May 31, 2011 | | Comments 23

The Hotel I Stayed In Beijing

Hey honey:

I want to tell you about the hotel I stayed in. In all my business travels, I must say I was most impressed with this one that my company’s travel services booked me into.

I was kind of worried to tell the truth when I first checked into the hotel when I was told that I have a reservation for the executive suite and that it is $300 a day. Already a $300 a day room in the US is quite a bit of money for a room night but in Beijing, this is a princely sum.

Needless to say, service was superb. They directed me to a sofa to wait and served me tea. Then the front desk manager (not just any bell boy) personally walked me to the room. So I was thinking … if I tip 10 RMB for the bell boy, how much should I tip this manager. Ended up that I did not have to tip.

The manager left me with her card for me to call her for anything I needed. That was useful because if I wanted to ask question like “where is a good hot pot restaurant nreaby?” I had someone ready to assist. I was impressed because every time I bumped into her, she remembers my name and what I had earlier asked for and such.

The thing I enjoyed most was the 24th Floor Club Lounge.

Unlike in my all previous business travel, once I get to the hotel, it is just the room I am cooped up in. The 24th Floor lounge is a fantastic place.

There are internet stations which is complete with scanners and printers. I only used this once since I get internet connection in my room but the printer was definitely useful.

I had my breakfast on most of my mornings at the 24th floor. I like sitting at the same spot. The view is great from here.

They have a huge breakfast spread (above shown part of it) and they are really good. This is all free. Eat all you want, drink all you want. The fridge is stocked with wine, beer, and juices. They have espresso machines. Fresh fruits. Pastries. Western and Asian.

I utterly enjoyed their breakfasts but at the same time I wished I could go downstairs and get a 5 RMB breakfast from the street corner! Most of the time I am “forced” to eat here because of time constraint.

Love their eggs. Sometimes I would ask them to make me half boiled eggs and sunny side up eggs with soya sauce.

Sometimes I just had porridge. The porridge was not too good. To tell the truth.

Have you seen one of these thing? For a moment I thought this was maggot or something. I looked at the ends and see if there are mouth like openings. :-) I had to take a small bite just to be sure.

I enjoyed their smooth soya bean milk a lot. It was not sweetened. This was a good enough substitute for coffee to me.

Their other Chinese breakfast offering is pretty tasty too.

This place was a great place to get started for work. We normally get a cab across town to the office at 8:30 AM. For me, I usually got to the 24th Floor Club by 7:00 AM so that I can read the papers and have a slow breakfast.

This place also have several sections of lounges. We meet for a bit of finger food right after work and do debriefing. There is even a meeting room that we can use for 2 hours on the 24th Floor Club.

The room was really comfortable and spacious.

My room does not have much of a view as it was facing another high rise building.

The workstation has everything I needed. The internet connection was fast and are available in both wired and wireless. They have a hands free phone too which was useful when I had to get on a conference call with the folks in the US and UK.

They have writing papers nicely put in a nice drawer box.

Some nights they will bring tea to my room. I am not sure why they did not give this every night. I think maybe it’s because each can of tea can last two days. I enjoyed having hot tea at night while putting in some work.

The kettle is stored hidden in a drawer. There are a lot of drawers which kept things out of sight and reduce the clutter.

I avoided these because I can’t sleep. I really needed to make sure I had a good sleep every night.

The bedside clock even have an iPhone dock. Really handy to charge the iPhone everyday without fishing out the cables.

OK, don’t worry. I had my jeans on when I weighed myself. :-) Actually I lost a bit of weight here because of all the walking. I hope the scales here are calibrated the same as the one we have at home.

Did not touch these. I just have to go up two floors and get these for free at the 24th Floor Club.






So which one of these can I take home? :-) I got the slippers and the shoe polish above.

Great to have nice shining shoes and if you are too lazy to shine it yourself, you can always get them to shine for you. Isn’t this place awesome?

I love the shower. See the big shower head thingy (can’t remember the word now) above? The shower is so strong if I pull it to max that I could hardly breathe under the shower.

The tub was not my sort of thing.

Free stuff that I took home. We’ll throw these in the box at home where we keep our stash of these toiletries.

Evian is expensive but these are free.

For pulling facial hair. Good thing they have it here.

And the throne. You know I had been having many dumps every day — at least three times. I think it is the food here which makes me go in smaller splurts. Or maybe I was just too afraid to use Beijing’s (squatting!) public toilets and I had conditioned my body to go as soon as there are some to go. You know what I mean?

Sigh … it was great staying in this hotel for a week. I had to move to a much cheaper hotel for the second week. This second hotel I am now staying in is no where near the luxury of the Renaissance. Even though the second hotel is $90 a night, they are also just as well equipped. I’m thinking that the hotels that we stayed in Canada and the US pale in comparison with the hotels in China (or Asia).

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  1. wyn says:

    do you think the club floor is located on 24 (“easy to die”) because no Chinese traveler would want to stay overnight on that floor??
    when i was in Beijing for a few days my hotel (otherwise quite crappy) had a great east and west breakfast buffet. I also tried the congee flavored with random pickled vegetables. surprisingly wasn’t the least tasty compared to a savory Cantonese congee!

    • Ben says:

      Hehehe … I did not think of it that way but now you mentioned it! I did not notice the floors on this hotel but in the office I worked in last week, the building does not have floors 13 and 14. Ben

  2. Elaine says:

    I hate hotels in Vancouver hahaha. A 5-star here is nothing compared to a 5-star in Asia!

  3. Willow says:

    Wow! What a gorgeous hotel. It makes such a difference, being away from home… but having all those nice things to make it easier. The hotels in North America don’t seem to pay attention to all the little details. Thanks for such an interesting post!

  4. Donna says:

    Love swanky hotels! Can get good deals on them once in awhile if you’re lucky or know someone. Hmmm… it’d be fun to live in one of those for a year or two! Is laundry included? lol

  5. Angie says:

    That shower head is called “rain shower”. It’s great, isn’t it?

  6. Pinoy Gourmet says:

    Elaine there is really no comparison between Asian and North American Hotels.To cite an example,The Pan Pacific in Manila has butler floors where EVERY room has its own butler assigned only to that room.Imagine that here

  7. akwok says:

    So uh, what IS that maggot-like thing in your congee?

    • Shmoo says:

      I had original assumed they were silk worms… did they actually just turn out to be something more mundane?

      Also, Ben, I think with this post I really felt like I was spying on your letters home… :D

      • Ben says:

        That’s fine, Shmoo. I wanted to experiment writing this travel series in that style of writing to Suanne. Ben

        • Shmoo says:

          I suppose the eavesdropping feeling was accentuated because this installment involved your consideration of toilet habits… :)

    • liz says:

      Looks like a pickled vegetable; probably the sweet kind.

    • Ben says:

      Hi akwok (and other): Nope, those are not maggots. I thought they were. There were like some kind of pickled roots. Not exactly sure though. Ben

  8. mo says:

    all you can drink wine on the 24th floor??? woot!

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, my work mates were taking full advantage of that. Too bad that I flushes red after a small bottle of beer. So I ended up mostly with juices. Ben

  9. tw says:

    let’s all try to keep in mind that labour costs are MUCH different here compared to anywhere in asia. it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

  10. Kevin says:

    Damn that is fancy.

  11. neige.tyro says:

    wow i am definitely going to guess u meant 2100RMB a night rather than 300rmb a night lol!
    fun fact: the proper way to dump is actually the squat and NOT the sitting toilet we see in n.america

    • Ben says:

      The problem with dumping by squatting is that your butt and your nose is so much more closer to the load. I can’t stand the thought of it today even though I was a squatter in the earlier days in Malaysia. And I can’t stand the “screech marks” if it does not flush clean. Ben

  12. marrie says:

    Wow! What a gorgeous hotel. It makes such a difference, being away from home… but having all those nice things to make it easier.

  13. Anna says:

    haha , my sister had her wedding at this hotel in HK too… the suite is just amazing.. i guess theres more space in HK, cuz the living room was pretty much as big as mine in Canada, andthe bed was AMAZINGLY comfortable.. wish i could have it :(

    • Ben says:

      The pillows were what I like a lot, Anna. I wonder what type of pillows that was they have. It is firm and holds its shape and yet soft. What is important to me in a pillow is that it does not collect heat. I like cold pillow. Suanne was saying that someone should invent a pillow that keeps cold, just like you have blankets that are heated. Ben

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