The Peninsula Beijing
The Peninsula is in the heart of historic Beijing and is one of the best hotels in all of China. However, it won't appeal to the guest looking for an authentic Beijing experience, but for guests who come to stay in a hotel of the highest international standards and maybe do a little shopping. For those the hotel is Nirvana. The Peninsula sits atop the biggest collection of haute couture stores north of Hong Kong: Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Versace are all in sight of the lobby and give the impression of a high-end shopping mall (several escalators contribute to the illusion.) Business travelers too will enjoy a level of service few Beijing hotels have attained.
An elaborate green flying-eve roofline and red stonework crown this 14-story building like colorful icing on a dull white cake. Inside, things get livelier. Neon-accented elevators rising in a five-story atrium frame the green glass fountain that plummets two stories.
A marble bridge crosses over the fountain, and guests are greeted at both ends by smiling jade-tiled horses. The reception area is in a recess to the right—accessible yet unobtrusive. To the left, the lobby lounge serves tea to the strains of genteel music.
Dining is a treat, with the Huang Ting, serving fine Cantonese fare, and the award-winning Jing restaurant serving Western cuisine with Asian overtones. The Lobby Lounge is very stylish, and an ideal place to rendezvous for drinks.
The third-floor health club has good exercise equipment, whirlpools, a sauna, and a stunning skylighted pool with access to a sun terrace. Conferences for up to 500 people are handled skillfully. The cramped but complete business center is always open and staffed with savvy professionals.
Guest rooms have been furnished with high-quality materials, and housekeeping is efficient. Furniture is made of exotic woods, beds are firm, and minibars are better stocked here than anywhere else. All rooms have large desks, drinking-water dispensers, coffeemakers, robes, safes, high-tech bedside controls, and TVs with in-house movies.
Baths finished in marble have anti-fog mirrors and stall showers. Towels are luxuriant, and amenities are designed to impress. Premium rooms are top-notch, with separate check-in and a caring staff at the ready. Soundproofing could be better than it is, and third-floor accommodations should be avoided altogether due to heavy traffic through the hallways. The quality of room-service selections is always excellent.
With its prime location, some of the best views in Beijing, and refined surroundings, this place attracts a very savvy international crowd.
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