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21 December 2009 - GLOBAL TIMES

The Hilton hotel may have opened during a difficult time for Beijing but that hasn't affected its dedicated approach to its customers – and now they intend to focus on putting on a very special Christmas for their guests.

Established just after the Olympics as the financial crisis began to take hold of China, the Hilton staff always knew their beginning was going to be more difficult than usual. "After the Olympics were finished, there was always going to be a downturn and we expected that in Beijing," says Nils-Arne Schroeder. But though the credit crunch came as an unexpected extra, Schroeder and his team have concentrated on not letting it affect their service, ensuring that they built up a loyal customer base. And it worked: "after the peak of this crisis passed, we began to see a rise in our occupancy rates. You cannot cut your services, because the customer will feel it," Schroeder added.

With the winning of four awards at the industry's highly prestigious World Travel Awards earlier in November, the Hilton seems to have hit its stride. The two most prestigious prizes awarded were World's Leading Lifestyle and Leading Asian City Resort. "City resort is a crazy name," Schroeder laughs. "It's not like you're in front of a beach. But when people come in here from a noisy, frozen atmosphere, they will often calm down immediately."

Cozy Christmas
The whole of the Hilton's top floor will be given over to creating the right atmo-sphere for the Christmas period. Unlike other hotels, which place an emphasis on loud, communal partying, the Hilton is catering to those seeking a quiet Christmas. "We tend to make it very much an intimate, stylish affair," explained Schroeder. The hotel will be offering smaller groups and families the chance to relax and spend time on their own with their intimate others. The cosy atmosphere is in keeping with their new resort award, as they wish their clients to enjoy a setting as comfortable and familiar as home. The fifth floor restaurant, Vasco, offers fine Portugese dining and the opportunity to sip Taittinger while listening to the smooth melodies of resident jazz band Casablanca. For those who wish to enjoy a peaceful and private Christmas this year, the Hilton promises to not disappoint.



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