Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ritz-Carlton open today

The first Ritz-Carlton in Beijing (trial) opens today. I went there last night for FINANCE annual conference's closing concert with pianists LIU Shikun and LI Yundi, soprano SHEN Na and tenor Warren MOK.

The conference drew in the richest people in China, be them in IT business, real estate, banking, media, etc. It's proven again that the richest people don't usually have the best taste in classical music. The program tailored for them was more popular than classical, nevertheless, it was quite pleasing.

The hotel, on the other hand, is not so pleasing, and arguably the worst Ritz I've seen. The lobby is small, the in-hotel Christian church they're so proud of doesn't even have a cross, the food is unimpressive, so does the coffee. I mean, you would think the Ritz wants to present its best in front of China's real estate tycoons, CEO of Goldman Sachs, especially when the hotel is to be opened the next day. ( Okay, to be fair, the hotel manager is a very nice gentleman, but the hotel itself is nothing more than a baroque painting with little content).

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