Located near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in central Beijing, The Peninsula Beijing is currently undergoing a $123 million renovation (slated to be completed in early 2017). Designer Henry Leung chose opulent materials, including bronze, white marble, and rosewood as an homage to ancient Chinese structures such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. And the tribute to Chinese culture continues with peony flowers (which represent prosperity and honor) and about 160,000 hexagon patterns (a Chinese symbol for longevity) adorning the interiors. Two abstract ink paintings by Chinese contemporary artist Qin Feng also hang on either side of the hotel’s grand staircase and new bronze sculptures serve as both a nod to The Peninsula’s afternoon tea tradition and a throwback to bronze sculptures popular in ancient China.
As part of the renovation, the hotel’s 525 rooms were reduced to 230 (priced from around $270 a night) in order to almost double the size of each space, resulting in Beijing’s largest hotel rooms. Decorated in subtle shades of cream and white, the rooms (which are being renovated floor by floor, with some available for booking on August 1) feature hand-stitched Chinese floral blossoms as well as carvings and mosaics of goldfish (which represent abundance and prosperity). The crème de la crème is the Peninsula Suite, a 7,104-square-foot enclave featuring a living room, study, gym, guest bedroom, private elevator, kitchen, and dining room with space for up to 18 guests. (peninsula.com)