International expensive hotels are popping up in China faster than ever, but wealthy Chinese and foreign travelers have indicated a new desire for accommodation — somewhere more historic, alternative and unusual… like a former Soviet aircraft carrier converted into a luxury hotel by its owners. A restaurant was added too.
Kiev was built in 1972 and subsequently purchased by China in 1996. Since 2004 Kiev is the main part of the Binhai Aircraft military themed park in Tianjin. Paid 160 CNY visitors may see the ship itself, different types of weapons and military equipment and some unpretentious shows.
Having a lot of unused space in 2011 the aircraft carrier has been partially converted into 137 standard hotel rooms, three VIP guest rooms, two presidential suites. The largest suite occupies 400 square meters. Until now the majority of the hotel rooms aren’t finished. When it is done sometime in 2012 the aircraft carrier hotel will serve as a unique experience for a high-end clientele though it will not be ranked by stars because the hotel will not meet some standards: it won’t have a swimming pool or a gym.
On December 22, 2011 Binhai Aircraft opened a luxury restaurant calling it “the world’s first Western restaurant on an aircraft carrier”. Made in black, green and white colors, the 30-seat restaurant pays tribute to the Kiev’s heritage by serving mostly Russian dishes: borsch, pelmeni, pancakes on so on. Musicians in traditional Russian costumes complete the atmosphere. Reported, now the aircraft carrier restaurant is receiving guests by appointment.