Last Monday, the doors to Four Seasons Guangzhou, China, opened for the first time, bringing China's third-largest city a 344-room luxury hotel complete with a spa, four restaurants, two bar lounges, and "horizon-edge" indoor pool on the 69th floor. Guests arrive via express elevators to the 70th floor where, in the atrium, they are greeted by a 10-foot red steel sculpture by Australian artist Matthew Harding. This is the Toronto-based hotel chain's 88th property worldwide.
But that's not all. Four Seasons is in the middle of what we'd like to call an Asian invasion, injecting its signature luxe with two other Asian properties soon to debut: Four Seasons Baku, Azerbaijan (opens Aug. 22) and Four Seasons Pudong, Shanghai, China (opens Aug. 28).
Baku is emerging as a cultural destination for travelers looking to stray off the beaten path. Included in the 171-room property along the Caspian promenade is the Jaleh Spa and Pool; local wines, locally sourced caviar, and Azeri cheeses at its two restaurants (Kaspia and Zafferano); and a chic bar (think sea blue and gold décor) called Kaspia Bar. Cigar lovers have the option to store a personal cigar stock and pair them with single-malt whiskies and house-made chocolates. Hand-knotted wool and silk rugs cultivate a cozy environment at Piazza, perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea service. A spa with 10 treatment rooms will also be available.
Four Seasons Pudong will capitalize on the pulse of Shanghai's business district. Within the 187-room hotel—which is in the 21st Century Tower that also contains Ferrari Maserati—are event spaces and restaurants in high style. Camelia is at street-level and features French and Japanese food (including a private sushi room) devised by a chef formerly of Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris. At ShÃ ng-xÃ, Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine converge using seasonal ingredients. FLARE Spa will be a stylish hideaway, with VIP Spa Suites boasting whirlpools and rain showers for two, and an indoor infinity-edge pool overlooking the Shanghai skyline.
Four Seasons Guangzhou is hard to miss: located next to the Guangzhou Opera House (which opened last year) along the Pearl River, it's within the top third (floors 74 to 98) of Guangzhou International Finance Center, providing stellar views of the region. To celebrate the opening, they're offering an introductory package (called the "Have it All Introductory Package," from Aug. 15 to Oct. 15): including accommodations, a daily buffet breakfast at Caffe Mondo, and a daily 45-minute spa treatment (as well as Internet access to help plan your time in Guangzhou). A CNY 600 (US$94) resort credit can be applied to dining or drinking at the hotel.
The hotel also has two lounges—a tea and cocktail spot called The Atrium, and Tiam Bar on the 99th floor. Italian dishes like brick-oven pizzas are on offer at Caffe Mondo, while sushi, teppanyaki, and yakitori are the focus at Kumoi. Both are on the hotel's 72nd floor and offer amazing bird's-eye views of the city. Up on the 100th floor, Catch specializes in contemporary seafood dishes (from Russian caviar to New England lobster) prepared in an open kitchen. Yu Yue Heen, on the 71st floor, caters to adventurous diners in search of authentic Cantonese dishes.
For guests who want to squeeze in pampering, the 12,000-square-foot Hua Spa immediately draws in the senses with aromas of geraniums and roses. For the lavish Bed of Roses treatment, it's all about roses (rose-fragranced bath, rose-gel body wrap, and rose-frankincense facial). Spa guests also have access to a water-based treatment area containing a Vichy-style shower, mud chamber, crystal steam room, herbal steam bath, ice fountain, and Finnish-style sauna.
Photo credits: Four Seasons Guangzhou courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts