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Beijing Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing
14 Gongmenqian Street
Summer Palace
Beijing
China 100091
Tel: 800 477 9180 (toll-free)
Tel: 86 10 5987 9999
theamansummerpalace@amanresorts.com
www.amanresorts.com/home.aspx?id=5700

Chinese officials have been planning a hotel in this former Imperial retreat on the outskirts of Beijing for nearly 20 years. The Aman signed up only three years ago but has not wasted any time opening its first China outpost. Adrian Zecha's company has turned the handsome gray-brick residences of the former emperors' guests into a resort that effortlessly blends historic appeal, traditional Chinese design, and 21st-century comforts. The 51 rooms—serviced by 357 staff—are spread across the historic 6.9-acre site adjacent to the Summer Palace's east gate. Nestled among courtyards, willow- and bamboo-lined stone pathways, and a picturesque lake, the resort allows private day and night access to the palace and gardens. The rooms and suites—which range from 409 square feet to 3,122 square feet—feature high wooden beams, four-poster beds, wooden latticed styling, and heated oil-polished Jin clay stone tiles. The palatial public areas are dressed with Ming dynasty furnishings, silk trimmings, and photos of the rulers who once roamed the long corridors. The range and standard of facilities are excellent, with four restaurants, including Naoki—named after Kyoto-born chef Naoki Okumura—which serves French kaiseki (think French techniques and Japanese presentation); a private library; a "culture room" with Chinese paper cutting and calligraphy; an underground spa, gym, and Pilates studio; and a private 38-seat cinema. But perhaps the finest touch is also the simplest: In the late afternoons, two female erhu and guzheng musicians dressed in red silk gowns play ancient folk tunes in a waterside pavilion. The gentle melodies would soften the heart of the most fearsome emperor.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
China World Summit Wing
1 Jianguomenwai Avenue
Beijing
China 100004
Tel: 86 10 6505 2299
Fax: 86 10 6505 8811
www.shangri-la.com/en/property/beijing/chinaworldsummitwing

Beijing's highest hotel is a metaphor for China's upward economic push. Managed by Shangri-La, it occupies the top 16 floors of Beijing's tallest tower (called the China World Tower) on the main drag leading toward Tiananmen Square. The public spaces are bathed in propitious gold lighting, reflected in paneled glass and cream-colored marble. The building's height—topping 1,000 feet—is on display throughout: Floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms and restaurants provide magnificent views across the capital. The 278 guest rooms and suites (located on floors 67 through 77) feature more gold decor, this time paired with warm browns, as well as wall-hung plasma TVs, iPod docks, and Nespresso coffee machines; Wi-Fi is complimentary. Spacious bathrooms have dark marble tubs, rain forest showers, and L'Occitane bath products. For an even more elevated high, visit the Adam Tihany–designed Grill 79 restaurant and the preferred cocktail lounge of Beijing shakermakers, Atmosphere, on the 79th and 80th floors.—Gary Bowerman

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Commune by the Great Wall Kempinski
Badaling Highway, Shuiguan Exit
Beijing
China 102102
Tel: 86 10 8118 1888
reservations.thegreatwall@kempinski.com
www.communebythegreatwall.com/en/

In 2001, 12 Asian architects were asked to design their dream homes right at the base of the Badaling section of the Great Wall, an hour's drive from Beijing. The result is this multi-building complex: part boutique hotel; part rural retreat; part showcase of contemporary, high-concept architecture. Kengo Kuma's Bamboo Wall House has an expansive bamboo-framed tearoom hanging over water. Kanika R'kul's Shared House was designed around the theme of communication—even the bathroom has two separate tubs, so friends can bathe together. Great concept—but one, unfortunately, trumped by reality. Many of the 375-square-foot-and-up rooms have been poorly maintained, with paint chipping, floors scuffed, and exteriors sorely in need of pressure cleaning. The sparseness of the furnishings—a mix of Ikea-style modernism with the occasional Chinese antique—does nothing to hide these flaws or to muffle the sound that travels through the thin walls. Moreover, the hotel ill-advisedly mass-reproduced four of the most popular designs, undermining their architectural integrity by chopping up the rooms in awkward ways (you can still rent the originals in their entirety, albeit at a very high rate). Such missteps are all the more frustrating since the Commune gets nearly everything else right, from the friendly service to the elegant Chinese dishes served in the restaurant. The serene common areas, in honey-colored wood designed by Seung H-Sang, also include a screening room, bar, and spa. The Commune also has the ultimate Great Wall location: You can awake to see the mist hugging the Wall's ancient form, take a five-minute shuttle to the most famous restored section, and then retreat from the tourist hordes to a hotel-arranged picnic atop the Wild Wall, an unrestored stretch open only to Commune guests. The view of the lush sloping valley from your perch in a crumbling watchtower just might make the scrappy rooms and hefty rates worth it. The Wall is close enough to Beijing that you can easily tackle it in a day trip, but if you're set on staying out by the Wall and want an alternative to the Commune, you could consider the rustic Red Capital Ranch or hire a company to take you camping on an unrestored section.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fairmont Beijing
8 Yong An Dong Li
Chaoyang District
Beijing
China 100022
Tel: 866 551 5659
Tel: 86 10 8511 7777
beijing@fairmont.com
www.fairmont.com/beijing

It's located in the heart of Beijing's Central Business District, but the all-glass, rose gold-colored Fairmont pops out from the surrounding office buildings. Inside, the hotel is all understated beiges, creams, and gold, and in the lobby, a 52-foot-long glass sculpture of a fish, the Chinese symbol of wealth and prosperity. The 222 sophisticated and sun-drenched rooms and suites are decorated with local accents such as carved lacquer boxes and embroidered pillows, and smart functional touches including desks equipped with USB/fax/printer ports and a multi-plug adapter, as well as a Bose sound system, and complimentary Nespresso machine. The elegant marble bathrooms have gilded fittings, and you'll soak for hours in the enormous sunken bathtub, which comes complete with its own flat-screen TV. There is even a "bath sommelier" if don't want to draw your own; in fact, all of guest services have been streamlined into one central number, the Royal Service, which means that no matter your request, you need only touch one button to find an attendant—speaking remarkably good English—at your disposal.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Hyatt Beijing
1 East Chang An Avenue
Beijing
China 100738
Tel: 86 10 8518 1234
reservations.beigh@hyattintl.com
www.beijing.grand.hyatt.com

With a prime central location adjacent to Wangfujing shopping street, this vast hotel has been popular with business and leisure travelers since it opened in 2001. The showstopper here is the over-the-top Club Oasis, with its massive waterfall-studded indoor pool and courtyard surrounded by stone columns, teak furniture, and a jungle of potted plants. Overhead, the kitschy "virtual sky" ceiling changes colors by day and breaks out in faux stars at night. In comparison, the 825 guest rooms, decorated with black-and-white photographs and minimalist, earth-toned furniture, are comfortable though uninspired. The on-site eating and drinking options include Redmoon, a swank sushi and cocktail bar, and Made in China restaurant for superb Peking duck.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Côté Cour S.L.
70 Yanyue Lane
Beijing
China 1000010
Tel: 86 10 651 28020
info@hotelcotecoursl.com
hotelcotecoursl.com

Tucked down an old Beijing lane between the Forbidden City and the nightlife spots of Chaoyang District, this small, friendly hotel occupies a lovingly restored gray-brick hutong home. The district is a throwback to a different era, with tricycle deliverymen, on-street hairdressers, and fresh produce wheeled along the narrow lanes. All 14 nonsmoking rooms were personally designed by owner Shauna Liu and are elegantly dressed in olive greens and light browns, with subtly latticed Chinese woodwork and oil-polished concrete floors. Each one has a rain-forest shower, flat-screen cable TV, and free Wi-Fi. The guest rooms are set around a rectangular private courtyard with tables and chairs for outdoor relaxation. At night, hanging red lanterns around the courtyard add a sense of romance, particularly when viewed from the spacious rooftop terrace bar. A cozy communal lounge with armchairs, magazines, and contemporary artwork doubles as a laid-back breakfast room.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel G
No.A7 Gongtixilu
Chao Yang District
Beijing
China 100020
Tel: 86 10 6552 3600
hotel-g.com

The 110-room Hotel G, with its beaconlike, multi-hued windows, makes no bones about its flashy nature: The bordello meets boardroom interiors feature damask stenciled walls, burgundy velvet furnishings, outrageous crystal chandeliers, and mirrors everywhere. Sensual black-and-white photos and miniature Harley Davidsons by artists at the local 798 Dashanzi Art District create a 1960s Hollywood feel. Your room key provides access to several trendy nightclubs nearby, and on weekends, the French DJ Maxwell spins in the lounge at the hotel's restaurant, 25 Degrees, drawing Beijing's bright young things.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
JW Marriott Hotel Beijing
83 Jian Guo Road
Chaoyang
Beijing
China 100025
Tel: 86 10 5908 6688
Fax: 86 10 5908 6699
www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bjsjw-jw-marriott-hotel-beijing/

You don't have to seek out some stone guesthouse in a crumbling old hutong to immerse yourself in Beijing culture. The JW Marriott Hotel Beijing, while obviously Western-oriented, has a youthful energy that mirrors Beijing's burgeoning society. Located in China Central Place, a massive development of luxury condos, office towers, and malls, the JW elegantly bridges the gap between expat bankers and Chinese moguls, business and Bulgari. In lieu of the staid lobby piano music of similar hotels, the JW brings in a lounge-y DJ for the after-work crowd of well-heeled expats, Chinese professionals, and hotel guests. The 549 rooms have functional work spaces with ergonomic chairs as well as sexy sunken tubs whose glass walls peep into the bedroom. The decor is a soothing antidote to the chaos of Beijing: Light moss and copper throws sit atop fluffy white duvets and down pillows, and the marble bathrooms have soothing rain-forest showerheads. The service is efficient and reliable. Be sure to make time for the QUAN Spa, whose softly lit pool, whirlpool, and aromatic steam room are so relaxing you might not even need to book a treatment. Also on-site are three restaurants: the expense-account CRU Steakhouse, the French/Continental Pinot Brasserie, and the more casual Asia Bistro, which has a theaterlike open kitchen with cooking stations.—Colleen Clark

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Lu Song Yuan Hotel
22 Banchang Lane
Beijing
China
Tel: 86 10 6404 0436
Fax: 86 10 6403 0418
www.the-silk-road.com/hotel/lusongyuanhotel/

Stone lions, known here as menshi, guard the heavy wooden doorway to this lovely hotel more than 500 years old. Just a short walk from the Back Lakes, it occupies the onetime imperial home of General Zeng Ge Ling Qin, a military leader during the Qing dynasty. The 68 cozy rooms are traditionally furnished, with red-tasseled lamps and dark wood furniture, but they don't feel like museum galleries. Most have private courtyards with manicured plantings and rock gardens, and stone tables and chairs. There's a stone-floored teahouse in the lobby, and a great, inexpensive restaurant serving a mix of Szechuan and Cantonese dishes.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Opposite House
11 Sanlitun Road
The Village, Building 1
Chaoyang
Beijing
China 100027
Tel: 86 10 6417 6688
answers@theoppositehouse.com
www.theoppositehouse.com

Encased in tinted green glass and opened just in time for the 2008 Olympics, the interior of this artsy 99-room lodge, by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, is based on the theme of an urban forest. Stepping inside the lobby—which has a welcome lounge rather than a check-in desk—feels like entering an art museum (exhibits include a Mao jacket and a qi pao dress created from broken pieces of Chinese porcelain by artist Li Xiaofeng). An angular atrium floods the area with light, and two flat reflecting pools sit beneath ceiling-draped wire mesh curtains. Visible below is a 22-meter stainless-steel swimming pool. The minimalist open-plan guest rooms are outfitted with brushed oak floors, glass paneling, and cream bedwear. Each room features free Wi-Fi, complimentary minibar, plasma TV, stand-alone bathtub, and rain forest shower. Shanghai restaurateur David Laris has conceptualized an eclectic collection of restaurants and lounges. There are three places to eat, including Sureño, which serves Mediterranean food in a space decorated with sultry dark woods and caramel detailing. If you're looking for something a bit more authentic, try Bei, specializing in northern Chinese cuisine as well as Japanese and Korean dishes. The hotel's Mesh Bar buzzes with a post-work crowd followed by the party set later in the evening. Opposite House is destined to be the choice of film stars, visiting architects, and anyone who wants to be surrounded by the capital's most dramatically stylish interiors.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Park Hyatt Beijing
2 Jianguomenwai Street
Chaoyang District
Beijing
China 100022
Tel: 86 10 8567 1234
beijing.park.hyatt.com

Its Shanghai sibling may be higher and flashier, but this hotel soars to notable heights of its own, quite literally, with a lobby on the sixty-third floor and 237 guest rooms filling the thirty-seventh to forty-ninth floors of the Beijing Yintai Centre. The most jaw-dropping view is from the sixty-sixth floor's China Grill—Beijing's highest restaurant—which is topped off with a glass pyramidal ceiling and has a menu of everything from steak to sushi and steamed dumplings. Two 24-hour fitness centers—one on the sixth floor and the other on the sixtieth—have sunlit swimming pools, and the sixth-floor option also contains eight treatment rooms designed especially for traditional Chinese medicine. The smallest bedrooms measure nearly 500 square feet, with sliding blond-wood doors, sexy white leather love seats, and fun automatic Japanese toilets (and of course those vertiginous views).

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Peninsula Beijing
8 Goldfish Lane
Beijing
China 100006
Tel: 86 10 8516 2888
pbi@peninsula.com
beijing.peninsula.com

Just a ten-minute cab ride from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the Peninsula also happens to be smack-dab in the shopper's paradise of Wangfujing. The hotel has its own luxury-brand mall, and the giant Oriental Plaza is also nearby, enabling guests to max out their credit cards with relatively little effort. The lobby, filled with Chinese antiques and a gurgling waterfall, is pretty impressive; the 525 posh guest rooms don't disappoint, either. All have streamlined, plush furnishings with subtle Chinese details (dark wood, silky bolster pillows, jade plants), 42-inch plasma TVs, "silent" fax machines, high-speed Internet access, Davi bathroom goodies, and Braille door numbers. A couple of noteworthy pre-Olympic upgrades include a new Peninsula Spa by ESPA and two customized Rolls-Royce Phantoms.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Raffles Beijing Hotel
33 East Chang An Avenue
Beijing
China
Tel: 86 10 6526 3388
beijing@raffles.com
www.beijing.raffles.com

Closer to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City than any of the city's other top-end hotels, the Raffles occupies a Beaux Arts–style building with a long history. Opened in 1917 as the Grand Hotel de Pékin, it witnessed the upheavals of the nation, from the glittering travel era of the 1920s and '30s to the communist party's heyday of the 1950s and '60s (when, known as the Beijing Hotel, it was popular among cadre leaders). Taken over by the Raffles chain and fully renovated in 2006, the hotel now has a marble lobby whose soaring ceilings are hung with sparkling chandeliers, and interiors that combine old-world opulence and new-China glitz. The 147 rooms and 24 suites range from over-the-top splendor (the State Building rooms, with their gilt, marble, and draped canopy beds, are Louis XIV–meets–Las Vegas) to sedate and modern (the Executive units, geared to no-nonsense business travelers). A fitness center and pool, 24-hour valet service, and Wi-Fi contribute to the sumptuous atmosphere.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Red Capital Ranch
28 Xiaguandi Village
Yanxi Township
China
Tel: 86 10 8401 8886
info@redcapitalclub.com.cn
www.redcapitalclub.com.cn/ranch.html

Two hours from the city, this rustic retreat sits among the craggy Huairou mountains at the foot of the Great Wall. Although its remote location means the property closes during the coldest months (between December and early March), during the rest of the year, there's no more peaceful place to clear your mind—and lungs—after a stay in the busy capital (perhaps at the sister property, Red Capital Residence). The property is centered around a stone-walled, Manchurian-inspired hunting lodge, which also serves as the restaurant. Cozy and decorated with colorful Tibetan and Mongolian art, it's a pleasant spot to linger over continental breakfast in the morning and roast lamb or venison at dinnertime. The ten guest villas are little oases, with gauzy canopy curtains drifting around fluffy beds and Tibetan furniture lending an air of Buddhist tranquility. If you want to get out into the country air, hiking areas along unrestored portions of the Great Wall are just a few steps from the property.

Closed December–March.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Red Capital Residence
9 Dongsiliu Tiao
Beijing
China
Tel: 86 10 8401 8886
info@redcapitalclub.com.cn
www.redcapitalclub.com.cn/residence.html

Apparat-chic reigns at this tiny five-room hotel, set on a narrow, bustling hutong street near Tiananmen Square. Scarlet double doors open to reveal a meticulously restored 200-year-old home with exquisitely painted eaves and a tranquil, if teensy, center courtyard. The lounge (where a continental breakfast is served) is stuffed with shabby velvet Mao-era furniture, Social Realist paintings, and other curios, many of which have historical significance: You can recline in Zhou Enlai's favorite armchair or draw the curtain that once hung in Mao's private residence. The romantically dim guest rooms are themselves scattered with Communist kitsch and Chinese antiques; the two Concubine Suites are favorites, with their dramatic, carved canopy beds. Though a bit frayed around the edges, each room has an en suite bathroom with shower, broadband Internet access, and wall-mounted air-conditioning unit for the summer months.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Regent Beijing
99 Jinbao Street
Dongcheng District
Beijing
China 100005
Tel: 800 545 4000
Tel: 86 10 8522 1888
beijing@regenthotels.com
www.regenthotels.com/webExtra.do?hotelCode=RIBJN

With Forbidden City views in some of the rooms, this 2006 property blocks from Wangfujing is "close to the main attractions." In rooms with red sandalwood furnishings and latticework dividing the space, "everything is chic, stylish, and attractive." At Li Jing Xuan, the Cantonese cuisine is "a feast for the eyes as well as the palate." "Gracious staff meet all your needs."

(500 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ritz-Carlton, Beijing
83A Jianguo Road
Beijing
China 100025
Tel: 86 10 5908 8888
Fax: 86 10 5908 8899
www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Beijing/Default.htm

Personalized classical luxury is suffused throughout this 17-floor hotel, opened in late 2007 at China Central Place, a retail and residential development east of the Central Business District. The tone is set upon arrival, with uniformed doormen hand-opening the two heavy wooden doors. Inside, the cream marble and chocolate lobby is compact and elegant. The 305 rooms are decorated in "olde European" style, with gold and green window drapes, armchairs, and banquettes, complemented by high-tech amenities such as large flat-screen TV, DVD player, and iPod dock. Dining options include Barolo, an intimate contemporary Italian eatery, and the jade-themed Yu, for Cantonese cuisine. In contrast to the hotel's overriding aesthetic, the divine top-floor spa is dressed in warm Asian tones and features an impressive suite of aromatic and truly indulgent hand, face, and body treatments.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street
1 Jin Cheng Fang Street East
Beijing
China
Tel: 86 10 6601 6666
ritzcarlton.com

This property is "good if you're on business." Designed in glass and chrome, the tower has a lobby lounge decorated with 60,000 sculpted resin bamboo leaves. "Outstanding rooms" have off-white leather walls and duvets embroidered with the Chinese character for comfort. The Sunday champagne brunch at Greenfish is "simply superb." "Staff are so pleasant."

(253 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Shangri-La Hotel
29 Zizhuyuan Road
Beijing
China 100089
Tel: 86 10 6841 2211
slb@shangrila.com
www.shangri-la.com/en/property/beijing/shangrila

These two tower blocks in western Beijing are "elegant and comfortable," with "gorgeous interiors and beautiful, spacious rooms packed with amenities"—"all you need to bring are your clothes." "Well-trained English-speaking staff understand customer service"; seven restaurants and bars offer Chinese, Japanese, and modern European food. Recharge with a water therapy treatment at Chi Spa.

(670 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
St. Regis Beijing
21 JianGuomenwai Dajie
Beijing
China
Tel: 86 10 6460 6688
stregis.beijing@stregis.com
www.stregis.com/beijing

The aerodynamic angles of this tower next to the Beijing International Club contrast with the buildings in the surrounding diplomatic district. European-and-Chinese-influenced interiors include rosewood and lemonwood furnishings. "Heavenly rooms" have cherry armoires and Chinese silk upholstery. Danieli's serves Italian dishes like spinosini with lobster. The 21,000-square-foot spa uses natural hot spring water.

(258 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Westin Beijing, Chaoyang
7 N. Dongsanhuan Road
Chaoyang District
Beijing
China
Tel: 86 10 5922 8888
reservation.chaoyang@westin.com
www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1967

Located in the Central Business District, this blue glass tower has an angled roof. Eight different bars and restaurants offer cuisine ranging from Cantonese to steak. Seasonal Tastes has live cooking stations and bites from around the globe—"the buffet breakfast is the best." Accommodations have modern furnishings and bathrooms with rain showers.

(550 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Westin Beijing Financial Street
9B Financial Street
XiCheng District
Beijing
China 100032
Tel: 86 10 6606 8866
reservation.beijing@westin.com
www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1704

This tower with a lattice-type exterior has "outstanding decor." "The comfort and style of the rooms are excellent"—select accommodations offer Herman Miller chairs and complimentary bathologist service. Seven restaurants and bars include Prego, where the show kitchen churns out classics like lasagna al forno. "The concierge is excellent."

(486 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Yi House Art Hotel 798
Jiuxianqiao Lu, 2 Hao Yuan, 798 Yishu Qu, 706 Houjie 1 Hao
Beijing
China 100015
Tel: 8610 6436 1818
info@yi-house.com
yi-house.com

Occupying a former crystal factory, this ultra-sleek 30-room hotel was the first to open among the galleries and cafés of the trendy Factory 798 Art District. Surreal photos of Peking Opera characters in nature (by contemporary artist Chi Peng) and funky furniture set the tone: Look for the Mies van der Rohe leather couch and the lime-green sofa in the lobby. At the hotel's Fennel restaurant, the mod-Ming aesthetic (dark brown furniture, chartreuse cushions, and oversized black-and-white photos of Buddhist monks) contrasts with the comforting Mediterranean dishes and hearty breakfasts (the scrumptious house muesli is a meal in itself). The guest rooms and hallways are also a visual treat: A departure from the muted corridors of most contemporary hotels, they're peacock blue, with tribal throw rugs and framed stills from the romantic films of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai. The rooms themselves have light-wood floors; gray, yellow, and white laminate Ming-style closets.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.