Programs: AA Exp, UA Prem Plat, LH M&M, SQ, SPG Plat, HH Gold, Hyatt Plat, Marriott Gold, IHG Plat, Fairmont
Hotels in Beijing re: vicinity of St. Regis
I'm going to Beijing next week on business (so tourist considerations don't matter) and it so happens that some of my meetings are walking distance from the St. Regis Beijing. Right now it seems the best rate available there is about $330/day net, about $100/day more than my expense account allows. So two questions:
1. Anyone know of any good, reliable hotel sites that might get me a lower rate there? And would I still get Starwood points?
2. In the alternative, how far is the Westin from the St. Regis in terms of the ease or hassle of getting to the St. Regis neighborhood? The Starwood site map puts it just a kilometer away. But I realize that traffic, pollution and summer swelter could make a walk or taxi ride over there more problematic than it might seem from the map. Is the Westin nevertheless an easy place to be in terms of getting to the St. Regis neighborhood and around town? What about the Hyatt? (As you can tell, I'd like to make some points off the trip.) Any other good hotels near the St. R that are cheaper than it is?
Sheraton Great Wall is the best bet. Great service, good location, good rate (around RMB1200+15% tax), a lounge that you can go+free breakfast (if you are Platinum), and relatively clsoe to the St. Regis. Westin is just too far. I stayed at the St. Regis only once and decided the Great Wall Sheraton is way, way better.
It's a shame that the St. Regis is trying to high-ball you. FWIW, most F500 companies that do stuff in China are in the $185 range. If you know someone that works for one of these companies, they might be able to hook you up (my rate is slightly north of that, but below your threshold; however, since I'm not in China now, I won't be able to assist).
There aren't many decent options in the immediate area (St. Regis is a bit of an island). I suggest you try the Hyatt, China World, and Kerry. Closer in, but less desirable, are the Jianguo and the Nikko. If you go for these latter places, be sure to get the best room that your budget will allow because the standard rooms are painfully small.
Both the Westin and the GW are horribly inconvenient with respect to your stated objectives, but at least the GW is in a good area.