The White Swan Hotel located in Shamian, Liwan District will temporarily close its accommodation services as of September 16 for large-scale renovations.
The 28-year old hotel will undergo its first comprehensive renovation lasting for an entire year and costing over RMB 600 million. The project will renew the hotel's facilities and enlarge the rooms to help the first Sino-foreign cooperative five-star hotel to meet the ever-growing needs of patrons. After renovations the 843 rooms in the hotel will be reduced to about 500.
"We had over 90 percent occupancy yesterday," said Xie Weijie, vice general manager of the hotel. He said many people had come to bid farewell these days.
According to Xie, the basic appearance of the hotel, especially given its unique scenic location, will be kept intact. However, the restaurants and dining halls will undergo work until early February of next year.
The White Swan is not the only landmark high-end hotel to see a need for renovation. In 2006 The Garden Hotel spent close to RMB 300 million in transforming itself into the first platinum five-star hotel in the city.
The White Swan Hotel was invested in by patriotic Hong Kong businessman Dr Henry Fok Ying Tumg, who considers the hotel his most successful investment. It now stands as the first modern hotel designed, constructed and managed solely by Chinese and the first hotel in China open to public visitors.
(By Lynus Tan, Daniel Epstein)