Cloud City on the Pearl

“You truly belong here with us among the clouds.” – Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back

Occupying the top third of the diamond-clad IFC tower, the Four Seasons Guangzhou symbolizes the city’s aspirations and newfound glamour.

The 45 second elevator ride to the 70th floor of the IFC Tower sweeps guests into a fantasy world of energetic light, dreamy clouds, and dashing colors. Named The Atrium for the thirty floor high chamber that rises to a glass crescendo above, the lobby lounge is the ideal platform for viewing local luminaries and ladies about to lunch. It also showcases some of the art work for which the hotel is gaining renown. Defining the lobby is a triumphant red piece Australian by sculptor Matthew Harding that symbolizes eternity, while the rooms and other public areas feature ink paintings by Wu Xiao, sculptures by Qu Guangci and other established artists.

From eel-skin walls and Armani leather couches in Japanese restaurant Kumoi to giant fish tails made from mother-of-pearl at seafood restaurant Catch, no expense was spared in creating these magnanimous spaces. Eight and nine are the luckiest numbers for Chinese. Thus, few points are more auspicious for cocktail hour or high tea than the 99th floor of this, the world’s 88th Four Seasons to open. The Executive Lounge and Tian Bar provide breathtaking panoramas of the miniature world below or, frequently, the tips of cranes peering out through the clouds. Especially for those not staying in the hotel – every single one of the 344 rooms, including 42 suites has a stunning view – the Four Seasons is an essential destination for viewing Guangzhou. Why pay 160 RMB to ascend the TV Tower, lying opposite on the south side of the river, when an artfully mixed champagne cocktail awaits at the same elevation in the Four Seasons?

Guangzhou may only have one long, humid, season and the same subtropical appearance throughout the year, but the Four Seasons clearly delineates spring, summer, winter and autumn in its design and artwork. Every six guest floors represents a different season, as reflected in the decor. However, the consistent feature throughout the hotel is a theme of clouds and dragons that appears on carpets, elevator doors and in furniture in the room elevator. Now a showcase work for esteemed US interior design firm Hirsch Bedner & Associates (HBA), the Four Seasons Guangzhou shows the way traditional Chinese elements can fused with the latest in contemporary design and feel playful and fashionable.

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A focal point of Guangzhou life: the 30 floor atrium Four Seasons 3 Cloud City on the Pearl Cloud City on the Pearl Four Seasons 3
White supporting beams and views of the TV tower feature throughout Four Seasons 4 Cloud City on the Pearl Cloud City on the Pearl Four Seasons 4
Outside the Cantonese restaurant, an artist’s impression Go phenomenon Nie Weiping defeating his former teacher Fujisawa Hideyuki at the China-Japan Supermatches Four Seasons 5 Cloud City on the Pearl Cloud City on the Pearl Four Seasons 5
Carpets with a cloud pattern match the views from the hotel Four Seasons 6 Cloud City on the Pearl Cloud City on the Pearl Four Seasons 6
Catch, the Western-style seafood restaurant by famous HongKong designer Steve Leung, is already a favored place for locals to make wedding proposals. “Yes” is guaranteed in this atmosphere. Four Seasons 7 Cloud City on the Pearl Cloud City on the Pearl Four Seasons 7
The bar at Tian Bar is cut from a single 8-meter piece of rare, multi-coloured agate.

Photos: The

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