Located on the city's main east–west central axis and close to Beijing railway station, this white monolith—curved like Miami's Fontainebleau hotel—symbolized the rebirth of China's tourism industry in 1987; these days, reliable service and decent facilities continue to draw tour groups and business travelers. Make sure you ask for a renovated room, as some of the older ones still suffer from the odd problem here and there (especially in the bathrooms). What with
the endless hallways and gigantic ballrooms, you need to look hard for special, quiet places, but there are delightful garden nooks and smaller salons with Chinese antiques to escape to. The pool and gym are top-notch, but the hotel's dining options are overpriced, and breakfast can be repetitive. The hotel is only a couple of stops away from Tiananmen Square on the subway.