This area was once the heart of foreign activity in Beijing, as evinced by the Sizzler Steakhouse and TGI Fridays next door – relics of the first western settlers all those years ago. Things have shifted northwards since, but it’s still fairly convenient for the sights, and a short walk to the lovely Ritan Park, and the not so lovely Silk Market. Yonganli subway (line 1) is close by, which is handy as I’ve found it a bit of an awkward spot to get taxis.
Not the newest or most swish in town, but generally large and well-appointed, with marble bathrooms and high-spec amenities.
The ‘grand dame’ lobby is large and comfortable, with understated chandeliers and nice armchairs – just the spot for afternoon tea. The outdoor gardens and water feature makes for a pleasant spring and autumn hang-out.
Eating and drinking
Danieli’s is a particularly handsome Italian restaurant with middling food at premium prices. Astor Grill serves expensive cuts of beef with a good wine selection. I like the buffet fare at Garden Court (especially breakfast) and the al fresco seating is a big plus. Celestial Court is the obligatory high-end Cantonese restaurant. The Press Club Bar offers a club-type experience with some interesting history. Japanese restaurant Shunsai is popular with embassy staff for its lunch sets.
Decent pool, fitness studio and spa.
The St. Regis butler service is a selling point, and you can call them any time to brew fresh coffee in your room, press your shirts, polish shoes and place restaurant bookings.
Who stays there
Starwood loyalists, American leisure and business travellers.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Mature travellers
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Grand public areas
- High standards of service
- Building a bit dated
- Area not the best