People’s Grand Hotel – Xian, China (English)

People’s Grand Hotel – Xian, China (English)
Author

Andreas Augustin

Pages

144

Photographs
Illustrations

229

Leather-bound edition

No

Binding

Hardcover

ISBN

0-0000000-00-0

Size/Weight

245 x 225 mm, 880 g

Price: € 33.00

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The finest hotel in North West China, a Select Member of The Most Famous Hotels in the World. Opened in 1953 it was the official hotel to accommodate foreigners. It welcome heads of states and famous artists.

It has been reopened in 2014, after extensive renovations, reducing the number of 300 rooms to 72 exclusive suites. Its personal butler service and elegant style makes it 'the' haunt of every discerning traveller. This is its story.

GRAND ARRIVAL

You have landed in Xi’an, the capital of the Northwestern Chinese province Shaanxi. At the end of the Silk Road, it has drawn merchants and ambassadors from all over Asia to Baghdad. It is a long story from caravansarais – those 'motels' for man and his horse or camel – to today’s hotels. Here we are telling the story of the first emperor, the Ming Dynasty, Marco Polo, the Silk Road, the discovery of the Terracotta Army until modern times.

The first Western hotels in China sprang up in the coastal regions and in Beijing as private enterprises at the end of the 19th century.

In Xi’an it was centrally decreed only in 1950 that there was space for a grand hotel. Xi’an was seen as the city of choice in which to develop tourism, thanks to its  first wave of economic success, together with the truly astonishing exhibits of long-known AND recently discovered historical sites, not least the unique Nestorian Stele.

Hong Quing, a Chinese architect who had seen the best of all worlds, having completed his studies in Europe and trained on the job in China, created in cooperation with a Russian colleague an unequaled building, which is beyond comparison. It consists of three separate buildings joined together with only millimeters apart like a jigsaw puzzle (to make it earthquake resistant), surrounded by a little ‘city’ of hotels. Since its opening in 1953 as the first grand hotel of modern China, it has played the role of the diamond at the top of a diadem.

Together with the surrounding Renmin Square and its collection of hotels, the French group Accor has revived the People’s Hotel. Join us on a tour through its history and the story of the charming city of Xi’an.

Introduction

 

Andreas Augustin, President of THE MOST FAMOUS HOTELS IN THE WORLD®, has, in cooperation with a team of Xi’anese and international historians and retired and active members of the staff, produced a book about the People’s Grand Hotel. They have also installed the MUSEUM at the hotel, commemorating the history of the hotel.

Andreas Augustin 

世界著名酒店机构总裁协同西安团队、国际历史学家以及现任和退休的员工一起撰写了这本关于西安索菲特传奇酒店的书籍,此外,他们还创建了酒店博物馆,以此纪念酒店的渊源历史。

The most famous hotels in the world is a global organisation, based in Vienna, Austria, listing and researching all grand hotels in the world. Over 50 books have been published about individual famous hotels.

世界著名酒店是一个全球机构,总部设在奥地利的维也纳,收纳和研究全球所有著名酒店,已出版50本关于著名酒店的书籍。

_____________________________________________________

Speech of Andreas Augustin at the presentationk of the book:

Good Evening, honourable guests,

尊敬的来宾,大家晚上好!

 

The Renmin Dasha family is reunited.

人民大厦大家庭今天团聚了。

 

The People’s Grand Hotel Xian must be seen within the context of the entire Renmin Dasha complex. No hotel would exist today without the other. The People’s Grand Hotel, also referred to as Building Number One, in the heart of the entire complex, has been missing for many years, like a father missing from the family’s Sunday table for too long.

西安索菲特传奇酒店,也称1号楼,是人民大厦酒店群的一部分,和其他酒店相互依存,不可分割。坐落于大厦的中心位置,像一位久不曾露面家宴的父亲,缺席已久。

    

Before it closed, it was sometimes heavily secured by grim looking guards, and it has earned itself a reputation of a government hotel, not accessible to the ordinary man from the street. Today its two mighty wings around the centre are stretched out like arms, wide open, welcoming travellers from all over the world.

追溯到其歇业前,他曾被表情严肃的部队把守,不对平民百姓开放,也因此获以政府酒店的名号。而今天他站立在人民大厦中央,展开丰满的双翼,欢迎着世界各地宾客的到来。

 

The hotel is the brightest star in the world of Chinese hospitality, it is a ‘Legend’ and it has been immediately accepted into the global 440 hotels comprising family of The Most Famous Hotels in the World®.

他是中国酒店业一颗最闪亮的新起之星,他是一个“传奇”,他一出世便被收录于拥有440名家庭成员的世界著名酒店大家庭中。

 

In the West we like to call famous historic hotels ‘Grand Old Ladies’. May be because they can develop striking attitudes, or because they are larger-than-life personalities, or simply … because they are so expensive.

在西方,我们称著名且蕴含丰厚历史的酒店为“老佛爷”,或许是因为她们凸显的个性, 或许是因为他们高贵的气质,或许干脆就是因为他们昂贵的身价。

 

This grand old lady has developed all these attitudes, and more. It has witnessed history, hosted the most famous personalities on Earth and has been the venue for important meetings.

除了上述的特质外,西安索菲特传奇酒店这位老佛爷,接待过来自世界各地的名人,举办过很多重大的会议,见证了历史的发展。

 

I have been referring to the father of a family. We have a nice saying in Austria, which goes like that: success has many fathers, defeat is an orphan. 

在奥地利,关于“父亲”我们有这样一句谚语:成功有很多个父亲,而失败只是一个孤儿。

 

The People’s Grand Hotel Xian will be a great success, because it has so many fathers.  

When we visited the People’s Hotel Xian for the first time in September 2013, it was a hollow shell, full of workers, noise and dust. One of the fathers, Pierre Henrichs, manager at the hotel today, took us around the construction site, sharing the visions of Accor. He explained everything so passionate, that - before our eyes - an empty space became a sizzling hot pizza-oven and a round empty space a luxurious lobby. 

因为有多位父亲,所以西安索菲特传奇酒店的成功是不言而喻的。当我们在2013年9月首次参观酒店时,酒店还是一片施工场景,人声嘈杂、尘土飞扬, 作业人员随处可见。西安索菲特传奇酒店经理亨利希父亲带领我们参观现场,和我们分享雅高集团的愿景,满怀激情地向我们介绍了每一个区域,我眼前浮现出吐着火苗的披萨炉,和奢华富丽的大堂。

 

Stephen Antram, the general manager, shared with us his visions of luxury, Michel Molliet recalled his early efforts to turn the sleepy old People’s Hotel into a grand hotel. It is that sort of imagination that inspires, encourages and drives hotel projects like this. 

西安雅高人民大厦总经理安德华父亲和我们分享了他对“奢华”的理解。莫力父亲向我们讲述了早期他接手和改建沉睡的人民大厦的故事。正是那样的想象力激发和推动了这样的酒店项目。

 

Renmin Dasha chairman Mr Hui (Feng Nian) took us through the gardens. With the sparkling eyes of a true lover of details he introduced me to a 1200 years old tree in the courtyard, before he went on to show me the Olive trees planted from seeds presented to the hotel by Chou En Lai some 50 years ago. It is the concentration on details, which makes all the difference.

人民大厦有限公司董事长惠风年父亲带领我们参观了花园,他两眼闪闪发光,向我们介绍那颗已有1200年历史的紫薇,以及50年前由周恩来总理赠送的种子长成的油橄榄,正式对细节的完美追求,才成就了人民大厦今日的新面貌。

 

Our organisation The Most Famous Hotels in the World®  was invited to bring the hotel’s history to life. We dug deep and found lots. My wife Carola, who heads the history department (HA! finally we have a mother of success), was very impressed by the hotel’s archives, perfectly kept from the 1950s, with photo albums and documents well-preserved. 

我们有幸应邀来再现西安索菲特传奇酒店的历史。经过深入的调研,我们挖掘了很多有价值的信息。我负责历史部分的妻子Carola, (终于西安索菲特传奇酒店有了一位母亲)仍旧对酒店档案馆保存完好的1953年的资料文献以及照片记忆犹新。

 

Well, you might ask yourself: what’s so special at this hotel? Where is the benefit to be a famous hotel? What’s all the fuss about its history?

也许你会问这家酒店到底有什么特别之处?上榜著名酒店有什么益处?这些历史又有什么值得大惊小怪呢?

 

The answer is simple: History can not be bought, it must be earned. It is this history that sets the most famous hotels in the world apart from all the others. It is their history, this element of storytelling, that makes all the difference. The idea to be sleeping in the same hotel like a Crown prince or a famous movie star - maybe even at the same time - is simply exciting. 

答案很简单:历史是买不来的,而是沉淀来的;历史是将著名酒店和其他酒店区分开来的试金石;融入了历史元素的任何故事都是独一无二的。一想到要入住这样一家皇储和明星曾下榻过的酒店,便让人兴奋不已。

 

Last but not least, let me mention the most important factor in the game: after building a hotel you have to find the right people who drive your idea. The people at the front. The ‘first impressions’. Your ambassadors.

酒店建成后,最重要的是找到对的人来将酒店的理念付诸实践。他们就是所有工作在一线的员工,你们的酒店大使 。    

 

While researching and producing our book and the Museum, we have spent some weeks at the People’s Grand Hotel. I say this with pride because it is one of the privileges of our mission to sometimes be able to witness history in the making. 

前期在开展书的调研和博物馆的准备工作时,我们入住在西安索菲特传奇酒店长达数周之久。我觉得相当自豪,因为我们的工作使命之一就是见证历史的形成。

 

We have found people full of fond memories of days gone by, historians who helped us with our work, and most important, we have found today’s team of wonderful young and inspired people who act as ‘ambassadors’ of the hotel. They have made this hotel our home in China, far away from home. They treated us as if we were Crown princes or movie stars ourselves, while we are, in fact, only humble servants in a wonderful and exciting industry.

在调研中,我们发现人们充满了对过往的美好回忆, 例如协助我们的历史学家,更重要的是我们发现西安索菲特传奇酒店“现任的”团队—一群年轻的,充满活力和灵感的“酒店大使们”。他们让我们感到宾至如归,他们像接待王储和明星般照顾我们,而事实上我们只是这个美妙,令人兴奋的酒店行业卑微的仆人。

 

We look with great pride at the achievement, accomplished by all these fathers and mothers, who created a grand hotel and – in fact – continued a LEGEND.

You see, the family is reunited.

我非常自豪我们这些父亲和母亲们所取得的成就,我们创造了伟大的西安索菲特传奇酒店,我们让一个“传奇”继续。

你看,人民大厦大家庭团聚了。

Andreas Augustin presents
PEOPLE‘S GRAND HOTEL XIAN
in the library THE MOST FAMOUS HOTELS IN THE WORLD®
We thank in particular Hui Feng Nian, the owners representative and chairman of the Shaanxi Renmin Dasha Company Ltd., for the smooth cooperation in this project.
The father of this book is Stephen Antram, So tel general manager and area general manager So tel Central China.
Special thanks go to Pierre Henrichs, the thoughtful manager at the People’s Grand Hotel re-opening in 2014.
Many thanks for inspiring dialogues and great advise to Michel Molliet, opening general manger for Accor (2005– 2006), Vice President So tel Greater China, William Yuen, hotel manager at So tel Xian on Renmin Square, Luann Li, assistant to the general manager and, of course, Amanda Wen, personal assistant to the hotel manager.
Our gratitude goes to the wonderful members of the team at the hotels, specially (in loose order) to Daisy Dang, Charles Qiao, Song Lin, Reise Li, Cherry He, Ruby Zhou Bei, Huang Juan, Helen Wong, Huang Shuqi, Wang Yuhua, Xin Fuhua, Marc Cherrier, Wendy Su, Hanson Zhu, Miko Guo, Goodspeed Wu, Sharon Zhang and Maïlys Salomé Dupart.
Last but not least we will never forget the wonderful team around Celia Zhang, asst. People‘s Grand Hotel manager, Andrew Zhao, chief butler, Emily Chang, Jojo Liu (senior butlers), Annie Li, Jason Song, Grace Fu, Cathy Wang, Eason Qiu, Ventura Qin, Danny Shao, Baron Li, Shelly Wang (butlers) and Daniel Xu, chief concierge, Alfred Sun, Gen Tian (concierges).
Thanks to the team at 1953 Bar & Lounge, the Dolce Vita chefs and waiters who pampered us so well while we were on location, in particular the great chef Andrea Zamboni and the hotels’ executive chef Alex Zhang. And our special gratitude to all those who have not been mentioned: your courtesy was much appreciated.
Please note: any reproduction and distribution of any part of this work without the explicit written consent of The Most Famous Hotels in the WorldTM will be prosecuted.
All historic data has been carefully selected during research with the objective of providing a general historical overview. This work does not therefore claim to be complete. Historic photographs have been restored
and occasionally tinted, and are therefore – together with the entire work – subject to copyright.
Photography: principal photographer Bill Lorenz; archives of the People‘s Grand Hotel Xian; Main Archives of The Most Famous Hotels in the World, Vienna; Maros Mraz;
Copy Editor: Thomas Cane
Design: Ramazotti Michelangelo, Chinese edition: text by Superskill Singapore Concept, Research and Idea: Andreas und Carola E. Augustin
History research: Carola Augustin (MA University of Vienna), Zhao Yuanchao (Professor of History. Xi’an) ISBN: 978-3-900692-47-6 (Chinese edition: 978-3-900692-48-3)
© The Most Famous Hotels in the World® / Andreas Augustin

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Publisher's recommendations


Dear wonderful Readers;

It's teatime again — our "Tea at ..." books are in high demand: Mount Nelson in Cape Town, Reid's on Madeira and Café Central in Vienna (OK, you got me there — this is predominantly about coffee).

 

This winter we will take you to Half Moon on Jamaica. The new edition of THE STRAND (Yangon,Myanmar) is available, METROPOLE HANOI and ORIENTAL BANGKOK were relaunched in brand new edtions.

 

We dispatch all our books personally autographed (if you wish).

Have a save journey!

Andreas Augustin

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