The sushi bar, where the cheapest lunch special is $265, cooks its rice in mineral water flown in from Japan. The walls in the hotel are covered with silk; the floors with marble—Italian, of course. It sounds just like the terrace house where I lived in Pontypridd. Except we had boiled cabbage instead of sushi but the principle is the same.
‘The Chinese new rich have plenty of money. We have Bentleys pulling up with no number plates, so you can tell that they’re brand new,’ said room manager Dennis Seng, scoffing at the suggestion of inauspicious timing for opening a luxury hotel.
‘The other day, a Russian couple ran up a $4,000 tab at an intimate lunch for two in the Japanese restaurant,’ he said.
The Chicago Tribune reports his confidence, however, is belied by the cavernous, empty lobby, where the only sound is the tapping of the high heels of the crisply attired staff. No paying customers were evident during a weekday afternoon visit, although Seng said occupancy has reached high levels.