With the most exciting location in Guangzhou, Four Seasons is part of Pearl River New City, a large-scale business and cultural district, right at the river’s edge.

Built around Flower City Square, the development features a total of 39 buildings, including offices, residences, hotels and cultural landmarks, such as an opera house, library and museum. The area also hosts a number of consulates, including Australia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Israel, Italy, Russia and Spain – with the United States arriving in 2013. The architecture is cutting-edge and definitely worth exploring.

Ask the Four Seasons concierge for a map, but here’s our quick introduction to some of the sights.

1. FLOWER CITY SQUARE

At the heart of Pearl River New City is the beautifully landscaped Flower City Square, named to celebrate Guangzhou’s reputation as a flower capital. China’s largest urban park, rivalling New York’s Central Park in size, the square measures over 560,000 m2 (6 million sq. ft.). Regarded as the new “living room” of the city, the square is home to a man-made lake, a large fountain and over 600 trees. At the northern tip are five flower islands – three devoted to cherry trees and two to peach trees.

2. MALL OF THE WORLD

Located beneath Flower City Square, the Mall of the World is the entertainment centerpiece of the new district – a lively gathering place created by the Lan Kwai Fong Group, renowned for Hong Kong’s popular nightclub area. With over 150,000 m2 (1,614,586 sq. ft.) upon completion, this internationally inspired mall combines shopping, dining and recreation, including a 3D IMAX cinema. Take a look inside!

3. GUANGZHOU INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CENTER

Home to Four Seasons and high-profile office space, the 103-storey Guangzhou International Finance Center (IFC Guangzhou) soars as one of the world’s 10 highest skyscrapers. The three-sided design reduces wind load so the building remains stable in high gusts, while the rounded corners ensure a quiet building by reducing the sound caused by air moving around sharp corners – a common problem among rectangular buildings. The diamond patterns visible through the buildings all glass exterior are “diagrid” beams – concrete-filled tubes that provide a lighter method of construction.

4. SECOND CHILDREN’S PALACE OF GUANGZHOU

In China, a children’s palace is a government-funded recreation centre, offering extra-curricular learning in music, foreign languages, computing skills and sports. The city’s second Children’s Palace is a two-tower, seven-storey facility, including classrooms for computers, art, 3D animation, calligraphy, drumming and dance. The top floor is an international communication hall, while the main floor features a children’s museum – said to be the first in China. It’s a delight to watch the weekend parade of parents and grandparents escorting their small ones to the facility.

5. GUANGZHOU OPERA HOUSE

Designed by cult-status architect Zaha Hadid, the Guangzhou Opera House is a futuristic interpretation of two smooth rocks washed ashore beside the Pearl River. The complex houses both a 1,800-seat auditorium and a smaller 400-seat hall. Four Seasons can arrange tours exploring this important landmark in the city’s cultural evolution. Check out these incredible photographs.

6. GUANGZHOU HAIXINSHA PARK

At the southern tip of Flower City Square, Haixinsha Park is located on an island in the Pearl River. The focal point is Haixinsha Stadium, built for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 16th Asian Games in 2010. With 40,000 seats, the open-air stadium still hosts cultural, entertainment and ceremonial events. The adjoining park includes a large fountain that puts on breathtaking water displays. The island is a popular place for strolling – particularly at night when the towering skylines on both sides of the river are spectacularly lit. There’s a small admission fee, and tours are available.

7. GUANGDONG NEW MUSEUM

This impressive museum was inspired by an antique Chinese lacquer box, designed to hold a collection of precious objects. The intention is to give a complete picture of Guangdong Province’s customs, culture and history. There are five major exhibition halls with a collection of over 130,000 exhibits. Among the historic treasures are some 23,000 ancient porcelains and 6,000 paintings.

8. GUANGZHOU CITY NEW LIBRARY

Recently opened, this eight-storey, stone-clad library resembles a giant pile of books. Like a huge department store of books and media, the collection amounts to four million volumes – twice as many as the old library. Unlike other major libraries, most of the books will be readily accessible to the public. The library is expected to receive some 10,000 readers on a daily basis and even 15,000 readers during peak hours.

For reservations or more information, contact your travel consultant, call 86 (20) 8883-3888, or visit our web site.

More posts from January 2012