new landmark for the city along the Haihe River. Photos provided to China Daily

 Shangri-La by the river

Every guest room in the deluxe hotel offers a river view through floor-to-ceiling windows.

It is the latest perfect getaway in the port city, just half an hour away from Beijing South Station by high-speed rail, and an easy 10-minute ride from the Tianjin Railway Station. The 304-room hotel will offer both leisure and business guests access to Tianjin's maritime economy and traditional culture heritage.

The Shangri-La Hotel is also the new visual landmark along the river, and its design is inspired by the Haihe River, so important to the city's civic development.

Various elements of the river - its gentle flowing movement, the soothing colors and fluid texture of the water - are all evident in thoughtful details throughout the hotel, creating the sense of tranquility that Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts are renowned for.

In the lobby, guests can be awed by a spectacular chandelier made with brilliant crystals imported from the Czech Republic and designed by Tana Dvorakova from the Lasvit Group, the Czech-based crystal and glass lighting manufacturer. This is just one of the tributes to the Haihe River.

The harmonic flow of the river is mirrored in the made-to-order hand-tufted carpet in the Lobby Lounge with motifs of water lilies amidst a cerulean blue waterway. The movement of the river is further captured in the inset of metal detailing throughout the hotel.

Imagery of the river also reaches every guest room. Guests can access the picturesque Haihe River and urban landscape through the floor-to-ceiling windows in every room.

Shangri-La by the river

As the city's largest pillar-less ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel Tianjin offers 1,956 square meters with natural daylight, and the space has the capacity to hold meetings of up to 1,800 people. You can even drive a car into the ballroom.

"Tianjin is a city for both leisure and business," says Hakan Ozel, general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin. "As a business hotel, we also offer diversified ways to relax."

The hotel offers two outdoor tennis courts on the rooftop podium, while a 24-hour gymnasium with a comprehensive range of facilities and a temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool located on the level three offers leisure amenities to guests.

As the city answers the country's call for integrated development within Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, Tianjin will attract more guests with its business potential, strong infrastructure and strategic location, says Ozel.

"I believe in the Shangri-La hospitality, where our genuine care and respect for others shapes the way we treat our guests. It is how we transform our gracious and enchanting Asian manner into authentic experiences.

"And in our Shangri-La family, guests will find tranquility, sincerity and a special kind of hospitality from the heart," says the general manager, who has over 14 years working with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.

According to Summer Li, digital marketing manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, the hotel carried out creative marketing through Wechat, microblogs and on, a business-to-customer platform online.

"Through the Internet marketing, we narrow the distance with our customers," Li says.

"At Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, attention to detail and a sincere wish to deliver the best are values we trust to make our guests feel special, as part of the Shangri-La family." says Ozel.

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(China Daily USA 08/08/2014 page15)