Business travelers' notebook: What's new on China's scene

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BEIJING -- Business travelers to China can benefit from new and improved hotels and services as well as new airline service. The following is a summary of developments:

Hotels

China is in the midst of a hotel-building boom, giving business travelers an ever-widening choice of accommodations in both primary and secondary cities.

  • Accor, the French hotel group that operates several brands, assumed management of Beijing's 416-room Peace Hotel and changed its name to the Novotel Peace Hotel.
  • Meanwhile, the group's Hotel Sofitel division opened two properties: the 241-room Sofitel Zhengzhou in the Henan province and the 400-room Sofitel Jinan Silver Plaza in Jinan.

    The new 402-room Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel.For information or to book, call (800) 221-2541, (800) NOVOTEL or (800) SOFITEL.

  • Bass Hotels & Resorts launched the 481-room Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai last spring in the city's new Zha Bei business district.
  • For details, call (800) HOLIDAY.

  • This summer, the 440-room Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai made its debut in China's most populous city. The upscale property is a joint venture of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and a regional company.
  • Call (800) 332-3442 for information.

  • Marriott International recently inaugurated the 315-room Marriott Hotel Hongqiao in Shanghai and the 433-room Shenyang Marriott.
  • Both properties boast Marriott's Room That Works, which features a workstation and other room amenities designed specifically for business travelers.

    For more information, call (800) 228-9290.

  • The 487-room Kerry Centre Hotel, which is managed by Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, opened in Beijing. The property offers extensive business facilities, including 20 executive suites and Horizon Club floors.
  • Also, Shangri-La's 423-room Golden Flower Hotel in Xian completed a major renovation.

    The hotel installed in-room desktop dataport connections and a secure electronic key card system.

    Call (800) 942-5050 for details.

  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will unveil its second St. Regis brand hotel in China, a 345-room Shanghai property, next summer. The company also announced plans to develop possibly 10 Four Points brand hotels in China during the next several years.
  • Call (877) STARWOOD.

  • Sheraton Hotels & Resorts expanded its presence in central China with the recent opening of the 402-room
  • Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel in Chengdu.

    For details, call (800) 325-3535 or (877) STARWOOD.

    Airlines

    Northwest recently launched twice-weekly service between Detroit and Shanghai, and United inaugurated service between San Francisco and Shanghai five times weekly.

    Cruises

    A cruise along China's Yangtze River offers globetrotting executives a way to unwind once business is completed.

  • Victoria Cruises recently put two new riverboats into service, the Victoria Blue Whale and the Victoria Angel, bringing the total number of ships in its fleet to eight.
  • Call (800) 348-8084 for more details.

  • Regal China Cruises, which operates upscale Yangtze River cruises, assumed management of the Wuhan International Golf Club in the Yangtze River port city of Wuhan. The club has an 18-hole golf course and a new 75,000-square-foot clubhouse.
  • For details, call (800) 808-3388.

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