Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday on the lunar calendar — the Eastern equivalent of Christmas, New Year’s and Thanksgiving combined into one weeklong celebration. Across Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong, revelers dress in red (the color of prosperity), toast to the New Year and watch as fireworks light up the sky. To ring in the Year of the Horse in style, check into one of these Forbes Travel Guide star-rated properties.
One of Shanghai’s sleekest hotels, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The PuLi Hotel and Spa approaches Chinese New Year the way it does design — chic and understated. From January 31 through February 16, The PuLi is running a Year of the Horse promotion. Rates start at $279 for a deluxe king and go up to $747 for the junior suite. Included in the room rate is a welcome bottle of red wine, a toothsome breakfast spread (in your room, at Jing’An or in the lobby’s Long Bar), complimentary stocked mini-bar, 4 p.m. checkout, room upgrades and 20 percent discounts at Four-Star Anantara Spa and Jing’An.
This Bund-side Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel gets lovingly decked out for Chinese New Year. At Chinese restaurant Wei Jing Ge, chef Sam Yuan and his team prepared two set dinner menus called Wealth (about $808) and Longevity ($1,469). Both are priced per table of 10 and include dishes believed to be auspicious, such as delicate, flaky steamed mandarin fish with spring onion and ginger, and plump sautéed king prawns with hairy crab. At Pelham’s, Waldorf Astoria’s Western restaurant, chef Bruno Bruesch put together two- and three-course lunch ($39 and $44, respectively) and four-course dinner menus ($97). Look for elegantly executed dishes such as diver scallops with a Waldorf salad, caramelized pecans and truffle, and Wagyu beef with parsnip, plum chutney, Savoy cabbage and truffle jus. The Shanghai hotel also offers a lunar afternoon tea with Chinese-style sweets, treats and local teas. At Waldorf Astoria Spa Shanghai, ease your way into the holiday with the 80-minute Dan Tian, a special Chinese New Year treatment that uses massage techniques and volcanic and jade stones to balance your body’s energy.
With a waterfront location overlooking Victoria Harbour, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong gives you a prime position for catching the elaborate New Year’s fireworks display. Chef Chan Yak Tan, of the hotel’s famed Five-Star Lung King Heen, crafted celebratory set menus and a variety of exclusive New Year’s puddings, such as water chestnut pudding with red dates and lotus root. The hotel also marks the occasion with three accommodation packages: The Design Your Chinese New Year deal includes breakfast for two and, based on your room rate, a 10 percent credit to be used throughout the hotel. With the Stay Longer — Third Night Free offer, guests who book two consecutive nights between now and February 28 enjoy a third evening gratis. The City Escape package provides one night’s stay, a $322 spa credit, dinner and wine for two at The Lounge, and 3 p.m. checkout.
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Peninsula Shanghai rings in New Year’s Eve with its annual lion dance. On January 31, the hotel’s acclaimed lion troupe, made up of 20 dancers from Hong Kong, performs a traditional dance in the lobby. From January 30 to February 9, The Peninsula Shanghai runs accommodation promotions. Book a deluxe (about $643), deluxe garden ($709) or deluxe river room ($792) with the Year of the Horse package, and tuck into an ample breakfast for two, a customized dinner at Yi Long Court, a complimentary bottle of Peninsula red wine and delightful afternoon tea in the hotel’s stately lobby. Yi Long Court executive chef Dicky To prepared three different eight-course dinner menus featuring the likes of Shanghai-style sweet and sour pork, Chinese petits fours, and slow-braised Australian abalone in oyster sauce served with asparagus. Also available is poon choi, a traditional Hong Kong-Southeast Asia casserole made up of varying ingredients, including braised South African dried abalone and sea cucumber with dried oysters, prawns and Japanese black mushrooms. The Peninsula Spa Shanghai gets festive with its own Chinese New Year promotion from January 30 to February 28: The Vital Qi is a 50-minute deep-pressure Chinese massage that targets the feet and lower legs.
Across the Huangpu River in Pudong, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai has a slew of Chinese New Year offerings. The hotel has private dining packages at all of its restaurants, including eight set menu options at Gui Hua Lou, a Chinese eatery. On January 30 and 31 (New Year’s Eve), all-day-dining restaurant Yi Café is open for both Chinese New Year lunch and dinner, providing an enormous array of dishes ranging from curries to steak, dim sum to pizza, and an irresistible dessert bar to top it off. After plowing through the buffet, pay a visit to the hotel’s Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La, where you can enjoy a 75-minute four-hand massage (with two therapists) that incorporates Hawaiian, Thai, Swedish, Balinese and shiatsu techniques into your treatment. Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai has Chinese New Year room packages starting at $312, which includes daily breakfast, a dining credit, tickets to the Oriental TV tower or Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, and Horizon Club privileges (essentially, you’ll get VIP treatment and access to an exclusive lounge).
Photos Courtesy of The Peninsula Shanghai and Hilton Worldwide