China’s capital city - Beijing - is a cosmopolitan melting pot of ancient and contemporary inspirations.
One can find an amazing array of heritage sites, from high-tech skyscrapers to ancient landmarks. No trip to the city is complete without visiting the Great Wall of China. This 21,200-kilometre wall snakes across the country and is a symbol of China and its history. For a closer look at history explore the Forbidden City, which was home to 26 Chinese Emperors and includes the Summer Palace. Here you can escape the bustle of the city among beautiful buildings, landscaped gardens, and the Temple of Heaven. In Tiananmen Square one can get lost down the warren of hutongs filled with authentic shops, bars and restaurants. However, Beijing is also a modern metropolis whose more contemporary national treasures include The Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, which hosted the 2008 Olympics. Other interesting places to visit are the Galaxy Soho Building, National Theatre and National Opera House. Amidst all these landmarks is a menagerie of stunning hotels.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best hotels in Beijing:
Aman Summer Palace - 10/10
A peaceful oasis away from Beijing’s busy streets can be found at Aman Summer Palace. This authentic oriental stronghold sits on the edge of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with direct access to the historic garden estate. Offering a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the Qing Dynasty which ruled between 1644 to 1912, there are just 43 rooms and suites in this most amazing boutique hotel. It provided shelter for the Empress Dowager Cixi over a century ago. Pavilions fan out around a central courtyard and ooze with oriental opulence. Once the Imperial Waiting Rooms, they have been given a contemporary revamp. Staying in the deluxe suite, guests can expect Ming Dynasty influences and neutral hues. There is a king size four poster bed, a day bed, reading chair and writing desk. Some of the suites have their own living space - and bathrooms are spacious with twin sinks and freestanding tubs.
Five restaurants serve a range of options. Nama is Aman’s signature Japanese restaurant which serves sushi and sashimi prepared in open kitchens. The nine roomed Chinese restaurant, with six private dining spaces, specialises in Peking Duck, Szechuan chicken and dim sum. Chill out at the Reflection Pavilion set by a lotus pond facing the Summer Palace’s Grand Theatre and the Lounge, an elegant space close to the arrival pavilion. The stunning Aman Spa showcases nine spa treatment rooms, a 25-metre swimming pool, a fully fitted gym and two squash courts.
Peninsula Beijing - 10/10
Guests of the Peninsula Beijing enter via a traditional Chinese gate. The palatial lobby showcases antique furnishings, contemporary art and a sweeping marble staircase. With 530 rooms there are plenty of options of where to rest your head. The Deluxe Suite features in-room technology with a docking station to display your own media on the television. There are also large windows that fills the spacious room with natural light.
Jing is the only Michelin-starred French restaurant in the city and one of Beijing’s hottest dining destinations. Jing serves contemporary French gastronomy with subtle Asian influences paired with fine global wines and rare Champagne vintages in a stylish venue. The Peninsula’s spa design fuses traditional Chinese wooden lattices with sophisticated tones of marble and textured granite. Treat yourself to an indulgent Clarins spa and beauty therapy drawing on Chinese, Ayurvedic or European healing philosophies in one of 10 beautifully styled treatment rooms, including two private spa suites for couples and one Thai Massage Room. Thermal bathing facilities provide additional relaxation and health benefits and enjoy a soothing brew a can be taken in the Oriental Tea Lounge.
The Opposite House - 9/10
With 99 guest rooms, The Opposite House is a delightful boutique hotel located in Taikoo Li Sanlitun - the heart of Beijing. Its grand premier suites feature separate dining and desk areas, extravagantly decorated with deep woods and gold tones. Technology is covered with smart device connectivity to 42-inch plasma flat-screen televisions and Blu-ray players. Each suite features a generous marble bathroom with a rain showers and deep oak soaking tubs.
There are two restaurants, the Italian Frasca, named after the symbolic branches used to welcome passers-by in Northeast Italy. With an inviting dining room, the restaurant delivers authentic Italian cuisine, based on traditional family recipes. All your cares melt away as you float in a starlit pool at the spa or surrender your senses to a massage in one of the two spa treatment rooms. For those who prefer a more active lifestyle, work out in the contemporary gym and rejuvenate with morning yoga. Designed by famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the building encompasses art and beautiful interior design as well as art programmes.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing - 9/10
Make yourself at home in one of the 313 guestrooms & suites which have flat-screen televisions, the legendary Four Seasons bed, and all the facilities expected in one of the finest hotels in the city. Bathrooms feature deep soaking bathtubs and rainfall showers. The most sought-after accommodation is known as the ‘Palace in the Sky’. It is the three-bedroomed Imperial Suite, accessible via private lift and which spans the entire 27th floor. With panoramic views of the city, this stunning 730 square metre space is flamboyantly furnished and features a media room, rooftop terrace, three full marble bathrooms, plus a guest powder room, a study with small library and a grand piano. A private chef can be hired to prepare a romantic meal for two in the open kitchen. Alternatively choose the Ambassador Suite or the Beijing Suite both of which are also stunning.
The hotel’s atrium showcases a cascade of over 400 stainless-steel butterflies. Enjoy aromatic infusions in the garden at the whim of a tea master or sip cocktails at the stylish Opus Lounge. The Four Seasons Hotel Beijing boasts two Michelin one-star restaurants - Mio and Cai Yi Xuan – which serve Italian and authentic Cantonese cuisines respectively. Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. You can take advantage of recreational amenities such as an indoor swimming pool, spa tub, and sauna.
Rosewood Beijing - 9/10
Rosewood Beijing is the city’s finest residentially-styled hotel. It features 283 luxurious rooms and suites. Expect lavish apartment living with natural finishes, spacious bathrooms, walk-in closets, and Oriental aesthetics. Guests can choose from a Manor Suite, Terrace Suite or a sumptuous Spa Suite. Featuring seven restaurants and lounges, Rosewood Beijing offers an impressive culinary collection. Enticing guests with the smell of freshly baked pastries, Bistrot B Lounge Bar's features an open counter filled with sweet treats. Each evening the bar offers delectable drinks. Meanwhile the similarly named Bistro B restaurant serves authentic French cuisine. Over at Red Bowl, guests can sample the freshest meats, seafood, and vegetables cooked before their eyes at the table by Zhu Qing. Country Kitchen serves up North Chinese cuisine while for fine dining choose The House of Dynasties.
Serving elegant Cantonese dim sum and classic favourites, surrounded by opulent surroundings and interactive live cooking stations, guests are served to feast like the emperors themselves. Sense – A Rosewood Spa offers a world of wellness including six treatment rooms and two spa suites for overnight stays. The swanky Beijing spa also includes an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and fitness studios.
Bvlgari Hotel Beijing - 9/10
Encircled by lush gardens, this exclusive hotel designed by Antonio Citterio showcases 119 rooms and suites alongside a spectacular spa, for which the brand is renowned. Choose from superior rooms, deluxe rooms or premium rooms with views over the greenery and cityscape or junior, superior, premium or terrace suites. The interior design is sleek, yet minimalist with a timeless style that exudes luxury. Spacious rooms contain large marble bathrooms which feature heated floors and a separate shower. There are also large walk-in closets. Alternatively, push the boat out and book the superb Bvlgari Suite.
Bvlgari Hotel Beijing is inherently Italian - from the interior design, furnishings, a partnership with Maserati, and to the dining outlets. One of the world’s most celebrated chefs - Niko Romito - runs the Michelin-starred Il Ristorante. There is also the Lounge and the Bvlgari bar. The 1500-square-metre Bvlgari spa has a 25-metre swimming pool, surrounded by Balinese style beds as well as a gold-tiled jacuzzi which provide a genuine thermal experience, perfect for relaxing.
Overlooking the Forbidden City, the Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing features 73 exquisite rooms and suites. The hotel guestrooms feature cutting-edge technology from Dyson, Bose, Samsung and Nespresso, spa-like, marble-tiled bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and bespoke cashmere bed throws. These are just some of the touches you will find in the contemporary rooms. Guests can choose from two stylish restaurants. The Mandarin Oriental Grill is currently undergoing a refurbishment, but Café Zi is offering the full à la carte menu - including the famous Australian Rock Lobster. The hotel also offers the sophisticated MO bar.
Soothe away the aches and pains of city life at the Mandarin Spa - cocooned in its blissful ambience as you surrender to a pampering treatment. Unwind in four themed treatment suites: three individual suites and one couple’s suite or the Hammam Suite, with its mosaic-tiled steam room. Take a plunge in the stunning 25-metre swimming pool – which is bathed in natural light. Once spa time is over, head over in your robes to the Tea Lounge for a beverage. Be sure not to miss the indoor lap pool with sky roof, state-of-the-art fitness centre, a sauna cabin and steam room and five Sommerhuber ergonomic heated lounge chairs.
Park Hyatt Beijing - 9/10
Guests check-in on the 63rd floor to this luxury hotels which is set within Beijing Yintai Center—the tallest skyscraper on Chang’an Avenue. The building overlooks the Forbidden City. There are 246 contemporary rooms, including 25 suites spanning 45 to 240 square metres. In the Penthouse Suite beds are dressed in 400-thread-count sheets and there is a vast walk-in closet. The Presidential Suite is adorned in art and fine furnishings. Its oversized bedroom contains a plush king bed and spa-inspired bathroom as well as living room and kitchen. Meanwhile, the enormous Chairman Suite on Level 49 provides 360-degree views of Beijing. There is a deep bathtub, a living and dining room and a fully equipped kitchen – all serviced by butlers.
China Grill on Level 66 is famous for its melt-in-the-mouth 'chocolate' wagyu steaks or à la carte eggs benedict. Meanwhile, the 63rd floor lobby lounge offers coffee and cakes. Also on this floor is the Dining Room – serving Chinese and Western fayre. China Bar on the 65th floor is an elegant place to enjoy afternoon tea or to watch the sun set with a cocktail in hand. The Health Club and Tian Spa on the 59th floor has two single rooms and a couple rooms decorate with dark-coloured panels and painted cloud images create a calm environment. There’s also a sauna and gym, not to mention a 25-metre lap pool that peering across the city.
Yanqi – Kempinski - 9/10
Located on Yanqi Island with a marina, the 110 room Yanqi Hotel – Kempinski - takes inspiration from its serene location and lakes. The hotel is a good hour’s drive from the centre of Beijing. Guests can take a break from city living as they soak in the waterside living, garden views and tranquillity - that this hotel affords. Luxury awaits in the 72 deluxe villas which are surrounded by lush greenery. For true opulence you can choose the Chairman Suite – the height of Kempinski luxury.
There are four unique restaurants and bars. Yanqi Hotel fuses local food with European recipes – specialising in fresh seafood. There is also a fine wine selection and afternoon tea options. Facilities include a 478 square metre indoor swimming pool and the Kempinski Spa which offers a range of treatments from rejuvenating scrubs to massages.
Cours Et Pavillons - 9/10
Exclusivity is the watchword for this stylish hotel which has just seven rooms - which are more a collection of beautiful individual luxury residences. Almost concealed within the city’s traditional hutong, Cours Et Pavillons offers a link between contemporary and the ancient Chinese cultures. A private paradise lies behind the gates with beautiful wooden carvings and examples of the Ming and Qing dynasties in all places.
Guests can choose from North and South Courtyard Superior rooms - as well as executive rooms. Some of the rooms have Jacuzzis to spend time rejuvenating and relaxing away from the humdrum of the city. As for dining, there is a superb French restaurant serving high-quality food in stunning surroundings. Despite its hidden-away feel, the hotel is also ideally located for visiting Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City and is connected to a shopping centre.
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