Luxury isn’t just about where you stay or what you eat; it’s what you do and where you’re seen.
The Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
’s behemoth of midnight revelry is high-end hedonism
at its flamboyant and frivolous best, housing five opulent rooms filled with woven metals, rich woods, ornate fireplaces, genuine Chinese antiques, contemporary art installations and an unparalleled air of the One Percent. Drinks are top notch with service to match, oysters are shucked till the small hours and there’s even ultra-luxe private KTV salons. Covering an area just shy of an acre, there’s space for all. Biennial membership fees do however range from an auspicious 8,888RMB, all the way to 2.98 million RMB.
Is there any greater luxury than being above the rules? A cigar bar certainly blows smoke in the face of the smoking ban, but at least this suave Ritz-Carlton
den does it with a bit of class. Opulent puffs from the Davidoff masters are complemented by equally opulent surrounds, furnishings and a fine selection of wines and spirits.
’s Taikoo Li North has always had a wealthier-than- thou feel to it, and this boutique cinema
has given it a movie experience to match; less multiplex, more mutli-plush, this is a world of red velvet curtains, supple leather upholstery, polished brass and black-vested waiters. Its petite, leather armchair and ottoman-filled theatres seat but a dozen or so, and screen cult and offbeat classics, served alongside cocktails and some top notch European fare. 30,000RMB 'Classic Super' annual memberships are the moneybags’ choice, though single movies cost a more reasonable 150RMB.
A step up from the humble couple’s massage. Through the 'Midnight Magic' spa experience at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
, couples can have the hotel’s 25-metre pool with sweeping city views all to themselves for an evening. Starting with limo pick-up service as the clock strikes midnight, treat yourself and bae to a private tea ceremony inside the candle-lit Tea Garden. After a solo dip in the pool, it’s side-by-side massages and facials and, if you’re still awake, round out the evening by sipping bubbly and snacking on some opulent sweets.
Empress for a day
China World Summit Wing
’s Chi Spa takes jade to the next level with the Empress Imperial Jade Journey; the three-hour experience starts with a soak inside a lotus milk bath, full body scrub and massage, and wraps up with a jade facial, said to clear meridian-point blockages and relax muscles. For an empress-worthy experience at a more accessible price point, instead invest in a jade roller, which revs up circulation and de-puffs sleepy eyes.
When it opened as The Palace Hotel in 1989, The Peninsula Beijing
was one of Mainland China’s first luxury hotels. Over the years, plenty of high-profile and red-carpet guests have tucked in for a night, and last year, a refurb to the tune of 126 million USD has kept the hotel’s luxe legacy going strong. Inside the spa, find treatments using traditional Chinese medicine techniques that are fit for an imperial crowd; don’t miss the Yin Yang Balancing ritual (1,480RMB, plus 15 percent), which has both a hot and cool stone massage and calming body wrap featuring oolong, chrysanthemum and lychee. Be sure to make use of the space’s crystal steam room and ice fountain.
Get around in style
Private yacht would be the transportation de rigueur
for the savvy baller, but given our city’s absence of aqua, the humble helicopter will have to do. Unfortunately most of Beijing proper is a no-fly zone, but one can get a taste of the literal high life, and an experience like no other, with a ride over the Great Wall
, organised through Tour Beijing. One for the bucket list. Tours start at around 1,700RMB per person for a 15-minute ride. Visit tour-beijing.com/helicopter_tours or call 6716 0201 (ext. 1006) for more information.
If helicopters aren’t your scene, try a roarin' supercar. Out in Fangshan district, NZ Supercar Training Camp offer private track experiences in supercharged race cars from 15,000RMB, while more 'accessible' fixed-date training courses are available, from 1,680RMB for a half day. Contact 4006911985 (Chinese language only) or search WeChat 'enzuochaopaoxunlianying'.
Elsewhere, Benson Supercar Club offers nationwide rentals; expect to be paying upwards of 13,000RMB for a speedy day out with a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Chinabenson.com. Chinese driving licence and strong level of Chinese required for both of the above.