Tuesday, April 14, 2009

White Swan Hotel renovations

There's a rumor going around that the White Swan hotel will close for renovations this summer. I Googled it and found one site, www.chinahospitalitynews.com, with several articles about it. The White Swan hotel in Guangzhou is a great tradition among Americans adopting in China, as well as being popular with various celebrity visitors from the West. I've mentioned the children's book written about it, which we've bought. Additionally, it has a red sofa where families traditionally have their pictures taken.

Apparently, the White Swan announced 2 years ago that their renovations would start in December, 2007. Some minor renovations were made, but the major changes were delayed. The plan was to combine the rooms in pairs so that they would have half the number of rooms as before, but each room would be twice as big. Having 843 rooms to start with, the White Swan will soon have considerably fewer rooms.

Okay, it doesn't specify that the number of rooms will be 'cut in half', but only that it will be 'decreased'.

Here's a quote from one article:

A representative from White Swan Hotel said that their renovation planning is underway, and unlike the other old five-star hotels, they would change their hotel into something like Xintiandi Shanghai — but better. The person said that they would change Shamian South Street on which the hotel lies into the most luxurious pedestrian street in Guangzhou and bring top international brands such as Louis Vuitton to the street. In addition, they will set up a unique conference center and featured restaurants. The work is expected to commence in the middle of 2009 and be completed in 2010.

It says elsewhere that the reduction in rooms will probably make it harder to get a reservation. If it's completely closed when we go this summer, of course, Husband'o'Mine and I won't have to worry about that at all.

The good news is that several other hotels in Guangzhou are also getting renovated. We should try to find one that's been done already. We enjoy roughing it... sometimes.... but maybe not while trying to bond with our toddler. I'm a bit worried about cleanliness, too. One of us will probably catch something while we're in China - just getting there will be stressful enough to compromise the ol' immune system. We don't need to tempt fate any more than we have to in a run-down hotel.

Besides, I was illin' for practically the entire trip to AZ last Christmas. I healed up in time to drive home, but it's no fun seeing the snow-covered Grand Canyon when you don't feel much like getting out of the car.

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