Occupying a prize perch on Beijing’s main east-west thoroughfare, it’s about 15 minutes east by foot to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The hotel connects with the glitzy Oriental Plaza mall next door with its many boutiques and decent range of food outlets, and the shops, entertainment and snack stalls of Wangfujing are a short walk northwest.
Standard rooms are nothing to write home about, lacking the trappings now commonplace in Beijing’s newer five-stars (Nespresso machine, bathroom TV, separate toilet room etc). That said, fresh flowers, feather pillows and books on Chinese art and history are welcome touches, and the recently renovated Diplomatic Suites, all light woods, gadgets and funky furnishings, show just how nice the rest will look after an overhaul. Higher, north facing rooms afford some great views of the Forbidden City. The Presidential Suite is one of the most bling cribs in town, with lofty double storey windows, a giant Jacuzzi tub, secret entrances and its own private spa room. Look out for good value family package offers on the twin-bedroom suites.
The glitzy lobby is one of the roomiest – and busiest - in the city. Several pricy boutiques are dotted about near the second level restaurants.
Eating and drinking
Made in China roasts some of the city’s best (and dearest) Peking duck in tall, wood-fired ovens behind glassed-in cooking stations. Noble Court hosts a fantastic dim sum brunch on Sundays, but otherwise is a fairly typical five-star Cantonese restaurant. The Grand Hyatt is notably the first hotel to offer a traditional Beijing breakfast (since March 2011), featuring old-fashioned sweet snacks, rice porridge with various toppings and all sorts of scrumptious steamed buns and fried bing pancakes. Redmoon Bar has lost a bit of sparkle but can still be a fun hang-out, with its inventive house cocktails (try the Red Rose Mojito) and nightly entertainment.
The large, basement level pool is laid out like a tropical lagoon, with connecting areas, hot tubs and palm-strewn “canals” lit by twinkling lights with ambient birdsong piped through speakers. Needless to say, kids love it. The ‘Techno-gym’ equipped fitness studio and Club Oasis Spa is up to standard.
The hotel’s strong suit, although the staff in Made in China have a reputation (not totally unjustified) for being brusque.
Who stays there
Business execs, families, wealthy first-time tourists.
Occasional family packages (check the website or call the hotel) can be a relative bargain. Corner suites with two bedrooms and a kitchenette will easily do for a family of four (kids under 12 free), and the hotel provides welcome gifts (like a plush panda) for the little ones, plus DVDs and ice-cream and a Great Wall tour thrown in. Breakfast included too.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Families with younger children
- First-time travellers
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Fantastic pool
- High standards of service
- Central, close to shopping and sights
- Not as well-equipped as newer five-stars