Alan and I don’t usually stay at luxurious high-rise hotels. Small inns or bed and breakfasts are more our style. But on a recent cruise from Vancouver to Singapore, Regent Seven Seas Mariner treated all cruise guests to a free night at the Regent Beijing Hotel (we paid for a second night on our own dime). So, here’s my chance to tell baby boomer travelers about an excellent Beijing lodging choice.
The 500-room hotel offers a convenient location near the historical center of the Chinese capital. The upscale area includes many well known high-end stores as well as luxury car dealerships like Ferrari and Lamborghini. When Alan and I arrived, after a three-hour bus ride from the port of Tianjin, check-in was quick with a number of staff present to assist us.
The extraordinary use of interior lighting made an impression as we walked the hotel corridor to our deluxe room. Inside, a small vestibule housed Chinese art work and enough buttons and electrical switches to keep us busy for a few hours as we discovered their use. Dark cherry furniture decorated the very large bedroom where a flat screen TV hung on the wall across from a king-sized bed. Large windows provided a view of the rooftops of the Forbidden City peaking through the surrounding skyscrapers and office buildings.
The luxurious marble bathroom included a walk-in shower. But my favorite was the large tub that sat in front of a glass wall that looked into the bedroom. Automatic blinds assured privacy. Of course the usual luxury hotel amenities were there – terry robes, hair dryer, magnifying mirror and toiletry accessories.
Hotel dining options included five restaurants and lounges. On our first Beijing night, another couple from the ship invited us to dine with them in a private room of the Chinese restaurant, Li Jin Xuan. The soothing atmosphere provided a quieting end to a long travel day. The fixed price menu magically matched the amount on our Regent dining voucher. We ate breakfast at Cafe 99 where an extensive buffet offered Chinese and American selections, including the best chocolate croissants that I’ve ever tasted.
From the Regent Beijing, you can walk to the main shopping districts, including Wangfujing Street. Although Alan and I experienced Tiananmen Square while touring with guide, Jane Yeo, many of our cruise friends walked there from the Regent Beijing. We enjoyed a stroll down the street to experience Sin Dong Yeng Night Market where stall after stall of street vendors sell skewers of grilled squid, prawns and unidentifiable seafood as well as other Chinese favorites.
Have you stayed at the Regent Beijing Hotel? Post a comment to share your experience. Two nights is not enough time to spend in Beijing. Alan and I will be returning to China one of these days.