We all need a dose of Christmas cheer to get us through these chilly days. So we trudged over the city, snapping photos of Christmas at it's very best--in a huge lobby of a first-class hotel, with plenty of space for giant Christmas trees and choirs from local schools. We give you the highlights of our journey capturing the Christmas spirit in photographic form.
Hilton Beijing Christmas Train Launch & Tree Lighting
Christmas and charity go hand-in-hand and Hilton Beijing ended up raising RMB100,000 in donations for Project Hope to aid established Hope Schools in Northern China. Also, we dug Santa's dramatic entrance from the rooftop window. Bring the little ones out to Hilton during the Christmas season for the train cars that weave through an adorably quaint Christmas village.
Westin Beijing Chaoyang
with Westin Chaoyang's inventive spin on the usual Christmas trappings. We don't know exactly what 1920s Shanghai chic has to do with Christmas, but we really enjoyed watching the dapper men with qipao-clad beauties on their arms waltz by anyway.
The Westin Beijing Financial Street
Attending lighting ceremonies is usually a very cold affair, so we were really relieved that Westin Financial brought their Christmas lighting ceremony indoors this year. For us, the highlight of the evening had to be the kids choir in the mini Santa outfits, but these Santa-rinas look absolutely adorable too.
The Ritz-Carlton Beijing
True to their image, Ritz-Carlton held a Christmas bazaar stocked with luxury items—but we're happy to report it was for a good cause. The bazaar raised funds for Right to Play, a non-profit group dedicated to helping children in communities affected by war, poverty and disease through sport. And the visit by Santa? The kids went crazy. And actually, so did we. Just a little.
The Ritz-Carlton Financial Street
Same charitable theme, different charities. Ritz-Carlton Financial Street raised funds through a donation and auction program for Hong Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children in Western China and Sun Village, a group that supports children of incarcerated parents. Sun Village has a group here in Beijing, with others located throughout the country. We also, despite the winter chill, enjoyed their fantastic outdoor lighting ceremony.
Kempinski's European-style Christmas continues every Sunday until Christmas, so do yourself a favor and swing by Kempinski on a lazy Sunday for German stollen, mulled wine and Christmas carols. We enjoyed watching these future divas stand proud and sing loud at the opening ceremony, hopefully they will show up again in all their angelic glory.
Sofitel Wanda Beijing
The French have a way with elegant understatement. And that sense of style was on full display at Sofitel's lighting ceremony last Thursday … with one exception. Their crazy awesome Christmas tree made out of macaroons. 5,000 of them to be exact, until a poor kid stood in front for a picture and made a dozen come crashing down. We're sure it's back in tip-top shape now, and really, was a wonderful addition to the usual Christmas trimmings.