Hey! If you're not trapped in the gridlock of the anticipated 2.556 billion passenger trips going down this Chinese New Year, well then—gong xi fa cai!! This year has been (and will be) especially tough on New Year's travelers, so if you find yourself stuck in an endless line, biting your nails as you wait to see whether you'll get that seat on a Naked Running Man.
(Apparently if you strip down to your boxers and throw a fit, the tickets you need might magically materialize. Go streakers!)
A more dignified option, of course, would be to simply take advantage of what some of China's finest hotels are offering. This option isn't as adventurous or dramatic as the Fruit of the Looms temper tantrum strategy linked to above, but promises to be steeped in luxury, creature comforts, relaxation and delectably fine dining. Read on if you think that might work for you.
The Peninsula hotels have been offering some great enticements lately and Chinese New Year is no exception. On offer right now are two promotions: Winter Escapes and The Suite Life (valid through March 31, 2011).
At the Peninsula Beijing, the Winter Escapes offer includes an RMB 1,288 room rate which includes a choice from such perks as an RMB 400 spa credit (redeemable at any ESPA), daily buffet breakfast or afternoon tea for two, and complimentary airport transfers. For those who can't make do without the utmost in luxury and attention to detail, The Suite Life offers a night in a suite at RMB 4,500, the second night: gratis.
The Hong Kong, Winter Escapes costs HKD 4,260 and The Suite Life HKD 12,800.
If you're planning an escape from the big city and the racket of its attendant New Year fireworks fusillade consider the Shanghai in Kunshan, Jiangsu province. A mere RMB 1,300 gets you a 5-star room with a free upgrade as well as 20% discounts at the Willow Stream Spa, free cooking lessons and RMB 200 credit towards hotel food and beverage outlets.
Another good option for staying outside of city limits is the Sheshan National Tourism Park, this French luxury resort features a landscape of lush gardens and blue lagoons. It'll cost you RMB 1,688 to stay the night, but with that comes an RMB 500 cash voucher for dining at Vie All Day Dining Restaurant, Fukami Japanese Restaurant and M Mediterranean Restaurant. You'll also receive an RMB 500 cash voucher for expenses at So SPA or the So FIT health club.
Down in sunny Sanya, it's too late to catch SeaTurtles911 and the Ritz Carlton Sanya'sturtle release ceremony but there are plenty of other activities happening to keep you busy. Kids can have fun making dumplings and finding their fortunes when they open their "lucky stars,"
handed out by the hotel's own god of wealth. There will also be dragon and lion dances, excellent Cantonese meals and delightful spa specials. Two indulgent hours at ESPA (RMB 1,288) see you kneaded with aromatic essential oils before being treated with a rejuvenating facial.
Down the beach at the Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay Resort & Spa they're keeping things very uncomplicated ...
... here it's all about leaving time to focus on the resort's spectacular surroundings. Right now enjoy the privacy and luxury of the Pullman's spacious Nanyang, Myanmar and Thai villas, which come in one to three bedroom configurations, starting at just RMB 5,000.
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong wants you starting the New Year feeling golden, and they mean that quite literally! The glamorous Gold Body Treatment at the Oriental Spa is a sugar scrub enriched with real gold particles. They'll soften your skin and deliver a soothing massage using healing love-rose quartz crystals and gold-enriched ylang-ylang oil, leaving the body soothed, hydrated and radiant with a lightly golden shimmer. This 240-minute spa package is priced at HKD2,280 and available till 10 February 2011.
Beijing's super-chic nouveau-retro designer-dream-come-true Hotel G doesn't want you to spend New Year's in last year's hotel, that's why they're enticing us all stay a little longer by offering their Stay 3 Get 1 Free Winter Offer, the fourth night's on them! You'll also get complimentary daily buffet breakfasts for two, including after your free fourth night.
Finally Shanghai's PuLi Hotel and Spa, a perennial award-winner and one of China's most celebrated luxury urban resorts, is now offering its Chinese New Year Kick Off Package (valid to 18 February 2011). Included for RMB 2,888 are a Chinese New Year meal for 2, a complimentary bottle of red wine, a free room upgrade and complimentary use of the hotel's health facilities.
For those more interested in the PuLi's legendary spa offerings there is the Asian Romance treatment. This involves a floral foot ritual, healing boreh, oriental healing massage, Thai herbal compress and special roselle honey tea. These unforgettable 120 minutes of pampering are now just RMB 2,800 for couples and RMB 1,588 for singles. Compared to the usual price of RMB 4,300 and RMB 2,150.
Now if we could only find a way to hook naked running man up with one of these deals, I'm sure we could get him to throw his pants back on...