(Suzhou, August 28, 2007) — The historic Garden Hotel Suzhou, a former State guest house and private residence of Kuomingtang leader Chiang Kai-shek which has emerged from a 260 million RMB makeover as a premier 5-star business hotel in the 'Venice of the East', is officially open today.

The elegant revamp by Guotai International Group has transformed the 4-storey hotel with a minimalist 'home and garden' theme.

The luxurious property features 238-rooms with 93 Deluxe Rooms, an Executive Floor of 60 Executive Rooms with its own Executive Club Lounge serving coffee, tea and assorted snacks, a Presidential Suite and two Ambassador Suites.

The hotel is built from an historic Chinese manor and is steeped in history "“ having hosted over one hundred Chinese and international political leaders after becoming a state guest house in the 1950s.

The hotel's traditional Chinese gardens and historic remnants include Shanqing Buddha Hall, built by Qing Dynasty Emperor Tongzhi in 1869, which lies in the hotel grounds and was restored during the makeover.

The grandly decorated Palace of Wu District was an underground command facility which has hosted Chinese leaders including Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Zhu Rongji.

Also in the grounds is a memorial to the 1971 insurgency and the 'Famous Gardens of Suzhou', a tribute to the 1,000-year-old Wu culture.

Comprehensive conference facilities, a modern business centre, luxurious spa, gym and a boutique are incorporated in the renovation.

The most expansive woodland grounds of any hotel in Suzhou are strewn with rock formations, waterways, lily ponds and ancient trees "“ some up to 500 years old.

Among new signature restaurants, Lotus Pavilion overlooks the landscaped gardens and serves authentic Suzhou and Cantonese cuisine, fresh fish and other local and seasonal specialties from the Yangtze River.

Breezy, surrounded by a lush garden, serves a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet complemented by an international a la carte menu. Classic Western and Asian snacks are featured all day while specialties from around the world feature at lunch and dinner.

Rhythm Lounge is a casually elegant bar showcasing renowned wines and spirits from across the globe with a live band performing nightly.

In the heart of Suzhou, famed for its canals, bridges, pagodas and meticulously designed gardens, the hotel is conveniently close to both Suzhou Industrial Park and Suzhou's newest and most hi-tech Industrial Development Zone.

The Garden Hotel Suzhou is just 45 minutes from Hongqiao Airport and a 15-minute drive from the train and bus stations.

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