Living la dolce vita on a former Soviet carrier


There’s something utterly incongruous about the setup, but a Chinese company is opening a luxury hotel on board a retired Kiev-class Soviet aircraft carrier.

That’s right. One of these:

The Kiev, now home to a Chinese luxury hotel. // Photo courtesy Binhai Aircraft.

Has bedrooms like these:

One of the hotel's three presidential suites, the largest of which is 400 square meters. // Photo courtesy Binhai Aircraft.

And lounges like these:

The lounge of another presidential suite. // Photo courtesy Binhai Aircraft.

Crazy, no? The country that starved or killed millions in the name of communist purity and military dominance collapses, sells a carrier (in 1996) to a company in China (a former enemy) that, in 2004, turns the carrier into a tourist attraction — a military theme park that features a hotel aimed at a “high-end clientele.”

This is begging for a Hollywood script.

The company developed the hotel concept in response to requests from visitors hoping to spend the night in a former officer’s or sailor’s room. There are 148 rooms, still being finished, in addition to three lavish presidential suites that look like something out of a Las Vegas penthouse.

So, no guests yet — it’s slated to open sometime this year. But visitors can now, by appointment, dine in “the world’s first Western restaurant on an aircraft carrier.”

The Kiev hotel's 30-seat restaurant. Dig that color scheme!// Photo courtesy of Binhai Aircraft.

Don’t go expecting French or Italian cuisine, however. It’s Russian food.

Here’s the story, courtesy of CNN International.


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