As aircraft carriers go, this one is certainly on the luxurious side.
But that’s because you’d be more likely to see upmarket guests wandering the decks of the Kiev than decorated military officials.
The former Soviet aircraft carrier has been bought by China and decked out as an unusual hotel with a £9.6million refit.
Days after sea trials for China’s first aircraft carrier Varyag caused heightened tension in the South China Sea, the Kiev is causing a stir for other reasons.
Owners of the Binhai Aircraft Park, where the aircraft carrier is on display, are hoping that interest in China’s burgeoning naval power will drum up customer interest and appeal to curious visitors.
The Kiev was first bought back in 1996 and has been part of the military theme park in north China’s Tianjin municipality since 2004.
‘Previously, China didn’t have aircraft carriers. People find them mysterious and are curious about them,’ marketing manager Liu Chang told the South China Morning Post.
‘Even though China’s first aircraft carrier has now gone on sea trials, it will be quite hard for the public to ever visit it. I guess people can come here to fulfil their curiosity.’
Designers have shunned standard naval decor in favour of a more luxurious feel. One room is dominated by a vast white circular bed, with silver lamé drapes and a cowskin rug.
There are five lavish presidential suites in all, targetting guests who are curious to try a sea-themed hotel with a difference.
Prices to stay in the converted aircraft carrier have yet to be set, but the lavish interior suggests teh hotel will appeal to the more well-off clientele.
For the past few weeks, Chinese state television and online military news websites have been following the preparation of the Varyag on a daily basis.
China’s first aircraft carrier set sail for the first time last Wednesday, raising concerns among China’s neighbors.
The ship has become a symbol of China’s rising military power. As yet it remains to be seen what the Kiev symbolises for the country.