Five-star luxury is just the beginning at complex
By JOHN FRANK-KEYES
THE Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Centre resembles an affluent small town rather than a hotel complex.
The development comprises offices, apartments, the Regus Business Centre, showrooms, boutiques, a luxury 540-bedroom hotel, sports facilities and 12 restaurants and bars.
Beijing's largest department store, the You Yi Shopping City, completes the picture.
The Kempinski features all the expected facilities of a major five-star hotel - and then some more.
China's only ''boutique brewery'', the Paulaner Brauhaus, provides a rare social experience. The small brewery houses a restaurant built around the copper brewing kettles and storage tanks.
''Wherever you sit, you can witness the brewing process,'' said manager Mr Harald Merkel.
Brewmaster Mr Peter Schwarzmuller, from the Paulaner brewery in Munich, said: ''The beer is brewed in accordance with one of the very oldest of German laws - the law of purity. It contains only water, yeast, hops and barley malt.'' No chemicals or preservatives are allowed, or required, since this beer is neither transported nor stored for any length of time.
The Kempinski's brewmaster, Mr Chen Hong, who trained for two years at Doemans Brewmasters' School in Munich, was previously with the Beijing Beer Brewery.
''Another advantage is that we can alter the beer to suit the preferences of our customers. As we are only concerned with one main outlet, we can tailor the final result for local tastes,'' he said.
This home-brew par excellence is also supplied to the Kempinski's other restaurants.
The restaurant menu features a number of traditional German favourites and, to ensure authenticity, the hotel has brought in a food technology expert to oversee the production of the sausages and smoked meats. The Kempinski also offers a fully equipped Western-style international medical centre.
Hotel manager Mr Kurt Wehinger said: ''All aspects of a professional medical centre are available, including 24-hour routine and emergency trauma services, a pharmacy stocked with Western over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals, and co-ordination of immediate air evacuation.'' There is also a business centre in the complex. Indeed, the Kempinski's was designed with the business traveller in mind.
Managing director Mr Uwe Boeger said: ''Our aim is for a 70 per cent business travel segment in the overall guest profile by the end of 1993.
''China is prospering and the renewed interest in it as a tourist destination, a manufacturing base and a trading partner gives us great cause for optimism,'' he added.
The Kempinski's business centre is run by Regus, the Brussels-based company with more than 70 similar centres worldwide. The key to the Regus concept is the speed of set-up.
''You can arrive here in the morning and have a fully functioning office before lunchtime,'' said Ms Susanna Schneider, manager of the centre.
''For newcomers to Beijing, or the travelling executive, there is no need to look for staff, furniture or equipment. Just bring your briefcase and you're ready for business,'' she added.
Another useful service is Regus Link. This provides a mailing address and telephone answering service. Phone calls are always answered in the particular company's name.