Beijing is one of the fastest growing cities worldwide and subsequently offers a wide range of local and international hotels. As the capital was the first dot on our recent trip to Asia, I decided to opt for the Renaissance Beijing which is situated in the central Wangfujing district. Beijing is a mega city and the most important thing for me was location. The Renaissance is strategically located close to the sites I wanted to visit and offers international standards with a local twist. Read on to learn more about our stay!
Home in the heart of Beijing
We arrived after a stopover flight from Dubai and enjoyed the convenient Emirates chaffeur service from the airport to the Renaissance. The hotel is located just at the Wangfujing street which is a major high street of Beijing with countless shops and department stores. The Tianamen square and forbidden city are in walking distance and you can choose from hundreds of nearby restaurants. Pro-Tipp: The infamous Wangfujing Snack Street is just a short 5 minute walk.
Upon arrival we were greeted and our luggage was taken care of while we were guided to the front-office in the massive lobby where the check-in took place. The associate was friendly and had a solid English level (much better than my Mandarin though 😊) but informed us that our room wasn’t ready yet. We could wait at the executive lounge and enjoy afternoon tea in the meantime which we did. Roughly one hour later, the room was ready and we were happy to learn that we were upgraded to a suite of their highest category – though not on a high floor unfortunately. Thus the “forbidden city views” are more like “Hutong views” which I liked nevertheless. The suite itself is very spacious and comprises a living room, bedroom and two bathrooms. While the wooden design is not a real favourite of mine it fits well to the overall Renaissance style and colors of the property. The bathroom has a walk-in shower (a huge plus), a small bathtub and daylight which is very appreciated. The second bathroom is located between the two rooms and could be used by guests or a family member travelling. It’s also possible to separate the two rooms of the suite with a sliding door. The king-size bed is very comfortable and large, as is the couch. A convenient working desk by the window allows to spend some productive hours while enjoying the amenities such as Nespresso coffee or the basket of fruits provided. The many decoration elements and large wall paintings create some local touch.
“Sky” lounge with a view
Through our Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status we got access to the executive lounge which is located on the top floor of the Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing. The staff here is extremely friendly and helpful. We had breakfast in the lounge every morning and aside from being a bit crowded you can enjoy a remarkable spread of Chinese and Western food options. Both warm and cold dishes, freshly made omelette, pastries, juices and coffee help you to start your day right. Over the course of the day, light bites and a good selection of drinks is available at the lounge anytime. Most remarkable are undoubtedly the sweeping views of the forbidden city (in the distance) from the large floor-to-ceiling windows. On a sunny day (and our days here were) you get a very panoramic view of Beijing and the very diverse architectural styles from Palatial over Hutong to communism building style. In the evening the lounge becomes the playground of (mostly American) guests as cocktails, longdrinks and wine are served alongside some almost-dinner’esque options. Clearly some guests lack on the behavioural basics but the space did not feel too crowded or uncomfortable. We had an Aperitif and some Olives before heading out to proper restaurants. It’s worth mentioning that also the check-in and check-out can be done in the lounge which might be a helpful and speedy option. The associates are also happy to help you with any arrangements inside or out and were fluent in English, which isn’t a given in China.
There’s more to this Beijing hotel
The Renaissance features much more from a (highly rated) lobby bar to a Swimming pool and gym – all of which we didn’t use as we were exploring Beijing most of the time. They also operate their own overhauled, now upscale Hutong with a beautiful little garden which I think serves as an event space and is connected to the main building. I also noticed the nice, calming smell upon entering the hotel from the bustling street which they now do in more and more upscale hotels. A&I had the concierge arrange a trip to the Mutianyu section of the great wall complete with a private driver which is a great experience and he clearly cared about his international guests. One downside however is the limited WiFi – most services we know such as Google Maps (a bummer!), Instagram or Facebook are blocked. To be fair that’s a governmental requirement in China though and happens in everywhere in the country.
Passport & Palmtree conclusion
Choosing the Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing for my stay in Beijing was a hole-in-one. The location is fantastic as you can do most stuff just by walking, but even the subway to get to other parts of Beijing is pretty close. The staff was super-friendly and went the extra mile, even when occasional language barriers made it occasionally difficult. Our suite was spacious, clean and made for a good retreat when recovering from a busy day in the city. The executive lounge is a nice plus but not mandatory as this is a city hotel with great options nearby. Last but not least, the rates are very reasonable, considering what you get. I would surely be a guest again for business or leisure when being in Beijing!