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SusanC Aug 27th, 2008 08:11 PM

choice of 2 Beijing Hotels
Does anyone have a preference for Park Plaza for $147 or Regent for $130? Also for my first few days Raffles has special for $162 which I was thinking of doing and then moving to Park Plaza or Regent for rest of my stay. Any thoughts on this?

The factors that are important to me:

1. Convenience location (to main sites, Paralympic venues, subway)

2. Safety (solo female)

3. Concierge service to help me figure out how to navigate Beijing and Great Wall sites

4. Fitness facilities and pool

5. Cost

I do not care about restaurants or shopping in the hotel. Don't need spa.


PeterN_H Aug 27th, 2008 11:10 PM

The Park Plaza is a four-star brand and the Regent a five-star. The Park Plaza in Dong Dan (just east of Wangfujing) is physically connected to the Regent.

If you're happy with the Raffles price, definitely take the Raffles--the only hotel in Beijing with something of an old-world and even colonial air, even though this is re-imagined and not original, and with excellent service by Beijing standards. The rooms in the rear building, where you'll probably end up, are suites in all but the technical limitation of their size. The rooms in the front building are individually furnished and exceptional.

Of the other two, definitely take the Regent for room size and amenities, but note that all the formerly well-trained staff were snaffled before the Olympics (from both hotels--unless you mean the other Park Plaza up in Zhongguancun, but I doubt that). Rumour says they went to the new Ritz-Carlton. By now they may well have got the new crew up to the speed of their predecessors, who were well above Beijing's average. But towards the end of last year they were clueless.

1) The Raffles and the Dong Dan Regent/Park Plaza both have subway stops directly outside. The Raffles staff could sometimes make a little more effort to find you a taxi.

2) There are effectively no safety issues for solo females in Beijing.

3) The last person you want to help you get to Great Wall sites is a concierge, unless you love paying outrageous sums of money for something you get easily do for yourself. He won't know about public transport of even the most comfortable kind. Get a guidebook.

Having said that, the Raffles concierges do a reasonable job of finding out what you need to know--and that is almost unheard of in Beijing. (The Peninsula's concierge is the real thing.)

4) Swimming pool beneath glass ceiling at Raffles, and fitness centre connected with spa (if I remember correctly). The facilities at the Regent are extensive and are also open to those who stay at the Park Plaza.

5) You've ascertained the room rates already (?)

Peter N-H

tastravel Aug 28th, 2008 05:29 PM

I just returned from Beijing and stayed at the Park Plaza for a week. I was traveling before the Olympics with a female friend. We loved the hotel and had no safety issues at all! The hotel was walking distance to food and shopping (although not to venues, you'll have to taxi or subway). Also walking distance to Forbidden City. Although we had previously arraigned Great Wall, we had friends at the same hotel who used the concierge to arrange a trip. English was widely spoken and understood. The rooms were spacious and the bathrooms were very nice. We didn't eat breakfast at the hotel. There's a Starbucks right across the street if you get a craving.

Violet_1125 Aug 28th, 2008 07:30 PM

if Park plaza is higher than Regent,Regent would be the first choice.Regent is a 5 star hotel and Park Plaza 4 star.
Park Plaza is at behind of Regent,you can through the lobby of Regent to Park Plaza.
Don`t expect conciegerge for a good price,they always want to charge more.

like2travel2 Aug 30th, 2008 02:20 PM

Can anyone recommend a good private tour guide for Beijing? We do not have too much time and it is our first trip.

Violet_1125 Aug 30th, 2008 04:38 PM

just search private tour guide here,you can find lots of reviews

PeterN_H Aug 30th, 2008 04:40 PM

'Private' tour guides in Beijing are extremely problematic. If they are private in the sense of 'unlicensed' then they are illegal. If they are properly licensed then they are feeding you the party line.

You'll get far more reliable information from English-language sources produced overseas and that you bring with you. Overcharging by guides and kick-backs from shops and restaurants are the norm.

To get round Beijing briskly hop on the metro/subway. To make things as simple as possible just hop into a taxi each time you need to move and show the characters for your next destination.

As others will tell you, it's little different from taking the same approach in any other major city (except the taxis are cheaper than in most).

Peter N-H

monicapileggi Sep 2nd, 2008 03:04 AM


I'll be staying at the Park Plaza in October. Are there any grocery stores near the hotel so I can buy bottled water?


Monica ((F))

SusanC Sep 2nd, 2008 06:53 AM

Thanks for the advice! I booked. Unfortunately the rates had gone up slightly. I'm in Raffles for $172 for the first 2 nights. Then price skyrockets and I'm moving to the Regent for $150.

I'll let everyone know how they are.


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