You gotta hand it to Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental Group's public relations team: they managed to announce the long-awaited opening of their property next to the China Central Television (CCTV) building in central Beijing by stating "another" one of their branded hotels would open in the city in 2017.

The Mandarin Oriental Beijing, which caught fire and burned in February 2008, will open in 2016, although an exact date was not released. A complete renovation of the burned-out hulk was completed in 2013, with the hotel's nameplate visible since at least 2014, but no official mention of when it would open was made until Monday.

"Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing will be the Group’s second hotel to open in the city. Mandarin Oriental will also manage a luxury 241-room hotel as part of the CCTV project, which is scheduled to open in 2016," the company said in a press release. In fairness, there was a teeny, tiny mention of the Mandarin Oriental Beijing opening in 2016 in a 2015 regulatory filing, but the company has now confirmed the scheduled opening in a release to the industry and the public.

The "other" hotel is the Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing, which will occupy the top two floors of WF Central. Seventy-four rooms, yeah yeah yeah, we're sure it will be lovely.

We'd been hearing rumors of interviews going on for positions at the new hotel, but no definite date. Anyway, it will be nice to have what was a tragic eyesore finally become a functioning part of the central business district.

Photo: Steven Schwankert/the Beijinger

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