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It's a dad's life: Kempinski Hotel GM Brice Pean

The father of four talks travel, vacation and home life in Beijing

Sunrise Kempinski Hotel’s general manager Brice Pean and his family have lived all over the globe. He tells Time Out Family what makes Beijing unique

Tell us a little about your family.
Our family is a typical patchwork family. In total we have four children my wife had two children and I had one when we got married, and we now have one together. I am from France, born in Paris, and my wife Claudia is Austrian, born in Vienna. As a family we’ve travelled quite extensively prior to arriving to China. We’ve lived in Beijing for two and a half years and in China for five.

You and your family have lived in Austria, Egypt, Australia and Fiji prior to arriving in China. What’s unique about living in Beijing?
I can’t see real issues to parenting in Beijing, not more than in other cities. Actually, Beijing offers very good schools of a high standard. Children are very well taken care of. Life in Beijing as an expat is probably easier than at home as you have opportunities of assistance which you wouldn’t have other places like an ayi, driver and so on.

DPP07E0010F0F0E55Kempinski welcomes tourists and businesspeople to Beijing. What do you recommend as don’t miss spots to a family in town for the week?
For the best China cultural immersion, Hongqiao Pearl Market. Mutianyu Great Wall for sight seeing. For dinner, Beijing offers such a variety of options that it is very difficult to pick one. If I had to I would recommend Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB).

As the GM of Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, you know hotels and vacations. What’s a trip that you would love to take your family on?
Taking my family to Myanmar and Vietnam is one of the items on my bucket list. We’ve never been to Southeast Asia but so many of our friends have gone and they came back totally amazed at the countryside and beauty of the cultures and people.

What advice do you have for dads new to Beijing?
Beijing has a lot to offer and it is very easy to connect with people. There are many clubs and associations you can be member in order to integrate quickly into the community. For example, I’m a member of a golf association where we move around from one club to another each weekend. If you do things like this, it’s quite easy to make friends and contacts outside of work.
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