Hotels in Beijing?

Old Apr 22, 19, 11:54 am
  #331  
 
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
While I love fancy cars, Y120 for a taxi, and Y1000 left over for food/drinks is my style.
Absolutely agreed !
Taxi from airport to say, Wangfujing area is under RMB 100/- weekday , peak hour .
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Old Apr 23, 19, 12:43 pm
  #332  
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Wrapped up my stay so here are a few more thoughts!

Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
How so? I've never stayed at the Pen but am contemplating a stay in the near future. What makes breakfast sad?
Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post
Very curious to hear more, especially as your stay progresses!
Originally Posted by specboi View Post
That's a big upgrade, Beijing suite is the one with the in room cinema right?
Is breakfast buffet still at the French restaurant of the hotel? I don't recall it being "sad", it wasn't as expensive as rosewood for sure, but still had a decent spread from what I remember.
Breakfast: The breakfast is at the lobby. Continental buffet (a few cold cuts, pastries, cereals and fruit that's about it) then one choice from a la carte menu. It was crowded and many guests were not happy at the staff regarding missing orders, refills/drinks etc. The buffet spread is small and not luxurious both visually and taste wise. Any standard 5* hotel in SE asia would eclipse it several times over. I tried Chinese set breakfast, eggs royale and pancakes for a la carte options. The first two were (just) passable and the pancakes tragically dry and tasteless.

F&B: Set dinner for two as part of Virtuoso benefit works in a way that you order the set dinner, they charge you and deduct 660 CNY at check out again. We had dinner at Jing, the French restaurant. With a third person in our party we also ordered off the menu. The price is reasonable and the food quality acceptable, but not yet to Michelin star-worthy levels. It was also very noisy. Service was great tho. We had afternoon tea in the lobby on Easter sunday. I've patroned the afternoon tea at Pen HK for almost 20 years now and my verdict would be, the Beijing one is at 60% the price but delivers more than 60% the quality. So it was OK. Service was much better compared to breakfast as well.

Room: Virtually faultless. Still feels brand new and the ceilings don't feel that low in reality. The technology stuff is well integrated and largely navigable - maybe except for the touch panels for light controls on walls and door frames, perhaps I'm not technologically literate enough to turn them off but essentially the rooms cannot be completely blacked out. The Beijing Suite is oh-so-Peninsula with fancy stuff like nail polish dryer, laserjet printer and shredder etc all well in place. the A/C is very strong and responds very quickly (also integrated into the system and well 'zoned' throughout the suite). The level of detail is to a point where above each AV device (bluray player, remote control etc) there is a recessed lamp that is motion-activated so you can see the buttons on the devices clearer. There were also 3 Nespresso machines! And yes the cinema with lie flat recliners and multiple light settings!

Some pictures on my insta feed if anyone is interested: instagram.com/p/Bwdw83JhGVL

Housekeeping: Excellent. Polite and efficient! Great attention to detail! Sadly like most other Chinese hotels, the bath amenities are 'fake' (local produce with the brand stuck onto it)

Service: Like what has been my experience in Mainland China, they try hard to please, but are rather clumsy sometimes. Check in/out was the most awkward part. There was a wait (gasp!) of up to 20 minutes with a long line forming. The front desk can't be more than 10 feet wide. You can hear clearly about the previous/next customer's stay details. FD staff were generally not very friendly and we also weren't shown to our room. On the phone, at the fitness center/pool etc, the staff were all friendly and hospitable. The only weird thing is I somehow felt that the service gets 10x better when I used English rather than Mandarin, I am not sure if it is merely a problem of intonation to be honest.

Concierge: Helped us get a table at Da Dong at short notice, although they didn't always pick up the phone when I called from the room. Also had the English/Mandarin problem but I did not have very extensive interactions with them other than the dinner reservation above so can't comment further.

All in all I'd still want to stay here as their hardware is phenomenal and above the competition. I figure I should allow a generous allowance for service delivery given that it's China - I'm not sure if I've been overly negative above but it was still a great stay overall!
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Old Apr 23, 19, 1:51 pm
  #333  
 
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Thanks a ton for this writeup. It's enough to convince me to move my booking in November over to the Mandarin Oriental. Their base rooms cost more than the Grand Premier Suite I have booked at the Pen (which is over 2x the size), but I think the trade-off is worth it. I don't know if MO will be able to deliver true luxury in mainland China, but it sounds like the Pen isn't quite there. I don't know why I think the MO will be able to pull it off just a few months after opening while the Pen hasn't been able to after a number of years, but we'll see!
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Old Apr 23, 19, 4:00 pm
  #334  
 
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Originally Posted by G-CIVC View Post
Service: Like what has been my experience in Mainland China, they try hard to please, but are rather clumsy sometimes. Check in/out was the most awkward part. There was a wait (gasp!) of up to 20 minutes with a long line forming. The front desk can't be more than 10 feet wide. You can hear clearly about the previous/next customer's stay details. FD staff were generally not very friendly and we also weren't shown to our room. On the phone, at the fitness center/pool etc, the staff were all friendly and hospitable. The only weird thing is I somehow felt that the service gets 10x better when I used English rather than Mandarin, I am not sure if it is merely a problem of intonation to be honest.
(Bolding mine)

Thanks for the detailed report but I find this inexcusable, especially considering it's Peninsula! HSH should be addressing this rather sooner than later. I wonder when Rainy Chan is back from her sabbatical and if she is willing to take on a bigger role at HSH -- would be wonderful to know she is in charge. VP Ops for example. Some properties could use some love these days.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 5:52 pm
  #335  
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
(Bolding mine)

Thanks for the detailed report but I find this inexcusable, especially considering it's Peninsula! HSH should be addressing this rather sooner than later. I wonder when Rainy Chan is back from her sabbatical and if she is willing to take on a bigger role at HSH -- would be wonderful to know she is in charge. VP Ops for example. Some properties could use some love these days.
My last reply vaporized, so here's a short version:
1. GH is the best hotel downtown (i.e. the Pen doesn't compare)
-awesome lounge
-nice pool
-Made in China
2. In the CBD, pick one of the SL properties; I actually prefer Joon/June even though it is the cheapest because....
3. SLT is on a decline, but I've heard great things about the IC
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Old Apr 24, 19, 10:35 am
  #336  
 
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
My last reply vaporized, so here's a short version:
1. GH is the best hotel downtown (i.e. the Pen doesn't compare)
-awesome lounge
-nice pool
-Made in China
2. In the CBD, pick one of the SL properties; I actually prefer Joon/June even though it is the cheapest because....
3. SLT is on a decline, but I've heard great things about the IC
moondog ,
1) Grand Hyatt though good can hardly be described as the best in “ downtown “ - there’s Pen and across is Waldorf Astoria which are a few notches above GH. But now there Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing and it’s a real gem .
for luxury , that would be the best bet in Beijing now - stayed 3 perfect nights there. Intimate and just right in terms of service and hardware . Good sized rooms with high ceilings , excellent quality. And then there’s the panoramic view of the forbidden city - Tiananmen to Jingsgan park . Stunning,

2) CBD - China World summit wing is good and with the revamped shopping within , its a solid choice .
Park Hyatt - redone is also worth a mention .

3) SanLiTun - IC is ok but it’s at best a 4.5/5 Star IC and overpriced for what it is . For this area I would recommend
The Chao, a solid boutique option in the area and with Sanlitun SoHo/Taikoo Li is coming along fine.

DaDong - is now just too difficult to get in - They are just too busy. Prefer the TuanJiehu original outlet , but that’s virtually impossible to get in.

just an update .
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Old Apr 24, 19, 10:44 am
  #337  
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The problem with the Pen is that it's still the Palace Hotel, which sucked.

I am not familiar with the MO.

While I'm not a fan of downtown, I do like the GH for the lounge, the pool, the mall, and the subway access.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 2:52 pm
  #338  
 
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Originally Posted by G-CIVC View Post
Wrapped up my stay so here are a few more thoughts!

Housekeeping: Excellent. Polite and efficient! Great attention to detail! Sadly like most other Chinese hotels, the bath amenities are 'fake' (local produce with the brand stuck onto it)
In what way were they fakes With a brand stuck onto it ? - a lot of the amenities in the higher end hotels in China are using bath amenities that are produced under license....have seen brands like Dyptique , Miller Harris , Aromatherapy Associates ,Ferragamo to Malin and Goetz. High quality and very much up to standard.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 8:41 pm
  #339  
 
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I'm sure there are 'fakes' floating around in plenty hotels across China, but I'd be very surprised to see that in the real high end hotels. I don't recall seeing it, unless they were very good fakes!
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Old Apr 26, 19, 3:19 am
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For Europe and most US markets, La Bottega and Groupe GM are two large suppliers which produce these hotel amenities under license agreements -- has little to do with the actual brand, as both the packaging and ingredients are totally at mercy of the manufacturer. China is a very particular market and generally it works the same way, though it is actually produced in the country due to import restraints, which often creates problems along the way. I almost never use any of these products anywhere anyway and travel with my own (or ask the hotel to stock my favorite). I recently saw that even the Organic Pharmacy now partners with Groupe GM.

I assume most think that only Chinese amenities are not actually produced by the brand on the label, but this is the same everywhere. I don't think the stuff there is especially bad, just the same harmful ingredients du jour.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 8:43 am
  #341  
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
I almost never use any of these products anywhere anyway and travel with my own (or ask the hotel to stock my favorite). I recently saw that even the Organic Pharmacy now partners with Groupe GM.

I assume most think that only Chinese amenities are not actually produced by the brand on the label, but this is the same everywhere. I don't think the stuff there is especially bad, just the same harmful ingredients du jour.
I carry my own now too and just report back on here about hotel amenities.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 10:53 am
  #342  
 
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
For Europe and most US markets, La Bottega and Groupe GM are two large suppliers which produce these hotel amenities under license agreements -- has little to do with the actual brand, as both the packaging and ingredients are totally at mercy of the manufacturer. China is a very particular market and generally it works the same way, though it is actually produced in the country due to import restraints, which often creates problems along the way. I almost never use any of these products anywhere anyway and travel with my own (or ask the hotel to stock my favorite). I recently saw that even the Organic Pharmacy now partners with Groupe GM.

I assume most think that only Chinese amenities are not actually produced by the brand on the label, but this is the same everywhere. I don't think the stuff there is especially bad, just the same harmful ingredients du jour.
Thanks for a nuanced answer. Its everywhere . same here , carry my own stuff.
Organic pharmacy works with Groupe GM ? ... so the Six Senses Organic pharmacy bath amenities are not direct ?
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by bearbrick View Post


Thanks for a nuanced answer. It’s everywhere . same here , carry my own stuff.
Organic pharmacy works with Groupe GM ? ... so the Six Senses Organic pharmacy bath amenities are not direct ?
Most welcome.

Anything in the rooms will surely be Groupe GM, could be different for the Spa. I highly doubt that TOP produces the amenities in the rooms, as invariably costs would be much higher. Unfortunately I have yet to see the exact hotel formulation for this brand, I suspect they are leaving out the worst culprits and add a few oils plus TOP specific scent, I will let you know should I see them in the wild.

https://www.groupegm.com/en/hotel-su...acy-40-en.html

Hotels love this sort of thing, as they get a solid brand and have full control over packaging -- and yet the product itself is totally cheap.

I think Sodashi is one of the few companies doing it themselves... proudly so. Certainly comes at a price, there are some hotel owners I am aware of who were quite surprised about the cost of doing amenities properly.
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Old Apr 30, 19, 2:01 am
  #344  
 
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I'm going to be in Beijing for one night as I've decided to turn a long layover into an overnight to see some of the sights. I'll be arriving early in the morning one day and leaving late at night the next day. I'm primarily interested in Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City but I'm wondering if I might be better off staying some what closer to the airport than Wafujing and just taking the subway back and forth for sightseeing. What recommendations would anyone here give based on those criteria?
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Old May 29, 19, 5:23 pm
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Any feedback yet on The Puxuan?

I'll be in Beijing for a couple of nights in early July and am considering The Puxuan or The Rosewood.
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