Room with a Vroom: aircraft carrier turned hotel
A military style theme park in China now has the ultimate in hotels – its own Russian-built aircraft carrier. The de-commissioned vessel has been converted into a 148-room floating palace for the park outside Tianjin.
The soviet era vessel was one of three purchased by China. Only one of them – “Varyag” – is being re-equipped and modernized to become China’s first aircraft-carrier. The other two – “Minsk” and “Kiev” – were purchased to become centrepieces of military theme parks in Shenzhen and Tianjin. While “Minsk” carrier serves as a museum of the Soviet era, with old fighter jets on display, “Kiev” has been enjoying a different, arguably even more entertaining fate. Loud and massive parties on its Red-square sized deck had long been a hit among the locals. Now what was once the pride of the Soviet ship-building industry has been turned into a fancy hotel.Spacy and stylish rooms, impeccable service and delicious Russian cuisine – the “Kiev” aircraft carrier certainly has the potential to become a tourist hit in this part of China – especially with the “what communism can achieve” tourist treats being popular in Europe for the past 2 decades. It clearly lacks certain amenities – like a swimming pool or a spa – but its owners, who have invested 15 million dollars into this project, are hoping that such drawbacks would not scare the visitors away. Whether they would be able to attract a lot of tourists will be clear after they come up with a price list, which hasn’t been published just yet.