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March 16, 2011

Peninsula Highlights New Academy Programs

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Hong Kong – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

The Peninsula Hotels, a world-renowned luxury brand with nine hotels in the cities of New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Beverly Hills and Chicago, are rolling out their newest Peninsula Academy programs this Spring. Continuing a long tradition of taking hotel guests behind the façade of a city and providing them with authentic cultural experiences not accessible to other travelers, this year the 2011 programs will focus on “The Art of Hospitality, ” bringing customized insider art experiences to guests along with exclusive access to many of each city’s most iconic spots. “The Art of Hospitality” programs will join a host of new Peninsula Academy Programs offering some of the most coveted experiences in their respective cities.

A few highlights include:

Backstage at the Paley Center
The hotel’s Rolls-Royce phantom will whisk guests from The Peninsula Beverly Hills for a customized exploration of the famed Paley Center for Media, located just a few blocks away. There, they will enjoy a private tour of the facilities and the collection with an expert Paley staff member, who will share colorful insider stories while recounting the history of television and radio. The expert guide will focus on TV and radio programs that are of particular interest to the guests, whether from a specific era, such as the 1950s or 1960s, or in genres including comedy, drama, news, sports and documentaries. If the guests’ stay at The Peninsula coincides with one of the Paley Center’s frequent special events or film festivals, they will enjoy VIP backstage and Green Room access as well as VIP seating. At the guests’ convenience, the hotel’s Rolls-Royce Phantom will return them to The Peninsula, lunch in The Belvedere, the hotel’s AAA Five-Diamond restaurant, or Afternoon Tea in The Living Room, along with a gift selection from the Paley Center Gift Shop – all included in the price per person.

Chicago Film Tour
Chicago has been home to numerous movie locations – so many in fact, that this tour will take participants over 30 miles in two hours, venturing from Chinatown to Uptown, Lakeview to Downtown and everywhere in between. This tour visits more than 30 sites where more than 50 movies were shot, from Hollywood blockbusters including The Dark Knight and The Fugitive to Chicago favorites such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Blues Brothers to movie classics like North by Northwest and The Sting. Guests may choose to take the existing pre-set tour or self-select their desired locations based on their movie preferences. At each location, guests will watch scenes come to life on the small screen while getting up close and personal with memorable locations. The Chicago Film Tour is perfect for movie lovers and is also a great way to explore the Windy City with friends or family in a novel way.

Discover Chinese Antiques- Beijing
Participants will learn the finer points of Chinese antiques, including porcelain, furniture and jade, with an expert and obtain a brief introduction to the first private Chinese museum, The Guanfu Museum. Participants will be given a preview of private collections not usually open to the public. Price includes an English-speaking guide and round trip transfers.

Jewish Heritage Tour- Shanghai
Some of Shanghai’s earliest and most prominent international residents were Jewish traders from India and the Middle East. Their pioneering spirit helped build the city. In the 20th century, Ashkenazi immigration enhanced the cultural milieu, while the wartime ghetto in northeast Shanghai housed refugees fleeing Europe.Historian Dvir Bar-Gal takes you to the heartland of Jewish commerce, architecture and tradition in old Shanghai.
Each tour lasts approx. four hours.

Our Hong Kong in Nature
Retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and travel up the slopes of Tai Mo Shan, the highest mountain in Hong Kong, to an authentic tea house in a rural setting, which serves tea brewed from mountain water. Here, guests can mingle with local villagers before strolling by pristine watercress fields and scenic hiking paths, escorted by a personal guide towards The Yuen Yuen Institute, a Taoist temple built in the 1950s.

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