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China Signature Tour 10 Days / 9 Nights WOW 1

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As the capital of China, Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history and 11 million people. Covering 16,808 square kilometers in area, it is the political, cultural and economic center of the People’s Republic of China. Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south. Five rivers run through the city, connecting it to the eastern Bohai Sea. Administratively, the Beijing municipality equals the status of a province, reporting directly to the central government. Rich in history, Beijing has been China’s primary capital for more than seven centuries. China’s imperial past and political present meet at Tiananmen Square, where the Forbidden City palace of the emperors gives way to the Great Hall of the People congress building and the mausoleum of Chairman Mao Zedong. The old city walls have been replaced by ring roads, and many of the old residential districts of alleys and courtyard houses have been turned into high-rise hotels, office buildings, and department stores. Beijing, a dynamic city where the old and new intermingle, remains a magnet for visitors from inside and outside China.

Xi’an is a city with incredible history, as well as a prosperous modern city. As the capital city of Shaanxi province, it holds a key position in the fertile plain between the highland plateau of the north and the Qinling Mountains to the south. Xi’an has been the capital of eleven dynasties for more than 2000 years. Along with Rome and Constantinople, this city played a vital role in bridging the gap between east and west. There are important sites and relics in this city. The Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin is regarded as the eighth wonder of the world.

The Exhibition of Shanghai’s Urban History and Development Museum, Shanghai is China’s most comprehensive industrial and commercial city, ranking the first in population and population density. As a tourist city, it attracts travelers from both home and abroad by its commercial activity rather than scenic beauty. Shanghai is situated on the bank of the Yangtze River Delta, with East River in the east and Hangzhou delta in the south. Housing a population of over 16 million at present, it was once a small town supported by fishing and weaving before the first Opium War. Late in 1990, the central government started developing the area, and has since become the well-known booming metropolis city.

Suzhou is located in the center of the Yangtze Delta, in the south of Jiangsu Province, with Shanghai to the east, Zhejiang Province to the south, Wuxi City to the west and the Yangtze River to the north. Since 42% area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is often praised as the “Oriental Venice.” Taihu Lake, four fifths of which is in the territory of Suzhou, is one of the four largest fresh lakes in China, with East Hill, West Hill and other scenic spots in its vicinity. The city is cut by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal from north to south. Together with its mild climate, fertile landscape and abundance of produce, it is no wonder that Suzhou is called “paradise on earth.”

 

1 Arrive in Beijing
After a comfortable flight, you’ll arrive at our home, Hong Kong. Transit to Beijing where you will be met by an English-speaking guide and transferred to The Peninsula Beijing for 3 nights stay. Free at leisure for the remainder of the day. Please note: Impact of the current Beijing traffic situation may affect travel time to attractions such as the Great Wall and Ming Tomb. Depending on the day’s traffic situation, an additional 30-60 minutes of travel time may be incurred. Presently, travel time to the other venues such as Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace has not been affected.
2 Beijing Tour [B, L, D]
Visit Beijing’s most famous sights – Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Beijing Imperial Palace and Temple of Heaven. During the visit to Forbidden City, you will be able to take a VIP tour of the Shu Fang Zhai and explore parts of the Forbidden City that are NOT open to the public.
Enjoy exterior views of the Beijing National Stadium and National Aquatics Center. Famously known as “The Bird’s Nest” and “Water Cube”, these two structures hosted many competitions during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
3 Hutong & The Great Wall [B, L]
Visit Hutong, traditional courtyard homes, and see how local Beijing residents live. Practice the art of Chinese calligraphy with a calligrapher and enjoy lunch with a Hutong family. In the afternoon, visit the Great Wall. The Great Wall is China’s most famous site and stretches over 3,700 miles.
4 Arrive in Xian & the Forest of Stone Steles Museum* [B, L, D]
In the morning, fly from Beijing to Xian and transfer to Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square for 3 nights.
In the afternoon, explore ancient calligraphies of China’s most famous scholars at the Forest of Stone Steles Museum, where you will have the opportunity to make an impression using carbon powder of one of the stone steles on a sheet of rice paper and bring it home with you. This is a special opportunity only presented to our VIP clients (NOT open to the public), as the Chinese government has restrictions on making impressions of the stone steles for fear of wearing the stone away. You will be able to keep your own copy of the imprint and frame it as a collectible.
5 Terracotta Museum & Xian Museum* [B, L, D]
Explore the Terracotta Museum and see the buried treasures that took 38 years to complete.
In the afternoon, visit Xian Museum and you will have the rare opportunity to examine thousands year old artifacts. Our VIP clients will be offered a once-in-a-lifetime experience: to hold artifacts up four thousand years old and examine them closely while an expert describes the historical significance of each piece. This is a VIP venue NOT open to the public.
6 Shaanxi Archaeological Research Institute* & Shaanxi History Museum [B, L, D]
Enjoy a private tour at the Shaanxi Archaeological Research Institute* and the opportunity to examine ancient artifacts and have a close-up look of some of Terracotta Warriors.
After lunch, you will marvel the national treasures of the ancient Chinese people at the Shaanxi History Museum. Given that Xian was the capital of the Tang Dynasty, most prominent dynasty in Chinese history, the Shaanxi History Museum has the world’s largest collection of Tang Dynasty artifacts that truly exemplifies China’s prominence during the time of Marco Polo’s visit to China.
7 Arrive in Shanghai, Shanghai Museum & the Bund [B, L]
In the morning, fly to Shanghai and transfer to the Portman Ritz Carlton Shanghai.
In the afternoon, enjoy ancient Chinese art at the Shanghai Museum. Learn about Shanghai architecture with a visit to the Bund. The Bund is an area of Shanghai lined with historic buildings and a spectacular riverside promenade.
8 Suzhou City Tour [B, L, D]
Private transfer from Shanghai to Suzhou.
Enjoy a full-day Suzhou city tour with visits to Tiger Hill and Wangshi Garden.
At the end of the tour, transfer back to Shanghai accompanied by your guide.
9 Jade Buddha Monastery & Nanjing Road [B, L]
Enjoy the day exploring the Jade Buddha Monastery & shopping at Nanjing Road.
10 Depart Shanghai [B]
Depart from Shanghai to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and connect on Cathay Pacific to the U.S.

*These are VIP Venues NOT open to the Public

The price includes

  • Hotels
    • The Peninsula Beijing or similar hotel with Deluxe room for 3 nights, with daily breakfast at hotel.
    • Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square or similar hotel with Standard Room for 3 nights, with daily breakfast at hotel./li>
    • The Portman Ritz Carlton Shanghai or similar hotel with Standard Room for 3 nights, with daily breakfast at hotel.
  • Entrance fees to sightseeing as stated in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers and ground transportation as stated in the itinerary
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary
    • B = Breakfast in hotel
    • L = Lunch outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
    • D = Dinner outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
  • Private English speaking tour guide, and driver
  • China domestic airfare (Economy Class)
    • Beijing to Xian
    • Xian to Shanghai
  • Inbound and outbound international air (Economy L Class) through the Cathay Pacific Package. Routing based on specific package purchased.

The price excludes

  • Gratuities for the Guides and Drivers
  • Incidentals in hotel such as dry cleaning, phone, mini bar
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • China visa

Notes

  • Hotels used may be changed prior to tour but will be replaced with similar category of hotels
  • Price and availability subject to change without notice until deposit is received
  • For Terms and Conditions, please go to Cathay Pacific's FAQ

Activities

Beijing National Stadium

Description : The Beijing National Stadium, also known as the bird's nest, will be the main track and field stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics and will be host to the Opening and Closing ceremonies. In 2002 Government officials engaged architects worldwide in a design competition. Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron collaborated with Arup Sport and China Architecture Design & Research Group to win the competition. Contemporary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, is the Artistic Consultant for design. The stadium will seat as many as 100,000 spectators during the Olympics, but this will be reduced to 80,000 after the games. The structural elements mutually support each other and converge into a grid-like formation - almost like a bird's nest with its interwoven twigs. The spatial effect of the stadium is novel and radical, yet simple and of an almost archaic immediacy, thus creating a unique historical landmark for the Olympics of 2008.
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Famous Local Calligrapher

Description : Visit a calligrapher who lives in Hutong during his whole life. His house is 300 years old. He knows much more about Hutong area.
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Forest of Stone Steles Museum

Description : Once the site of the Temple of Confucius during the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), the Forest of Stone Steles Museum is situated on Sanxue Street, near the south gate of Xi'an City Wall. With 900 years of history, this treasure house holds a large collection of the earliest stone steles of different periods, from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, all together there are 3,000 steles.
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Hutong Tour

Description : Hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing. Surrounding the Forbidden City, many were built during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Hutong is composed by Siheyuan which the traditional residence of Beijingers, each consisting of a rectangular courtyard surrounded by one-storied tile-roofed houses, usually one to six meters wide. By visiting Hutong, it is a good way to see how traditional residents live and a kind of life style that keep several hundreds. Visit local family who live in Hutong and talk with them to known how they live. Taste the real Chinese family dishes in courtyard.
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Local family

Description : Spend one day in a Beijing local residence, experience the local life in the family for a while or just learn to cook in local flavor.
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Municipal Institute Archeological Research

Description : At this Institute, our VIP clients will be offered a ONCE IN A LIFE TIME EXPERIENCE. They will have the chance to hold artifacts of thousands of years old and examine them closely while an expert describes the history and significance of each piece.
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Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Emperor Qin Shi Huang

Description : The Terracotta Warriors and Horses are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, had work begun on his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.
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Nanjing Road

Description : Extending from the Huangpu River all the way to Tranquility and Peace Temple (Jing'ansi) and measuring five kilometers from west to east, this street passes through the city's center and is its busiest market. Along the street are more than 340 stores, including the city's largest department store, food store, medical shop, clothing store, and bookstore. The Peace Hotel, International hotel, and Overseas Chinese Hotel are all located on this street.
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National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)

Description : The Water Cube employs water as a structural and theatrical "leitmotiv" with the square, the primal shape of the house in Chinese tradition and mythology. The structure of the water cube is based on a unique, lightweight construction, developed by Arup and CSCEC with PTW, and derived from the structure of water in the state of aggregation of FOAM as deduced by. Behind the apparently random appearance hides a strict geometry found in natural systems such as crystals, cells and molecular structures. By applying novel materials and technology, the transparency and randomness is transposed into the inner and outer skins of ETFE cushions. Unlike traditional stadium structures with gigantic columns, beams, cables and back spans, to which a facade system is applied, in the water cube design the architectural space, structure and facade are one and the same element. Conceptually the square box and the interior spaces are carved out of an undefined cluster of foam bubbles, symbolizing a condition of nature that is transformed into a condition of culture. The appearance of the aquatic centre is a "cube of water molecules" - the WATERCUBE.
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Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archeological Research

Description : This is a highly secured government building that is NOT open to the public. VIP clients can enjoy those terracotta warriors inside the research center closely. This is a VIP Venue NOT open to the Public
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Shanghai Museum

Description : As a museum of ancient Chinese art, Shanghai Museum houses a collection of 120,000 precious works of art. Its rich and high-quality collection of ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphy is specially celebrated in the world. Its unique architectural form of a round top with a square base, symbolizing the ancient Chinese philosophy that the square earth is under the round sky, is a distinguished architectural combination of traditional feature and modern spirit. The present Shanghai Museum has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. It extends warm welcome to the visitors from all over the world.
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Shu Fang Zhai

Description : This is a VIP Venue NOT open to the Public Shu Fang Zhai Palace is close to Chonghua Palace. Constructed from the basis of a former price residence, the Lodge consists of a courtyard and an "I" shaped building. It is characterized by two stages. The large one is located in the courtyard and is the largest one-story stage in the Imperial Palace. The small one is in the west of the rear hall of the building and was mainly used to perform highlights of operas during imperial family banquets. All the furniture inside Shu Fang Zhai is original relics from the Qing Dynasty. Shu Fang Zhai was also used as the study by the most famous emperor of Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong. Around the New Years Day, the emperor would accept congratulations from officials and invite them to the large stage to watch operas. From the first to the tenth day of the first lunar month during the Qianlong period (1736-1795), the emperor would choose an auspicious day to treat a small group of officials here with the tea of three purities, which include fingered citron, plum blossoms, and line nuts. Since 1925, the very year when the Palace Museum (Forbidden City Museum) was established, Shu Fang Zhai was used as the VIP reception chamber for heads of states and dignitaries.
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Temple of Heaven

Description : Temple of Heaven was built in 1,420 in the Ming Dynasty, which is the most holy of all Beijing's imperial temples. This is where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. True to the Chinese saying, “Round Heaven, Square Earth.” The park is in a square shape and the temple in a round shape which symbolizes that the emperor had to leave the Earth (represented by the square) for Heaven (represented by the round-roofed building).
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The Bund (Waitan)

Description : The Bund (Waitan) is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai. "Bund" derives from an Anglo-Indian word for an embankment along a muddy waterfront and that is what it was in the beginning when the first British company opened an office there in 1846. Located on the west bank of a bend (running north and south at this point) in the Huangpu River and just south of Suzhou Creek, the Bund became the site of some of the earliest foreign settlements after Shanghai was opened as one of five "Treaty Ports" in the Treaty of Nanjing that ended the Opium War in 1842. Because of its proximity to the Yangtze (Changjiang) River--the path into central China, Shanghai grew rapidly as the economic center of foreign interests.
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The Forbidden City

Description : Forbidden City was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties which is the largest palace complex in the world. It surrounded by 10-meter high walls and a 52-meter wide moat. It covers 74 hectares and has 9,999 rooms. In the forbidden city, you can get more knowledge about the eastern architecture, splendid painted and beautiful craftwork.
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The Great Wall

Description : The Great Wall is perhaps China's most famous and most mythologized site. Several sections are conveniently visited from Beijing, including at Badaling, the most popular site, about 70 km (43 mi.) northwest of Beijing and at Mutianyu, 90 km (56 mi.) northeast of Beijing. These impressive brick and earth structures date from the Ming dynasty, when the wall was fortified against Mongol forces to the north. The Ming wall is about 26 feet tall and 23 feet wide at the base, and could accommodate up to six horsemen riding abreast. Watch towers, built on high points every 200-300 meters or so with small garrison forces, used fire signals or fireworks as a means of communication. These stretches of the wall are part of a system that extends from the Shanhaiguan fortress on the Bohai Gulf in the east to the Jiayuguan fortress in the west, altogether some 6000 km (3700 mi).
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The Jade Buddha Monastery

Description : The Jade Buddha Monastery is famous for the Jade Buddhas in it. During the rule of Emperor Guang Xu of the Qing dynasty, Hui Gen, an abbot from Putuo Mountain, went on a pilgrimage to Tibet traveling through China and finally arriving in Burma. He found Burma to be rich in jade and superb in craftsmanship. He wanted to bring carved jade Buddha back to China. He obtained donation of over 20,000 taels of silver and got special permission from the Burmese king to dig and select jade in the mountains. He hired excellent jade carvers to carve five jade Buddhas in various sizes, all decorated with treasured stones and big pearls. On his way back from Burma, he left two Buddha carvings in Shanghai for the Buddhist disciples there to worship.
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Tiananmen Square

Description : Tiananmen Square is the largest downtown square in the world. It covers an area of 44 hectares, big enough to hold one million people. Here is the most sacred place for Chinese people. Beijing is the heart of China, and Tiananmen Square is the heart of Beijing.
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Tiger Hill (Suzhou)

Description : The hill, 3.5 kilometers northwest of the city, is surrounded by rivers and covered with pine and plum trees. On the hill stands the Yunyan Pagoda, Suzhou's oldest pagoda built in the Sui Dynasty (581-618), and the Duanliang (Broken Beam) Hall built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), which is known for its unique beams. On the hill also lies the Jianchi Pond, under which the tomb of the King of the Wu State, He Lu, in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C.- 467 B.C.) was built. With a dozen of other scenic spots, the hill is noted as the first tourist attraction in Suzhou.
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Wangshi Garden (Suzhou)

Description : Wang Shi Garden, or Garden of the Master of the Fishing Nets, was originally the residence of Shi Zhenglong, a high official of the Song court who built it after he retired. The whole compound is made up of a garden and living quarters. The garden is located in the west, with a lake serving as the central point of the layout. On the lakeshores, corridors, pavilions, stone bridges and rockeries compose a scene of rich attractions. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art built a Chinese garden on the platform of the museum's second floor modeling after the Dianchunyi (Late Spring Studio) of the Wangshi Garden.
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Xian Museum

Description : The Xian Museum in the west displays more than 2,000 precious historical relics. In the central axis, there are the White-Clothing Pavilion, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the Sutra Depository, the Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian) and the Maitreya Pavilion in the Jianfu Temple. Verdant trees, grass and beautiful flowers can be found throughout the time-honored building complex. Moreover, beside the museum sits a big circular square and an artificial lake with two stone arch bridges featuring delicate designs.
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Hotels

Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square

*****
Description : The majestic Sofitel on Renmin Square Xian is located in Renmin Square and complies with Chinese 5-star platinum standards, making it the most luxurious hotel in the region. The hotel houses several heritage buildings of historic importance and features 432 rooms, 4 restaurants and 2 bars The hotel has 432 rooms.
Amenities: Limousine Service In Room Dining Boardrooms Shopping Arcade Business Center Currency Exchange Car Parking Sightseeing Tours Super Restaraunts and Bars Beauty SalonLaundry & Valet Service Multi-lingual Hotel Staff Indoor Heated Swimming Pool with glass skylight Health spa, Massage and fitness center
Restaurant: At Sofitel, we have transformed conviviality and comfort into an art form. Our restaurants and bars provide the perfect setting for relaxing and socializing and offer refined French cuisine with the latest in fusion dishes from around the world
Guest Rooms: Our 432 elegantly designed air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a number of safety features. The room's facilities include Wi-Fi wireless Internet access, pay-per-view TV, and a mini bar. 24/7 room service is available
Location: No. 319 Dongxin Street, Xian, China
Location Description: The hotel enjoys a perfect location in the heart of business and government district. It is minutes away from the shopping streets, the entertainment area, the famous Bell Tower, 20km away from the airport with a 30-minute drive and 2km away from the Railway Station with a 10-minute drive.
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The Peninsula Beijing

*****
Description : Also close to the hotel are the Wangfujing and Dongdan shopping districts, with department stores and boutiques selling everything from designer goods to souvenir. Just east of the hotel is the Chaoyang district of Beijing, a busy commercial area and housing many of Beijing's embassies. The hotel has 525 rooms.
Amenities: Business center Restaurant Massage Swimming pool Sauna Spa Foreign Exchange Counter Secretarial services Baby Sitting / Child CareHair / Beauty Salon Laundry & Valet ServiceCar Rental Service Ballroom Worldwide courier service
Restaurant: Dining at The Peninsula Beijing is a delightful experience. The hotel includes two of Beijing's most sophisticated tables: Jing, a super-sleek, "modern meets Asian" restaurant, ranked as one of the "75 World's Top New Restaurants" in 2003 by Conde Nast Traveler, and "Best Beijing's Fusion Restaurants" by Modern Media (China; Huang Ting, notably for its stylish interpretation of a historic Chinese courtyard, serves exquisite authentic dim sum, Cantonese cuisine, and Beijing specialties. The Lobby Lounge and Bar also offers a superb selection of cocktails, teas, and coffees, and the hotel provides 24-hour Room Service.
Guest Rooms: The Peninsula Beijing's guest rooms have been refurbished to the most luxurious standard based on The Peninsula's tradition of comfort, interwoven with subtle Chinese influences. The elegantly appointed guest rooms (31 sq m to 34 sq m) and suites (50 sq m to 100 sq m) feature hardwood floors covered with carpet, a 42" plasma television, wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, silent fax machine, and The Peninsula signature technology - a bedside electronic panel that controls all lighting and audio-visual equipment in the room, as well as a special control panel by the door displaying outside temperature and humidity levels
Location: 8 Goldfish Lane, Wangfujing, Beijing 100006, China
Location Description: he Peninsula Beijing is just a short walk away from the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Wangfujing shopping district, the centrally located Peninsula Beijing is now connected directly to one of Beijing's new main roads - the Second Ring Road - later this year, enabling guests to travel to all major districts of the city quickly and easily.
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The Portman Ritz Carlton Shanghai

*****
Description : Guests can shop, swim, play tennis and attend the theater without leaving the building. When travelers venture out, they can walk on colorful Nanjing Road a few blocks to the Soviet Friendship Building, where dance fans jitterbug, waltz and tango outside, and tour the famous Shanghai Grand Theatre, museums, bird and flower markets, antique stores, temples and pagodas. At the Portman Ritz Carlton Shanghai, fiber optic lighting and glass sculptures blend with ebony columns, marble floors and limestone walls to create a luxurious ambience warmed by original artworks, traditional artifacts, and fresh flowers in mammoth ceramic pots. The hotel is a culinary crossroads, with Shanghai and Cantonese delicacies in the chandeliered Summer Pavilion and Italian cuisine at Palladio. Traditional Japanese cuisine The hotel has 484 rooms.
Amenities: Parking Business floor or Executive floor Air conditioned facilities Indoor swimming pool Beauty salon Sauna Business Center Gift shopSuitable for wheelchairs Ballroom Fire detector
Restaurant: The hotel has Chinese restaurant, Western restaurant, Japanese restaurant, Italian restaurant. You also could enjoy yourself in Coffee Shop, Bar, Lounge Bar etc.
Guest Rooms: All rooms and suites are comfortably furnished and well-equipped with modern guest amenities.
Location: No. 319 Dongxin Street, Xian, China
Location Description: A prime location for business and leisure travelers, the sleek, 45 story Portman Ritz Carlton Shanghai stands in Shanghai Centre (China), the city's upscale retail and entertainment complex.
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