Best hotels to say in Beijing

Apr 15th, 2002, 03:12 PM
  #1  
Ronso
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Best hotels to say in Beijing

We are planning a trip this June to Beijing and were interested in the best hotels in Beijing. We have read through the usual guides, but were hoping to get information from people who have stayed recently.

Thanks
Ron
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 10:28 PM
  #2  
deej
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
there are a number of outstanding hotels in beijing, so you're rather spoiled for choice. on a personal note, a lot of my friends particularly like the palace hotel. i've also recently stayed at the kerry center hotel, china hotel, and a sheraton (can't remember the name - not the great wall sheraton - but one i believe was in the luxury collection), and the service and accommodations were all excellent.
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 04:14 AM
  #3  
Laura
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We stayed at the palace and will be staying there again. It is an excellent hotel with ideal location. Do check the website for very low rates.
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 05:00 AM
  #4  
Jujj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Has anyone stayed at the Jinguo Hotel at 5 Jianguo Men Wai Da Jie? How convenient is that location for sightseeing? Or the Tianlun Dynasty Hotel at 50 Wangfujing Avenue? Is the metro easy for foreigners to take?
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 07:18 AM
  #5  
connie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I stayed at the Central Garden Hotel. I wouldn't recommend it unless it is much cheaper than the nicer hotels. If so, it would be fine. It was clean with a decent breakfast buffet --but not 5 star standard.
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 08:37 AM
  #6  
Patty
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Add the St. Regis to that list.
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 05:58 PM
  #7  
Peter N-H
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The name 'deej', above, is looking for is the St Regis, a Starwood hotel (as are Sheratons, Westins, and W hotels). Until recently this was widely agreed to be the best hotel in Beijing, and is still the recipient of many diplomatic visitors. The white marble lobby area with its giant potted palms, is particularly impressive, and the breakfast is one of Beijing's best.

The Kerry Centre (run by Shangri-La) despite the slightly hiccupy start common to hotels in China, this became last yeat the most successful hotel in Beijing. There's a pleasing modernity to the room design, and the ceilings are unusually high for a modern bulding.

Now it's being challenged by the brand new Grand Hyatt, which has a much better location from the visitor's point of view, and is fully booked throughout May.

The Palace is also amongst the best (and has just opened the most sophisticated restaurant in the city), although the Kerry Centre's rooms are bigger. This is the location for China's first Tiffany's, and has the only or main China branches of many top-of-the-range brands, as well as excellent Cantonese and Italian restaurants.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
 
Apr 17th, 2002, 06:26 PM
  #8  
keiko
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Peter
If you had to choose between staying at the Palace Hotel and Grant Hyatt in Beijing, which one would YOU stay?

I've reserved a room at both places--I have to cancel one of them.
 
Apr 17th, 2002, 08:26 PM
  #9  
Peter N-H
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Keiko: I've stayed at the Palace (and I was there again the other day), but I haven't stayed at the Grand Hyatt (I was due to do so this weekend, by coincidence, but I've had to cancel).

The only criticism I have of The Palace is that its rooms are a little small, but the level of comfort and service is certainly high, and the parent company runs one of my favourite hotels anyway--The Peninsula in Hong Kong. The three restaurants I've eaten at have all been excellent (although I do encourage you to go well beyond the confines of your hotel to eat).

I've also heard that the rooms at the Grand Hyatt are a little small. Usually Hyatt gets involved at the time of the building's design, but in this case took over the project after construction had commenced (it was going to be a Harbour Plaza). But I rather like the way things are done at Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt, and the hotel has been open just long enough for the staff to have settled in. In fact last summer all the better hotels were complaining that Hyatt had poached all their best people with better salaries. I don't yet know anything about the food and beverage operations there.

I'd be tempted to choose the Grand Hyatt out of curiosity, but that's not necessarily a good reason for you. The location on the corner of Chang'an and Wangfujing is fractionally better than the Palace's, and indeed during much of the day you'd be wise to go down to the subway station in the basement and do as much of your journey as possible that way before flagging down a taxi to get into the slow traffic. Getting to The Palace by cab can be slow due to the necessity of crossing Wangfujing West to East, or approaching north or south down Dong Dan, which is often slow.

Sorry, I don't think that's much help. If you stay at The Palace I'm sure you'll be satisfied. If you stay at the Grand Hyatt I'd be very surprised if you weren't equally happy. Perhaps if you do choose the Hyatt you could let us all know what it's like.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
 
Apr 17th, 2002, 11:53 PM
  #10  
jujj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'll try posting this again... Can anyone comment on how these hotels compare to the more expensive ones? Also, how about the Crowne Plaze?

Has anyone stayed at the Jinguo Hotel at 5 Jianguo Men Wai Da Jie? How convenient is that location for sightseeing? Or the Tianlun Dynasty Hotel at 50 Wangfujing Avenue? Is the metro easy for foreigners to take?

 
Apr 18th, 2002, 01:14 AM
  #11  
gabrielle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I recently stayed at the holiday inn lido, which is near the airport, but they have shuttles downtown. the rooms need some renovating but otherwise they are big and well equipped. there are some nice restaurants in the neighborhood, if you like real chinese food.
I also stayed at the kempinsky beijing, which is just spendid. great shopping at the department store next to it.
hope you enjoy your trip. I did.
 
Apr 18th, 2002, 04:25 AM
  #12  
Peter N-H
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There is no Jinguo hotel, but there is a Jianguo Hotel, which may be the one meant. This was the first Sino-foreign joint-venture hotel in China, and the first with foreign management, but is now a wholly Chinese-owned operation with a Chinese management. Whether the standards can be kept up which have made this hotel consistently popular over a long period remains to be seen. It has at least had several refurbishments, and the vast lobby area still bustles with expats and visiting businessmen. There's usually a string quartet playing, and on Sunday mornings a string orchestra which brings in a lot of people for morning coffee. The best rooms are those with small garden-patios overlooking a fish-filled pond, which provide a genuinely green and pleasant environment amidst Beijing's bustle and smog. The various buildings which make up the hotel are a little dated, but it's still well worth its four stars. It's not close to any major sights, but it's two minutes' walk from a metro station on a line which will take you straight to Tian'an Men Sq. Being close to any metro station is a strong point in any hotel's favour.

The Tianlun is a fairly clueless Chinese hotel, and not in the same class as the Jianguo.

Personally, I would choose the Jianguo over the Crowne Plaza if I could have a ground floor room overlooking the pond, but I might choose Crowne Plaza if not. The Crowne Plaza is not up to the standards of the Palace, Grand Hyatt, St Regis, Kempinski, Kerry Centre, or Great Wall Sheraton, however.

There is a joke current in Beijing at the moment by the way, about the 'three don'ts'. I've forgotten what one of them is, but the second is 'Don't take the xiaomi ['little honey' or mistress] home to meet the wife', and the third is, 'Don't shop at the Lufthansa Centre' (next to Kempinski). Anything bought there can be bought more cheaply almost anywhere else in Beijing--even at the Friendship Stores.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html

 
Apr 18th, 2002, 05:21 AM
  #13  
jujj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks, Peter. Most of the hotels you and everyone else highly recommend are out of my price range. Which would you recommend for under $100 (that includes tax and breakfast) for a double? I want the nicest one I can get for my money in a good location.
 
Apr 18th, 2002, 10:50 AM
  #14  
Al
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Regarding Palace Hotel Beijing ---- I was certainly impressed by their service and would have no hesitation in recommending it. Had problem with the reservation via a UK travel agent about 18 months ago, and the night before I travelled out to Beijing I had to contact Palace Hotel directly to sort the mess out. They were very quick in sorting it out for me, and even rang me to follow up the next morning.

I didn't find the rooms small at all (been there on several occasions) and it's at a good central location (one reason why I choose to stay there when I go to Beijing).
 
Apr 19th, 2002, 06:42 AM
  #15  
Peter N-H
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In reply to jujj, above:

Almost all the hotels discussed above can be stayed in for under US$100 (not usually the St Regis, Kerry Centre, China World). The average yield per room night in Beijing four and five stars is around US$60, with only a tiny number getting near to US$100 a night. It's only the people who insist on booking in advance, via agents, and from overseas who are paying anything like this. Just showing up and bargaining over the counter is the best way. If it's being offered by touts at the airport (the 'information' counters) then it's got plenty of rooms. Walking away from the touts gets you their lowest price. Going into town yourself then gets you the room at a lower price still.

In May the hotels are busy because there's a week-long public holiday, and it's the beginning of the Chinese travel season, so cheap rooms are hard to get. But in Beijing this eases off by mid-May, and in general the summer is not so busy. Of course, there are more foreigners in town, but their numbers are relatively insignificant.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html

 
Apr 19th, 2002, 09:04 AM
  #16  
Peter
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Anyone need a book?
 
Apr 20th, 2002, 06:57 AM
  #17  
keiko
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Peter
so you are saying that you bargain at the counter even at places like Palace and Grand Hyatt???
 
Apr 20th, 2002, 11:16 AM
  #18  
Patty
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I wouldn't take a chance on arriving without a reservation if you really have your heart set on a particular property. It might be OK to try it now at the Grand Hyatt because it's so new, but I can assure you that won't be the case in another 3-4 months. You could arrive and find the top hotels fully booked. I'm not as familiar with the hotel market in Beijing, but at least in Shanghai, the Grand Hyatt and St. Regis are almost always fully booked lately (maybe there are more business travelers in Shanghai). I've arrived without reservations before but will usually have 4-5 properties in mind. Suggest having a back up reservation or at least reserving the first night's room especially if it's your first trip.
 
Apr 21st, 2002, 06:37 AM
  #19  
Peter N-H
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you can and should 'bargain' at hotels in the West (who on earth pays rack rates?) then you should certainly ask for a discount from the first price offered at hotels in Beijing. The prices quoted above are the real rates being paid *on average*, so clearly very many people are paying even less. There is an oversupply of hotel rooms at every level in almost every town in China for most of the year. The very first thing the Chinese do is ask for a discount so why wouldn't you?

The suggestion about the Grand Hyatt in Beijing above is back to front, I'm afraid. The hotel is full right now and into May because the Chinese holiday season begins shortly. But three or four months from now is Chinese low season, and even by June the hotel will probably have plenty of space. It will surely do well, but it doesn't have the charisma of the Shanghai Grand Hyatt property to propel it straight into high occupancy rates when there is so much well-established competition.

Of course if you are desperate to stay in a particular property you should accept that you'll pay more than you need to and book ahead. But that wasn't the context in which the suggestion not to book was made. Both Shanghai and Beijing have hotels (I mentioned the Beijing ones above) which do well for most of the year and will be more expensive. The Grand Hyatt in Shanghai is likely to be the most successful in the city for a long time to come simply due to its location and structure, but it doesn't represent the situation in Shanghai as a whole.

There are myriad Chinese 'three star' hotels in the centre of Beijing in the US$40 to US$60 range which are clean enough, although not sophisticated, and which can be bargained to lower prices still. Consider the Cui Ming Zhuang Binguan, just east of the Dong Hua Men (the Forbidden City's east gate).

In short, with the exception of first week in May, first week in October, and Spring Festival there is no problem in finding a hotel on arrival, and doing this will yield you the cheapest room rate. However, if you simply can't handle that, book ahead, but be prepared to waste time on your first full day changing locations. It's entirely up to you. But as you pass through the airport, ask for information at the hotel desks (the one to the left of the domestic arrivals exit and the far end of the arrivals hall is particularly enthusiastic), look through brochures, get prices, ask for a discount, look disappointed and walk away to get the best price, then go yourself the next day. Don't necessarily believe that any particular hotel is full--this just means they haven't been able to squeeze a big enough commission. But if they are offering rooms for any particular hotel, you can do better yourself by cutting out their commission.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
 
Apr 25th, 2002, 01:37 AM
  #20  
kevin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
St Regis is definitely the best.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:00 PM.