Confucius city gets first international hotel

Updated: 2013-08-10 00:38

By Xu Lin (China Daily)

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It is a sprawling traditional Chinese pavilion topped by grey roofs with tiers of overhanging eaves. This is the latest Shangri-la Hotel in China, opened on Aug 1 in Qufu, home of Confucius.

With an area of more than 50,000 square meters spread across two streets corners, the hotel allows guests to indulge in time travel, back to a past with typical Chinese architecture, a river flowing quietly with a bridge, and landscaped gardens in its courtyards.

Confucius city gets first international hotel

Shangri-la Hotel, Qufu pays respects to the home sage in its design.[Provided to China Daily]

Qufu in Shandong province is about two hours from Beijing and three hours from Shanghai by high-speed train, making it a convenient destination from either city. Off the train, it's just another 15 minutes by car from Qufu East Station to the hotel.

As the city's first international luxury accommodation, Shangri-la Hotel, Qufu pays respects to the home sage in both its site selection and design.

The hotel is walking distance to the Temple of Confucius, the Kong Family Mansion, and the Cemetery of Confucius, which became the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites in 1994 for their long history, rich culture and typical architectural style. Next door is the Confucius Research Institute and the government administrative offices are across the street.

The hotel's interior design concept is based on the main principles of Confucianism — etiquette, humaneness and harmony, and the "six arts" (rites, music, archery, chariot racing, calligraphy and mathematics) — all practical disciplines that the students of the Great Sage were required to master.

The symmetrical design and the ubiquitous Chinese elements such as lamps and cabinet door handles, remind guests of the county's history and culture.

In the middle of the lobby are two tall trees surrounded by dark wood columns, carpets of grass and marble seats creating an illusion of an indoor garden, aided by sunlight screaming through a glass roof.

The 8.5-metre-high ceiling is decorated with large light fixtures and through the French windows, more greenery. On the right, the reception desk is backed by a painting of Chinese plum blossoms.

The East Wing, with its 211 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, offers pretty river views and landscaped gardens, which are made for after-dinner strolls.

Food and beverage outlets are equally enticing, with the Shang Palace offering not only its signature Cantonese cuisine, but also the famous Kong Family dishes, with recipes passed down from generation to generation.