Renaissance man Xi Jinping will follow in footsteps of pop groups during Hong Kong stay
Wan Chai hotel that will host president was also the choice of a South Korean boy band and a Russian duo
If it’s good enough for a K-pop group, it’s good enough for President Xi Jinping.
Instead of joining the ranks of top state leaders as a patron of the Grand Hyatt on his three-day visit to Hong Kong this week, China’s president will stay at a nearby hotel that seems to be a favourite of foreign pop groups.
According to Chinese news sources, the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel in Wan Chai hosted rapper G-Dragon and his band mates in 2013 and Russian pop duo t.A.T.u in 2003. Another notable guest was politician Du Qinglin, vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
In contrast, the Grand Hyatt, where the president’s delegation will stay, is known for attracting the most elite visitors. Its guest roster includes former US president Bill Clinton, footballer David Beckham and Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao.
Xi won’t just miss out on prestige at the Renaissance; he’ll also forfeit space.
The hotel’s presidential suite is less than half the size – and about a third of the price – of the Grand Hyatt’s. (A night at the Grand Hyatt’s presidential suite costs about HK$88,000, compared with HK$28,000 at the Renaissance.)
But the Renaissance does have a few things going for it. Its presidential suite is on a higher floor and it has windows on two sides, not just the harbour side. The 189 square metre suite has two bedrooms – one with a king-sized bed facing Victoria Harbour, the other with two single twin-size beds and a garden view – two washrooms and a harbour-facing living area.
It might also be the safer choice. Security sources told the Post that the decision to put the president up at the Renaissance was made for security reasons; the hotel’s layout will allow Xi to get into a bulletproof limousine under cover of a roof.
Both hotels will be closed to other guests during the leader’s visit, as the city celebrates the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese sovereignty, leaving more than 1,300 rooms unoccupied.
But sources say the president’s accommodation could still change, as police continue to carry out risk assessments in the lead-up to Xi’s arrival on Thursday.