Hong Kong, December 13, 2016 – Recently, concierges at The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu, The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing, Financial Street, and The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou were asked for their best ‘beyond the tourist trail’ recommendations. The results were an inspiring cultural vignette that would add an authentic local insider experience for visitors seeking to create their own journey.
The off-the-beaten-track experiences were designed to bring to life aspects of the destination not often explored, and have been curated with a gentle, authentic lens.
Chengdu, in South West China, straddles the ancient 2,000 year old Silk Road, and is considered the birthplace of a unique tea style known as Kung Fu Chinese Tea. Guests arriving at The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu are welcomed in dramatic fashion by a genuine tea master serving tea.
While the tea theme is infused throughout the hotel, including an elegant welcome ritual incorporating colorful crystal shards, submerged local tea leaves, followed by a rejuvenating tea bath, tea powder scrub, tea oil massage for a total relaxation. . However, the real insider treat is the visit to the private tea estate at Mt. Mending from which The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu sources the finest teas in order for guests to enjoy an early morning picking tea, blending and sampling tea, while learning about the microclimate of this mountain region, before wrapping up with a tea-inspired lunch while regaled with stories on the history of tea.
As befits the heritage of the ancient Chinese capital, The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street immerses its guests in Chinese customs and culture from the moment of arrival. From the art and Chinese calligraphy paint brushes that the city is famed for through to the traditional Lao breakfast served by a chef dressed in an authentic traditional outfit, ladies and gentlemen staying with the hotel can participate in cultural immersion with food to creative activities.
While Tai Chi is an early morning must-do, the pièce de resistance is a specially-arranged behind-the-scenes tour of the Zheng Yi Ci Temple Peking Opera Theater which represents the “Rhythm of the City”. Located in ancient Ming Dynasty Hutong, it is one of the oldest opera houses in the world. The completely wooden structure is over 300 years old, making possible for guests to explore one of the original shrines to one of China’s most revered art forms in its natural habitat. Guests of the hotel can rub shoulders with some of the finest Peking opera performers in the world while seeing behind-the-scenes of the theater.
The Pearl River Delta has been a powerhouse of trading for centuries and a rich cultural tradition to match. With its diversity of experiences, The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou riffs off what was once one of China’s most popular forms of transport, the bicycle, to explore the eminently cycable city, with its web of well-designed trails and riverside architecture from the past centuries and 21st century landmarks. The local concierges have created routes that allow guests to customize tours to explore the galleries, culture and art of Guangzhou. Old and new are nestled side by side as centuries of cultural influence come alive up-close on guided group or self-guided bicycle tours.
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