The destination—already known as a Chinese tourist hot spot for its beaches and golfing—will soon encompass Golden Pebble Winery, which will include a full-production winery, boutique hotel, commercial village and residential villas. Designed by SB Architects, the same firm that designed Napa Valley’s Calistoga Ranch, the complex will feature a similar design that blurs the line between indoor and outdoor space, making the property one of the most sought after wineries in China. Large meeting rooms will have large openings that extend onto decadent patios, and the tasting room will extend onto an outdoor lawn. The complex will also feature an extensive farm-to-table program. In addition to winery tours and tastings, there will be a variety of crops harvested for cooking-school activities and tourist events for groups.
“This particular project could be a high-end draw for smaller groups focused on internal communications and workshops,” says Bruce Wright, principal, SB Architects. “As the first winery in the province, developers will be watching the success of the project. If there’s a lot of draw, I think they’ll find a number of folks interested in the same idea.”
The winery is slated for completion in 2016. The 180- to 200-room hotel would follow as a third phase of the project. China’s major seaport city of Qingdao recently debuted one of its first lifestyle hotels: the 208-room Himalayas Qingdao Hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts. The property opened in March in the seaside Laoshan District at the foot of Mt. Lao, the highest coastal mountain in the country. Not only does the hotel offer high-end amenities—for instance, all guests are welcomed by an Audi limousine pick-up service—but its design incorporates the area’s cultural heritage as well.
Mt. Lao is highly revered in China as one of the birthplaces of Taoism, a philosophical, ethical and religious tradition that has had a heavy influence on Chinese culture. At the height of Taoism worship, the mountain served as home to about 1,000 monks and nuns. That spiritual tradition has a strong influence on the hotel’s design, which features the mountain’s natural lodestones, said to possess healing properties for the body as well as good luck, according to Jenny Wang, director of sales and marketing at the property. The design also incorporates the city’s fishing history, with metal, chainmail nets hang from the ceiling in the bar. Guests can meet in the property’s 10,000 sf of meeting space or venture offsite to Zendai Thumb Plaza, a major shopping, dining and entertainment area formed by part of the hotel.