Tag Archives: China

Review: Ferretti Altura 840 Tai He Ban Special Edition

The much-publicized boom in Asian boating is still just on the horizon, but the major European builders and manufacturers realized some time ago that luxury, social, boating has a different function in this part of the world. In the familiar markets of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, the concept is well understood – owners and friends, or charter guests, take off for a week or more for a spell of sybaritic luxury as far as possible from the madding crowd. In Asia, a boat is most often seen as a business entertainment platform, useful for cocktail receptions, parties, dinners and possibly day-trips, but rarely overnight stays.

This implies a substantially differently genre of boat to those seen moored stern-to in the vieux port at Cannes, or anchored in English Harbour, Antigua. Boats designed specifically for Asia require less outdoor deck space, fewer and less expansive cabins, less galley space, more air-conditioned indoor area, and more space for entertaining.

The people who have taken these new design parameters to heart most enthusiastically are without a doubt the Ferretti Group. Last year they presented Asia with the Ferretti Altura 840 Tai He Ban Special Edition. This year they have taken the re-working of the interior a stage further.

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Step on board the Ferretti Yachts 870 Tai He Ban Special Edition from the stern and enjoy the spacious aft deck. Banquette seating, big table, plenty of room. But it’s sizzling here in the tropics, so let’s go straight into the very welcoming air-conditioned interior. Every boat manufacturer likes to tell you about space and light, but here it is not just brochure talk. The saloon of the 870 is a one-piece affair, from the sliding glass doors aft right through to the bridge. It’s a big space, and brilliantly lit by ceiling-to-sofa windows down the full length. If you are hangin’ out here in a secluded anchorage in Double Haven (Hong Kong) or Phang Nga Bay (Thailand), the view is going to be a big part of the onboard experience.

Long sofa seating travels down both sides of the saloon, leading to a proper bar on starboard (applause, please, for a bar in an entertaining area) and straight through into the dining area which is not huge – deliberately – and is separated from the saloon only by a decorative screen feature. And there’s a day head, right there.

The pilot house is ever-so-slightly raised, giving the helmsman an excellent level of visibility, but we are heading down below. Here there are two double cabins, one in the bow and the other to port. Both feature walk-around beds and en suite bathrooms, and in terms of actual measured size, they are almost identical. Which one is the Master and which the Guest is anyone’s guess. There’s also a twin-berth tucked neatly into a remaining corner, with over-and-under bunk beds at right angles to each other. It’s a delightfully quirky arrangement, and definitely a place for the kids, young or old.

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The lower deck also features the canapé-sized galley. The description is intentional – this is not a unit designed to turn out 12-course banquets. If you want one of those, you need the 870 ‘standard version’. This is the support base for the bar upstairs, big enough for a fridge full of champagne and a chef turning out the amuse bouches non-stop.

And then, just where you expected to find the full-beam owner’s suite, there is the playroom. Call it a karaoke lounge if you like, call it a cinema, call it a mahjong room. It is designed to be all of the above. The leather paneled walls, along with the striking and thoroughly tasteful Fendi upholstery, exude richness and warmth, making this a very unique sea-going ‘den’. The high end video and AV systems are complemented by the color-pulsed lighting system to make this a perfect party pad. Plus, of course, you can switch off all the fun stuff if you must, and this becomes a meeting room or conference center, or anything else serious that you might have in mind.

Lastly, head all the way upstairs to the flybridge. ‘Top decks’ are popular in Asia. This is where you get best view when cruising the coast on a glorious summer’s day, and where you get the wind-in-the-hair look (just like in the brochure). There’s also plenty of room for lounging up here, as well as storage space for the tender. Best of all, to beat the searing rays of the midday sun, is the retractable sunroof; now you see it, now you don’t.

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When it comes to designing for the Asia market, Ferretti seem to try harder than most. We like people that listen: if they don’t, we might as well be writing in the dark. Ferretti are listening to the market, to the owners and prospective owners, to the weather forecast and even to the media! Maybe being owned by Weichai Holdings has something to do with it. The 870 Tai He Ban is a class act; handsomely designed to purpose, and delivered with proper Italian style, quality and panache. It is a boat that deserves to be a real winner in Asia.

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Story Credits

Text and Photography By Guy Nowell

Jack Ma

China now has more billionaires than US

Jack Ma

The number of billionaires in China has overtaken that of the United States for the first time, an annual survey said Thursday, despite slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Communist-ruled China now has 596 billionaires, up a “staggering” 242 over the last year, Shanghai-based luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report said, surpassing the 537 Americans.

“Despite the slowdown in the economy, China’s richest have defied gravity, recording their best year ever,” Hurun Report Chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said in a statement.

Real estate and entertainment magnate Wang Jianlin dethroned founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Jack Ma as the country’s richest person, Hurun’s annual wealth ranking showed.

Wang Jianlin

Wang, who founded conglomerate Wanda, saw his fortune jump more than 50% to $34.4 billion, helped by a surge in the stock price of a listed unit.

Wang is known outside China for a string of overseas acquisitions including the organiser of Ironman extreme endurance contests, Swiss sports marketing group Infront, and a stake in football club Atletico Madrid.

He burst into the spotlight in 2012 by buying US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion.

Zong Qinghou

Wang took the top spot back from Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, because of a collapse in the Internet company’s New York-quoted shares, which were the world’s biggest initial public offering when it listed last year. Ma’s wealth still stands at $22.7 billion.

Beverage tycoon Zong Qinghou of Wahaha remained in third place with just over $21 billion while Pony Ma, founder of Internet giant Tencent which operates popular messaging app WeChat, took fourth place with a little under $19 billion.

Lei Jun

Lei Jun of smartphone maker Xiaomi, which is seeking to challenge Apple, jumped 5 places to fifth by doubling his wealth to more $14 billion.

Yan Hao of road builder China Pacific Construction was sixth while the founder of search engine giant Baidu, Robin Li, dropped to seventh amid worries over his company’s huge spending to expand its business.

Baidu CEO Robin Li

Sheraton Chuzhou Hotel

First Sheraton Hotel opens for business in Chuzhou

Sheraton Chuzhou Hotel

Starwood Hotels & Resorts recently announced its debut in Chuzhou, a city in Anhui Province, China, with the opening of Sheraton Chuzhou Hotel.

The hotel features 348 contemporary rooms and suites, featuring all of the brand’s signature amenities and a wide range of on-property facilities.

Chuzhou

Chuzhou is situated in the east of China in the Anhui Province and the site for the new hotel was selected to ensure that visitors, whether traveling for business or pleasure are close to both the central business district and to historic sites such as Zhu Yuanzhang’s imperial tomb.

The Sheraton Chuzhou Hotel

“The opening of the first Sheraton hotel in Chuzhou underscores Starwood’s continued commitment to aggressively expanding its footprint in the region and builds on the Sheraton brand’s long legacy as a first-mover in markets across China and Asia Pacific,” said Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Sheraton Chuzhou Hotel Shine Spa

As well as a fitness center, the hotel offers an indoor pool, spa and two restaurants.

Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship

Norwegian Cruise Line designs Chinese ship

Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship

 is building its first ship completely customized for the Chinese market.

The ship will feature accommodations, cuisine and onboard experiences that cater to the unique vacation preferences of Chinese guests, CEO Frank Del Rio announced yesterday during the CruiseWorld China summit.

The vessel will be the second of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class and will have a capacity of 4,200 guests. Chinese guests will be able to experience fine Mandarin, Cantonese and Continental dining and various entertainment options.

Additional details, including the ship’s name, homeport, accommodations, dining and entertainment will be shared in the coming months.

brave men bridge

China’s new glass bridge tests courage of tourists

brave men bridge

China’s first glass suspension bridge, which dangles 180 metres (594 feet) over a canyon in the central Hunan province, has terrified thousands of visitors since opening two weeks ago.

“I’m afraid to look down. I can only look straight ahead,” said one young woman crossing the 300-metre long structure.

Visitors were apparently not put off the experience despite news this week of cracks appearing on a glass walkway over a canyon in nearby Henan province, reportedly because someone dropped a stainless steel cup on it. Authorities insisted it was still safe.

China new glass bridge

Visitors flocked to the Hunan glass bridge, in a scenic area of Pingjiang county, where officials were forced to impose a cap of 10,000 people a day during recent holidays.

The glass-bottomed bridge, which replaced a wooden walkway, opened on September 24 — just in time for China’s week-long National Day holiday.

China first glass suspension bridge

As dozens of people trudged across the bridge it shook underfoot and photos posted online showed some visitors kneeling or crouching on the transparent surface, too scared to move.

The structure is made from two layers of hardened glass with a total thickness of 24 millimetres (0.9 inches), according to state media.

1921 gucci menu

Gucci Restaurant Opens in Shanghai

1921 gucci menu

Gucci recently opened its first full-service restaurant in Shanghai, China.

With this new culinary destination, called the “1921 Gucci Café,” Gucci is paying tribute to its history, referencing the year of the label’s foundation.

Gucci has chosen one of Shanghai’s most popular commercial avenues for its first restaurant. Located on the fourth floor of the IAPM luxury shopping mall on Huaihai Lu, the 1921 Gucci Café took two years to complete and is accessible by means of an elevator from the Gucci store in the mall.

Epicureans will step into a décor that perfectly reflects the iconic brand’s style. With elegantly done-up interiors in gold shades and full of velvet, every inch of the place radiates Gucci style; the 1921 Gucci logo is stamped on everything from menus to cutlery to napkins.

Thousands of miles from its native land, Gucci is nonetheless sticking to its roots when it comes to the food. The menu is high on Italian cuisine but the restaurant offers a wide range of options to satiate foodie cravings.

Chinese gourmands will thus have the chance to experience authentic bruschetta, made with marinated tomatoes, garlic and basil.

The pasta options are an obvious highlight, especially the spaghetti with mussels, urchins and calamari. Prices start at 150 yuan for a two-course lunch, 300 yuan at dinner (just under $50).

Although 1921 Gucci Café is the brand’s first full-service restaurant, there is a Gucci-themed cafe in Florence attached to the Gucci museum, which opened in 2011 to celebrate the label’s 90th anniversary. 

Gucci Museo Caffe Restaurant

First Six Senses resort opens in Chengdu, China

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, has opened a new property in the Qing Cheng Mountains in Chengdu province, China.

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain spa

Set at the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage & Natural Cultural site at Dujiangyan, the Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain offers 113 guest rooms and suites ranging from semi-detached suites in duplex villas with balconies and verandas, to courtyard suites, and garden and pool villas.

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain bedroom

A collection of four suites may open on to a central courtyard, enabling them to be individually occupied or grouped into a private community compound for friends and family.

Read More @ adelto.co.uk

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain bathroomSix Senses Qing Cheng Mountain suite Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain bar  Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain bridge

Remy Martin Connected Bottle

Remy Martin to export ‘smart’ cognac to China

Remy Martin Connected Bottle

Chinese consumers concerned about counterfeit cognac will soon be able to verify the authenticity of a bottle of Remy Martin via their cellphone.

The “smart” bottle of Remy Martin Club Connected Cognac, sold only in China, will be available in the coming months in “nightclubs in three big Chinese cities”, said Florence Puech, a spokeswoman for the firm.

DON’T MISS: THE WORLD’S BEST COGNAC BARS

Consumers can download a special app onto their smartphones, developed in partnership with Selinko — a technology company — which will communicate with a chip in the bottle cap.

The technology will allow them to ensure the bottle has never been opened as well as other information about its content.

It also has a marketing component, allowing cognac connoisseurs to join a fidelity programme.

China is one of Remy Martin’s key markets, along with the United States. French people do not consume a lot of cognac and most of the liquor produced in the country is exported.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift creating fashion line for Chinese market

Taylor Swift

JD.com has announced that it will soon be offering a new fashion line that US singer Taylor Swift has designed especially for the Chinese market.

The line will include dresses, sweatshirts and tops that the company says will be high-quality and will be available next month on JD.com.

Created by Swift with Heritage66 Company, which focuses specifically on US artists looking to expand their reach in China, it will be an exclusive to the Chinese market and was designed with local consumers in mind.

JD.com is to be the first authorized seller of Taylor Swift merchandise in China via its new platform “U.S. Mall,” through which Chinese consumers wil be able to buy goods from US brands.

shanghai tower China

Shanghai Tower nears completion

shanghai tower China

The Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world, is nearing completion.

Located in the Pudong financial district, the 632m tower composed of 128 floors is a striking addition to the Shanghai landscape.

CHINA’S SKYSCRAPERS TO OFFER LUXURY HOTELS

Composed of a tapering outer skin of glass and steel that wraps itself around the building’s circular core, Gensler, the American firm behind the design, claims this twisting shape reduces wind load on the building by 24%, thus saving approximately $58 million in steel and structure costs.

While still dwarfed by the 829.2m Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Shanghai Tower is now Asia’s tallest skyscraper and a bold statement about the country’s economic prosperity going forward in the 21st century.

A soft opening of Shanghai Tower has seen some tenants allowed into the building to conduct interior construction. An official public opening has yet to be announced but is expected sometime this autumn.

bordeaux wine

China recognises ‘Bordeaux’

bordeaux wine

After a four-year struggle, France has convinced China to recognise “Bordeaux” as a brand in a bid to combat counterfeit wines.

France has been in talks with China since 2011 to recognise the Bordeaux “appellation” — a legally defined and protected geographical marker used to identify where grapes are grown.

BOOMING CHINA IS NUMBER ONE BORDEAUX IMPORTER

China’s recognition, announced Tuesday on the first of a three-day visit by Prime Minister Li Keqiang — was a “historic advance” in the battle to stop fake Bordeaux wines being sold in Asia.

The appellations system “promotes quality productions rooted in our territory,” the agricultural ministry said in a statement.

The two countries are discussing around 100 geographical labels from both countries as part of wide-ranging trade talks.

bordeaux wine map

Armani Casa project Beijing

Armani to design luxury residences in Beijing

Armani Casa project Beijing

Armani Casa has signed a deal with the Smart Hero Group to develop a residential project in Beijing, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reports.

Architect Ma Yansong has been signed up to design an eco building comprising several apartments, with Armani creating the amenities and common areas.

Armani Casa project Beijing China

“I’m very happy to collaborate on the development of this complex in Beijing, one of the most charming cities in the world,” Giorgio Armani told the publication. “The Chinese concept of ‘Union of Nature and Man’ perfectly fits the aesthetic I developed for Armani/Casa, which constantly aspires at creating a sense of harmony inside the indoor spaces while respecting their natural context.”

The brand has previously worked on projects including the Century Spire complex in Makati, Philippines and the World Towers in Mumbai.

Alibaba.com advertising

China’s Alibaba launches Internet bank

Alibaba.com advertising

Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba on Thursday launched an Internet bank aimed at serving small businesses which often struggle to obtain credit from large banks.

MYbank, which is 30% owned by Alibaba-linked Ant Financial Services Group, will offer loans of up to 5 million yuan ($800,000).

The bank, based in Hangzhou where Alibaba is headquartered, added it will serve “small businesses, individual consumers and rural users.”

Alibaba completed the world’s biggest IPO last September with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange that raked in $25 billion and made founder Jack Ma one of China’s richest men.

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Mercedes-Maybach rolling out the door in China

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Mercedes-Benz is selling almost as many Maybach cars in China each month as it used to sell worldwide in a year, when it targeted the super-rich with a stand-alone model.

Chinese buyers are snapping up about 500 a month of the ultra-luxury variant of the Mercedes S-Class, which starts at about 1.44 million yuan ($230,000) in China. That compares to a peak of 600 Maybach cars in 2003, which at the time cost more than $350,000.

Daimler revived Maybach as a Mercedes sub-brand this year to chase the wealthiest buyers, people who otherwise might have considered a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley.

The Mercedes-Maybach adds legroom and opulent options such as hand-made silver-plated champagne goblets to the standard S-Class.

The effort appears to be working. Mercedes started selling Maybach in China in February as part of a push to catch up with BMW and Audi in the world’s largest auto market, which is suffering a slowdown.

Mercedes sales rose 20 percent last month, driven not just by Maybach but also by its compact cars and sport utility vehicles.

Read the rest of the story  @ Bloomberg

Carina Lau

Carina Lau launches online wine, champagne brand

Carina Lau

Hong Kong movie star Carina Lau (刘嘉玲) on Wednesday launched her own online wine and champagne brand at the world’s biggest wine and spirits fair Vinexpo in southern France.

Going on sale in China on the Alibaba website under the name of the Chinese-born actress are six top-end Bordeaux and four other wines from the region as well as two Moutard champagnes and a sparkling wine.

“It’s an important day for me and my company Carina international e-commerce limited,” said the actress who married movie star Tony Leung in 2008. “My first products are red wine and champagne but it will be introducing many more other products under my brand.”

280,000 bottles of the top-end Bordeaux wines will be offered in a pre-sale launch with the four vintages from the Haut-Medoc, Margaux and Saint Emilion available later following the official launch of sales in Shanghai.

Carina Lau, 49, already has cosmetics, fashion and jewellery brands and owns 17 nightclubs.

Since about 2008, wealthy Chinese investors have snapped up more than 20 chateaux in the Bordeaux region.

Download the Epicurio app on iTunes or Google Play now, to learn more about wines and purchase your very own bottle, today

OPUS HONG KONG

Most expensive flat in Asia sold in Hong Kong: Report

OPUS HONG KONG

Swire Properties has sold a duplex apartment at Opus Hong Kong in Mid-Levels for HK$497 million, setting a record as Asia’s most expensive flat. [Update: A new record holder has emerged]

The 5,188 sq ft duplex flat A, on the ground and first floors of Opus Hong Kong at 53 Stubbs Road and including two car parking spaces, was sold yesterday at HK$95,971 per square foot.

Interior of Opus Hong Kong

That breaks the previous record for price per square foot, set in April, when Wang Shuang, paid HK$93,000 per square foot for a HK$433.8 million home on the 45th floor of 39 Conduit Road.

Opus Hong Kong

The Opus duplex has 5,188 sq ft of saleable area and a 3,245 sq ft garden which is not included in the saleable area. It has a 36 sq ft balcony and 113 sq ft of verandah.

Opus Hong Kong apartment

Opus, a 12-storey super- deluxe property completed in 2012, is dubbed Hong Kong’s most expensive apartment block.

Opus Hong Kong view

It is Frank Gehry’s first residential building in Asia and features an unusual twisted shape. Each unit has floor-to-ceiling windows and commands 360-degree views of Victoria Harbour and Mount Cameron.

Opus Hong Kong exterior

Source: PropGOluxury via SCMP

tripadvisor china

TripAdvisor launches rebrand of Chinese site

tripadvisor china

To cater to the world’s fastest growing tourism market, TripAdvisor has launched a new global brand for Chinese-speaking travelers.

From now on, Chinese users will know TripAdvisor as Mao Tu Ying, which means ‘owl’ and ‘journey’ in English, as part of the company’s aim to unify its three Chinese language sites under a single global brand.

Currently, TripAdvisor operates three separate sites: one for users in Taiwan, one for residents in mainland China (daodao.com), as well as a recently launched site written in international simplified Chinese for the benefit of the Chinese diaspora living outside mainland China.

TripAdvisor’s new Chinese name is phonetic word play that combines the Chinese characters for owl and journey. The literal translation, however, can be interpreted as “Experience the world through different perspectives.”

The move comes amid travel forecasts predicting that mainland Chinese travelers will grow from 110 million to a staggering 230 million by 2020.

NetDragon headquarters

VIDEO: Chinese millionaire builds Star Trek office

NetDragon headquarters

China’s online gaming operator NetDragon has its headquarters modeled after the Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise, new reports have confirmed.

The Y600m ($97m USD), six-floor building near Changle, southeast China, was made with the agreement of US rights holder CBS, reports the Wall Street Journal; NetDragon founder Liu Dejian is a big fan of the series.

NetDragon headquarters China

Construction started in 2010, with the building opening in May 2014; also contained within its halls is a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

The company runs a number of MMOs, including “Disney Fantasy Online,” as well as mobile apps that cover enterprise productivity, 3D home remodeling and weather reports.

glass-bottomed bridge

China set to open world’s highest glass-bottomed bridge

glass-bottomed bridge

China is set to become home to the tallest, longest, and, arguably, scariest pedestrian bridge in the world, when construction of a glass-bottomed bridge is complete in the national park that inspired the floating mountains from the James Cameron film “Avatar.”

Hovering a dizzying 300 meters (984 feet) above the ground, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge will span 380 meters (1,247 feet) in length and 6 meters (20 feet) wide.

Zhangjiajie National Park

Designed by Tel Aviv-based architectural firm Haim Dotan Ltd., the bridge can accommodate up to 800 people and will feature the world’s highest bungee jump. Designers also envision the bridge as a dramatic catwalk for fashion shows.

Lead architect Haim Dotan said the design is meant to work seamlessly with nature, make the least impact on its surroundings and give visitors the sense of floating in mid-air.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge

Construction of the bridge will be complete in July and the official opening is set for October.

Sephora flagship Shanghai

Sephora to launch flagship site in China

Sephora flagship Shanghai

Cosmetics giant Sephora is set to launch a flagship retail site in China.

The beauty boutique, part of the LVMH Group, is collaborating with the Chinese e-tailer JD.com on the project. The site will be JD’s largest yet, encompassing over 1,200 products from over 70 different beauty brands including Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, Benefit and Kenzoki.

DON’T MISS: SEPHORA OPENS SHANGHAI FLAGSHIP

President of Sephora Asia Anne Veronique Bruel said that authenticity was an issue when choosing the right partner for the project.

“Sephora is renowned for its beauty solutions from the world’s best brands,” she said. “I am confident that together we will be able to provide Chinese consumers with a truly world-class online shopping experience, without the worry of counterfeits.”

The site will be Sephora’s first move into the Chinese e-commerce market, proving how far the French brand has come since it was founded in 1969.

The brand now sells over 200 world-class brands including its own label, Sephora Collection, and features more than 10,000 unique products across makeup, skincare, perfume, hair care, body care, professional tools and more. It comprises 2,000 retail locations in 32 countries.