Peninsula hotels celebrate Chinese New Year around world
With its long history stretching to 1866 as China’s first luxury hospitality brand, The Peninsula Hotels celebrates its Chinese heritage and rings in the Year of the Snake with inspiring initiatives and special décor throughout the holiday period, along with music, food and activities on the most auspicious date of the year, Feb 10. Luxury shopping stays, special room rates and Chinese New Year festive programs are among the holiday offerings at the nine properties around the world. First-time guests can experience Chinese New Year with a unique twist, while returning guests can celebrate in typical Peninsula style and sophistication.
The most important festival on the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year dates back centuries and is a time of reunion with family and close friends – both at home and when travelling overseas – to welcome a new year of good luck, health and prosperity. To join in celebrating the traditional Chinese festival and make Chinese travellers feel at home during the holiday, The Peninsula Hotels will be festooned in festive hues inside and out, with hotel exteriors illuminated in red and red lanterns inside, signifying luck and prosperity. Each hotel Lobby will be decked with red flowers and pink-blossomed plum trees, representing good luck. Kumquat bushes laden with golden-orange fruit signify prosperity, and will be on sunny display. Good fortune and health will be beckoned into the guestrooms too, with special in-room amenities including tangerines, melon seeds, dumplings and chocolate coins – all representing prosperity.
Food plays a key role in Chinese culture, and no less so than at Chinese New Year. On the last day of the old year, families feast together on special delicacies and traditionally end the night with firecrackers to drive evil spirits away. At The Peninsula, guests can indulge and celebrate with special meals in Chinese and western styles at the signature restaurants. The culinary experience is elevated to perfection with The Peninsula Hong Kong’s special Fireworks menu on 11 February. Guests are treated with Champagne on the Sun Terrace together with a spectacular fireworks display over Victoria Harbour.
The three Peninsula hotels in America – New York, Chicago and Beverly Hills – will surprise guests with their own ways of celebrating this prominent Chinese festival, with an exclusive “Celebrate Chinese New Year with Van Cleef & Arpels” stay-and-shop experience, offering $1,000 gift certificates at Van Cleef & Arpels and a special room rate at $888, as eight is considered a lucky number that signifies good fortune in Chinese culture. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, in addition, is featuring Beverly Hills’ most glamorous Chinese New Year Celebration Party.
The signature Peninsula Afternoon Tea features a distinctively festive Chinese flavour at The Peninsula Bangkok and The Peninsula Beijing; also at the Beijing hotel visitors and guests can celebrate New Year with a special commemorative gift featuring a Chinese wish of good fortune, crafted by a calligraphy master, with the hotel’s compliments.
The fun at The Peninsula continues with the traditional lion dance. The lion dances aggressively, to loud drumbeats and deafening cymbal crashes to scare away evil spirits, while on the first morning of the new year, ritual calls for children to wish their parents a happy year ahead and receive money in lucky red paper envelopes. According to tradition, old grudges are forgotten and everyone wishes each other peace and happiness. Red packets symbolise good luck and are believed to ward off evil spirits, and will be distributed at the hotels.
In preparation for the new year ahead, families literally clean house, sweeping away the old to make way for good incoming luck, just as a snake sheds its skin. New clothes for a new year are imperative, and The Peninsula Hotels’ ideal city centre locations and extensive shopping arcades of luxury brands make new year shopping a breeze.
THE PENINSULA TOKYO
- Dramatic Chinese New Year flower displays are positioned at the main entrance and The Lobby tables.
- The lions at the hotel entrance are illuminated in red.
- Special in-room amenities are provided for all guests.
- A lion dance on Feb 12 begins at the main entrance and heads through The Lobby and up to the Hei Fung Terrace Chinese New Year dinner.
- Chinese New Year six-course lunch and dinner menus are offered at Hei Fung Terrace – the Wishes lunch menu at 8,880 yen, and Lucky dinner menu at 22,880 yen.
THE PENINSULA HONG KONG
- Three menus: Fortune (HK$10,888 plus 10% service charge for a table of 10 persons), Wealth (HK$13,888 plus 10% service charge for a table of 10 persons) and Longevity (HK$15,888 plus 10% service charge for a table of 10 persons) offer auspicious dishes to see in the new year.
- Lunar New Year Puddings (New Year Pudding, Turnip Pudding, Water Chestnut Pudding and Taro Pudding) are available.
- Each restaurant offers a special Fireworks menu on Feb 11 with Champagne on the Sun Terrace to view the spectacular new year fireworks display.
THE PENINSULA SHANGHAI
- A peach tree and kumquat trees are on display at The Lobby and each restaurant with red packets hung on all trees representing good luck, happiness and fortune in the new year.
- Each stone lion at the entrance wears a big red Chinese bow, bringing additional fortune to the property and the guests who patronise the hotel.
- On Chinese New Year’s Eve, each in-house guest receives a red packet with a chocolate “gold coin” inside to bring good fortune in the year ahead.
- Lion Dance on Chinese New Year’s Day – an award-winning lion dance troupe performs at the Lobby, to which all hotel staff and in-house guests are welcome to join. Non-residents are also invited as it is believed that the attending public will all be blessed with luck and happiness.
- Yi Long Court offers special Chinese New Year menus.
- Special Chinese New Year hampers are available at The Peninsula Boutique.
THE PENINSULA BEIJING
- Special Chinese New Year décor and in-room decorations are on display.
- A Chinese-themed Afternoon Tea is available in The Lobby.
- A Chinese calligrapher will write lucky couplets in The Lobby. Guests can have their names written in Chinese characters as souvenir with the hotel’s compliments.
THE PENINSULA BANGKOK
- Fortune (2,280 baht per person) and Wealth (2,680 baht per person) set menus are available at Mei Jiang Chinese restaurant (Feb 2–12).
- A Chinese-themed Sunday Brunch at River Cafe and Terrace (1,500 baht including hot drinks) is planned for Feb 10.
- A Chinese-themed Afternoon Tea is presented in The Lobby.
- A lion dance performance will take place on Feb 10.