On the north side of Chang'an Avenue, and adjoining the ritzier Raffles, the Grand offers a decent blend of luxury and comfort without the international brand price tag. The classic Chinese gateway at the hotel's entrance is a nice touch, and Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are a short hop away. If you want to splash out, book the Emperor suite and prepare for an extravaganza of antique carved furniture, landscape scrolls, and fiercely carved wooden room dividers.
A range of dining options is at hand (note: the non-Chinese food isn't up to snuff) but you also should plan to enjoy sunsets on the terrace bar, which has an impressive vista of the Forbidden City (only from May through October, from 5 to 9:30 pm). The breakfast buffet is recommended.