Hotels in Beijing?

Old Nov 18, 13, 1:35 pm
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Hotels in Beijing?

There's some discussion here about the Aman Summer Palace property - but not much else that I could find. Do any of you have any favorite(s) in Beijing? I'm especially interested in service - and a decent level of English proficiency (my husband will be studying Mandarin - but I reckon 10 months of studying Mandarin isn't going to get us very far ). Robyn
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Old Nov 18, 13, 6:18 pm
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I'll try to find some of the threads for you, unless Kage responds first. In a nutshell, Beijing gets 'mixed reviews'. The traffic is so bad that it forces your hand. My business associates are near Summer Palace, so that is where I've been staying recently. ASP easily anchors, in a bad way, the Aman chain. Other than some very interesting history, I'm puzzled why this place is rated so highly. ASP has the most uncomfortable rooms of any hotel, in any class, worldwide.

The Pen is decent, but blah. FS is too far out on the circle for me to try. Are you going for business or pleasure?

Edit -- didn't answer your question. English is poor, and service weak.
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Old Nov 18, 13, 6:55 pm
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It's a non-business trip. Pleasure? That remains to be seen . FWIW - my husband and I are basically into comfy rooms with really good service. Don't give points for great decor or similar absent comfy rooms/good service. Robyn
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Old Nov 18, 13, 8:42 pm
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Hi Robyn. Last time in Beijing, I stayed at the Pen. Not over the top, but very nice and with good service. Very close to Forbidden City. I'd have no hesitation to return.

http://upgrd.com/sitinfirst/mixing-b...a-beijing.html
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Old Nov 19, 13, 5:19 am
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Thanks to some threads here and a recommendation from AAerSTL, I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Beijing last year.

I don't have much of a basis for comparison in China, but I liked it.

I'd definitely recommend, however, staying in a club level room to ease the language issues. The club concierge was fluent in English, something I cannot say about other staff members, even at the front desk.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 8:23 am
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Location wise for a leisure visit the PEN certainly has an advantage- it is not as good as their hotel for example in Hong Kong however it is a good hotel and those I have recommended it to generally seem to be happy.

Shangri-La has some nice properties around as well especially if you stay on Horizon Club levels.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 9:30 am
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Thanks for these ideas.

Best I can figure out - the PEN has the best location for sightseeing. Except perhaps for the Aman. Which I guess is pretty important in a city with such bad traffic. I assume - because no one has mentioned it - that the subway system is nothing to write home about.

FWIW - I can't understand why the Aman seems to be so much more expensive than the other "luxury" properties.

BTW to Mike - when you say English poor/service weak - what property are you talking about? Robyn
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Old Nov 19, 13, 9:37 am
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See also:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...hlight=beijing
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...hlight=beijing
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...long-trip.html
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Old Nov 19, 13, 9:50 am
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The Aman location is terrible for sightseeing anything except the Summer Palace (which will take at most one day of any Beijing visit). Being close to Tiananmen Square and Wangfujing St is lots better.

The subway system in Beijing is very popular and crowded. It is often faster than driving.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 10:09 am
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Another consideration is dining. Which is one of our favorite activities .

Just browsing through some "best of" dining lists - it seems that a fair number of restaurants are in the Chaoyang district - which is where the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton are. We'd really like to be close to good restaurants. This one looks like fun:

http://www.green-t-house.com/flash.html

And if the subway is ok - well that works for us (better than sitting stuck in traffic). Robyn
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Old Nov 19, 13, 10:41 am
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Is Beijing your only destination, or will you be combining with Amanfayun in Hangzhou and/or a visit to Hong Kong? An open jaw/multi-stop itinerary like that could make for a wonderful trip including some of the world's finest hotels.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
Another consideration is dining. Which is one of our favorite activities .

Just browsing through some "best of" dining lists - it seems that a fair number of restaurants are in the Chaoyang district - which is where the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton are. We'd really like to be close to good restaurants. This one looks like fun:

http://www.green-t-house.com/flash.html

And if the subway is ok - well that works for us (better than sitting stuck in traffic). Robyn
Dining wise there are options all over Beijing. What may be interesting if you are a first time visitor to Beijing is to spend 3 nights at the PEN, and then 2 nights at the Aman- this would be an absolutely ideal itinerary in my opinion.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Is Beijing your only destination, or will you be combining with Amanfayun in Hangzhou and/or a visit to Hong Kong? An open jaw/multi-stop itinerary like that could make for a wonderful trip including some of the world's finest hotels.
We'll be spending time in Beijing - then Shanghai (I saw 2 really terrific saver First Class reward tickets - and grabbed them ).

Unfortunately - I didn't notice that the second week of our trip is Golden Week before I booked - and Amanfayun seems to be sold out (I suspect Hangzhou will be pretty much a zoo then too). So Beijing and Shanghai it is (with perhaps some day trips out of the cities thrown in). I don't mind (as you may recall - my husband and I like big cities).

There seems to be pretty much of a consensus about the Pen in Shanghai. But things aren't clear when it comes to Beijing.

BTW - is there anything wrong with the Four Seasons and the RC Beijing (not the Financial Street property)? Both seem kind of nice - and are priced very reasonably. I realize they're located in Chaoyang - but that seems (at first blush) like kind of an interesting (upscale?) neighborhood. I like the idea of a club floor (because our internal clocks will be totally out of whack the first few days of our trip in terms of sleeping/eating).

And TRAVELSIG - we'll be spending 7 nights in Beijing. We're very slow lazy travelers who like to poke around. And we both hate packing and unpacking. So we'd just like a nice comfy place with good service where we can "settle in" and explore the city at our leisure.

Anyway - thanks for all your input. Robyn
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Old Nov 19, 13, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
We'll be spending time in Beijing - then Shanghai (I saw 2 really terrific saver First Class reward tickets - and grabbed them ).

Unfortunately - I didn't notice that the second week of our trip is Golden Week before I booked - and Amanfayun seems to be sold out (I suspect Hangzhou will be pretty much a zoo then too). So Beijing and Shanghai it is (with perhaps some day trips out of the cities thrown in). I don't mind (as you may recall - my husband and I like big cities).

There seems to be pretty much of a consensus about the Pen in Shanghai. But things aren't clear when it comes to Beijing.
That's great that you were able to get saver F award tickets

I am not as knowledgeable about mainland China as I am about other parts of Asia, but I think combining The Peninsula Beijing and Aman at Summer Palace is a great idea. Notwithstanding negative reviews, Aman at Summer Palace is still an Aman and the best you're likely to do. If they could provide transportation and packing/unpacking service you may find that moving between two hotels would not be a hardship.

Have you checked Four Seasons or Banyan Tree Hangzhou?

I agree that The Peninsula is the best option in Shanghai.

I am sure you will having amazing meals and tea tastings on this trip
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Old Nov 19, 13, 12:17 pm
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I'd keep my eye on Rosewood Beijing which should be open early 2014....
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