There was a time that a trip to Beijing was a mixed bag for travelers.
For years, the city was the reserve of businessmen eager to capitalize on the country’s booming potential. When tourists warily made their way back into China after the Cultural Revolution, it was mostly considered an eccentrics’ destination. The culture was too foreign, the communist era buildings weren’t exactly wanderlust material, and its notoriously authoritarian government system was an affront to the ideology and sensibilities of the West.
50 years on, things have changed drastically.
Beijing is now one of the fastest developing urban centers in the world and a walk through its dusty hutongs and streets reveals the signs of a country in transition.
Alongside traditional medicine stores and barber shops offering $2 shaves, are bars serving craft beers, avant- garde design studios, and art galleries filled with works that could one day, add to the multi million dollar figures Chinese art fetches on the international market.
This “gentrification” of sorts, a direct response the rise of the country’s growing “nouveau-riches” and influx of expatriates, has transformed Beijing into a destination of choice for the luxury travel enthusiast.
With tourism in China expected to grow within the coming years, we take a look at the five-star hotels which will house the growing army of luxury travelers set to visit the country. These three hotels, all from our collection, are among the best the city has to offer and are designed to cater to only the most discerning of travelers.
The Rosewood Beijing
With it’s sleek contemporary designs, rich collection of local artwork, and deference to tradition, the Rosewood Beijing is modern China made manifest.”
Reasons to book
The hotel has one of the largest private collections of Contemporary Chinese art for you to contemplate.
The rooms are shining examples of how traditional Chinese aesthetics are perfectly suited to contemporary design.
A prime location in Chaoyang makes the Rosewood a great hotel choice whether you’re in town for work or play.
The six dining and bar options spoil you for choice and they’re all excellent.
There’s an indoor pool. Other than the excellent spa, it’s one of the best ways to unwind after a busy day.
What makes it unique
Few hotels symbolize China’s cultural change quite like the Rosewood Beijing.
The hotel is at the heart of the Chaoyang district, an area known for its embassies and financial institutions, but also for being a booming hub of Beijing’s art scene as symbolized by the nearby 798 Art Zone, a complex of 50-year-old decommissioned military factories now home to Beijing’s avant garde artistic community.
Despite the industrialized atmosphere of the 798, it’s one of the most gentrified areas in the city, and as such, it’s impossible not to draw comparisons, at least in philosophy and spirit, with the brand new Rosewood Beijing.
As part of their quest for a “Sense of Place” in their hotels, the Rosewood group, in collaboration with the Peking Art Associates consultancy firm, hand picked a selection of Beijing based artists skilled in combining traditional materials and techniques to help create the hotel’s personality. The result, is a unique look which establishes the Rosewood as one of the best hotels in Beijing.
The Whisky Bar: A Gentleman’s club-style area that stocks some of the rarer whisky’s in Beijing
The Rosewood Beijing’s stunning lobby with soaring Shan Shui styled mountainscapes .
A must for one of the best hotels in Beijing, the Rosewood’s flagship restaurant, the Red Bowl, offers an exceptional visual and culinary experience .
Location and things to do
Controversial but undeniably unique, Rem Koolhaas’s CCTV tower building can be seen from most of the Rosewood Beijing’s rooms .
Located in Chaoyang, the Rosewood Beijing imposes itself as the ideal hub for the saavy business traveler but, pigeonholing the hotel as such sells it short. The Rosewood’s location makes it ideal for anybody eager for a taste of Beijing’s new-wave of high-end-shopping malls and restaurants.
The China World Mall – a 15-minute drive from the hotel – stocks international brands such as Fendi, Louis Vuitton, as well as China’s best fashion houses. But, if you’re after something more traditional and don’t mind flexing your haggling muscle, the nearby Panjiayuan Market is the place to go. Once you wade through a sea ok knock-offs there are some genuine gems to be unearthed (such as authentic Cultural Revolution propaganda posters) if you’re up for the hunt. For business travelers, you’ll be happy to know that the Rosewood is a mere 10 minute drive away from the CBD.
The Rosewood Beijing’s Deluxe Room
Generously sized and with floor to ceiling windows offering views of Rem Koolhaas’s CCTV Tower and Beijing’s skyline, the Rosewood offers what you’d expect from one of the best luxury hotels in Beijing and then some. God is in the details here, with elegant touches such as a China Tea Book on a tea caddy and numerous Chinese objects d’arts.
Fans of the Rosewood London’s sleek monochrome colors will feel right at home at the Rosewood Beijing. It’s not exactly a cut and paste job, but the DNA for the chain’s more modern hotels is evident here. Other than the looks, one of the main reasons to book the Rosewood Beijing’s rooms is their size. The Rosewood Beijing has some of the largest rooms in the city.
Elegance is in the details. The Rosewood Beijing’s bathrooms are carved from marble and stocked with Lorenzo Villoresi bathroom amenities.
Located on floors 7 to 23, the Manor Suites offer sweeping views over the CCTV tower and Beijing skyline .
The Rosewood is, without a doubt, one of the best hotels in Beijing. But it’s more than that. Thanks to its unique artistic vision and sophisticated designs, this luxury hotel is an ambassador for modern Beijing. Through its curated selection of artworks, it serves as a crossroad between China’s history, and its promising future, a place where Chinese tradition is expertly layered onto the hotel’s contemporary style, and carried into the future for the pleasure of locals and international travelers.
The Opposite House
“Razor sharp designs freed from clutter, and a sense of timeless elegance, give the Opposite House the emotional impact and poetry of a well crafted Haiku.”
Reasons to book
The Opposite House does away with regular hotel conventions. If you’re after something different for your next hotel stay, this is it.
The elegant designs are unique in China.
It’s location at the heart of Sanlitun, Beijing’s most gentrified area, is minutes away from some of the best high-end shopping and restaurants the city has to offer.
The Sureno restaurant, and the MEI bar, found within the hotel, are magnets for well-to-do locals and expats and are THE places to see and be seen.
Comfortable and spacious, the rooms at the Opposite House instantly soothe the mind and are exactly what you need after a full day in Beijing.
Even from the outside, the Opposite House looks radically different from any other hotel in Beijing.
What makes it unique
One of the greatest luxuries at the Opposite House, is not necessarily what you’ll find within but instead, what has been left out.
Of all the hotels on this list, the Opposite House is the true master of minimalism and understated luxury . No fussiness and no over the top design, nothing distracts from the sense of zen and openness created by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. In a city notorious for its pollution and crowds, that’s an absolute blessing.
Kuma’s hotel design debut, the Opposite House amazes with its ability to feel like… well, anything but a hotel.
There’s no reception desk or any other hotel trope. Instead, young and attractive staff dressed in black handle your check-in procedures. The rooms, are dubbed “studios” to allow the creativity of their residents to flourish, and the crowd, – Chinese pop stars, well-to-do hipsters and young Western business moguls,- are as colorful and offbeat as the hotel they call home.
Airy, grandiose, luxurious and with an attention to detail that is close to faultless ( a rarity in Beijing) the Opposite House is an alternate universe, markedly different from the hubbub of Sanlitun, and what a beautiful one it is at that.
Spacious and with something of a 70’s vibe, once you step into the Opposite House’s lobby, you can check the hubbub of Beijing at the door.
The Sureno restaurant, one of Sanlitun’s most in demand eats.
The Opposite House finds itself in expat-centric Sanlitun. The district’s nightlife is notorious for being the best Beijing has to offer, and if you’re not in the mood to party till you drop, you can always shop or dine till you do so.
Sanlitun North Village, is just across the street from the hotel and a bonafide threat to your credit card with brands like Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Versace and Comme des Garçons among others. For dining you’re spoiled for choice with many great Chinese and non-chinese restaurants to choose, including, the renowned Duck de Chine which is a mere 10 minute walk from the hotel. As for the partying, whether it’s chilled out rooftop lounges or some of the largest nightclubs in Beijing, Sanlitun has it all.
For the business crowd, the hotel’s Downtown location makes it a cinch to get to the CBD. However, the traffic is notoriously heavy so plan ahead.
Keep fit and blow some steam in the hotel’s fitness center and indoor pool.
Coming off from the streets of Sanlitun, every one of the Opposite House’s rooms feel like pods of comfort connected to nature.
Natural wood is the dominant color here, with only the splashes of white of the furniture, 400 thread count bed linen and granite walls interrupting the sea of oak. It’s so otherworldly that it even manages to make a simple television screen seem out of place.
The hotel’s entry level room category, Studio 45, is spacious by Beijing standards and the saavy bared bones design and wealth of natural light make it look twice its size. The Studio 70 offers sweeping views of Sanlitun through its massive floor to ceiling windows and the Studio 115, offers a private balcony and a personal Jacuzzi to enjoy at your whim. The Penthouse, the hotel’s flagship suite, is a stunner spanning two storeys and with a private terrace and pool.
The Opposite House’s Studio 115
The Opposite House’s Studio 95, the perfect compromise between space and comfort
The Penthouse Suite offers you your very own terrace and pool.
No two hotels are the same but visit enough of them, and you’ll start seeing a familiar pattern. None however, are quite like the Opposite House. This magnificent property in Sanlitun is the one to pick if you’re after a hotel experience that’s off the beaten track, and yet, delivers a flawless luxury experience from check-in to check-out.
Four Seasons Hotel Beijing
” The one to choose if you’re travelling with family, or want a great all-rounder hotel experience. As usual, the signature Four Seasons service is flawless and goes the extra mile to make you comfortable and put a smile on your face”
Reasons to book
Great for the kids, the Four Seasons’ curated activity list wraps up education and fun in one neat package.
If you’re a fan of the Four Seasons’ signature designs, the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing’s rooms and suites deliver with aplomb.
The hotel’s spa is easily the best in Beijing
There’s a plethora of dining options to choose from
A well equipped business center and a central location make this one of the best business hotel’s on our list
What makes it unique
One of the best hotels in Beijing, the Four Seasons is the middle ground all luxury travelers can agree on.
It does a little bit of everything and it does it well, with its award winning restaurants, exceptional spa (one of the best in the city in fact) and signature Four Seasons service. If you’re traveling with children, you’ll be happy to know that it’s one of the most kid friendly hotels in this list.
If business is your main reason to travel, its location – right between the Yansha district and Chaoyang Park – is among the best you’ll find and many of the city’s cultural landmarks are a mere 20 minute drive away.
It’s the perfect hub for the busy traveler and with its 7 restaurants and bars, 20-metre indoor pool, well equipped business center and curated list of family friendly activities, it’s impossible not to fall for this gem.
For traditional Cantonese fare, the Cai Yi Xuan is one of Beijing’s best .
The Four Seasons Hotel Beijing’s lobby is a sight to behold.
The Four Seasons Hotel Beijing is home to one of the best spa’s in the Chinese capital.
On the border of Sanlitun, the Four Seasons Beijing is adjacent to the Japanese and US Embassies and a number of company headquarters. Chaoyang Park, Beijing’s largest park, is within walking distance of the hotel.
The Beijing Suite
With 313 guest rooms and 66 suites the Four Seasons offers a bevy of room options to choose. There are no flights of fancy here, but the hotel chain’s understated luxury aesthetics infused with a hint of Chinese DNA are a joy to return to in the evenings. Some may bemoan the lack of Asian influence in the design, but if that doesn’t bother you, a stay at the Four Seasons give you access to some of the most soothing and comfortable rooms available in Beijing that are perfect whether you’re in town for business or leisure.
As from the Premier Room category, all rooms are equipped with a separate study for maximum productivity. As from the Ambassador Suite, you’re treated to panoramic views over Beijing’s cityscape, and the Imperial Suite, dubbed the “Palace in the Sky” spans the whole of the 27th floor of the hotel and is styled to resemble an art gallery and comes with a private terrace.
The Four Seasons Room
The Imperial Suite Living Room
If you’re travelling with your family, or just want an exceptional hotel experience designed to be the perfect fit for just about anyone, the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing is the hotel of choice. For business travelers, the hotel’s business center and location cannot be beat. Spa lovers will love the hotel’s saavy blend of traditional Chinese and Western therapies and the bevvy of treatment options it offers. If you’re on the fence on which hotel to book for your trip to Beijing, the Four Seasons is a sure pick.
Not satisfied with our list? need more options on where to stay for your trip to Beijing? Don’t worry, we’re back next week with more of the best hotels in Beijing for your to choose. In the meantime, you can always get in touch with us for suggestions if you can’t wait that long.