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Raffles Beijing Hotel, Beijing

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Beijing, China, Asia: The Raffles Beijing Hotel in China occupies the former Grand Hôstel de Pékin
33 East Chang An Avenue
Tel: 86 10 6526 3388's insider take:

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.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 95.2
  • Design: 96.2
  • Food: 88.6
  • Location: 100.0
  • Rooms: 96.9
  • Service: 94.3
This early-twentieth-century Beaux Arts "oasis filled with old-world charm" is near the Forbidden City, ergo the perfect location score. Its vaulted lobby has knotted rugs, silk-tasselled cushions, and gold leaf. "The Writers Bar epitomizes the hotel," which is "elegant, refined, and classy, with courteous staff." Enjoy "a spectacular buffet" at East 33. "Whenever you return, it feels like coming home."

(171 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Spa

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