Not the best, though with 34 floors you get some pretty impressive cityscape vistas, pollution permitting. Conveniently, Liangmaquiao subway stop (line 10) is just outside the front door, and the bars, clubs and eateries of Sanlitun are a couple of minutes away by taxi. There’s a much underrated Peking duck restaurant – Xiheyayuan – in the mall next door, and a branch of Dadong, Beijing’s premier roast duckery, is just down the road.
Perfectly serviceable, with décor unprepossessing enough that it won’t soon go out of style. Standard rooms are by no means the biggest in town, but are well-accessorised (I like the leaf-shaped soaps and Nespresso machine), and the trademarked “Heavenly” beds are lovely. WiFi is free in rooms and throughout the hotel. Some higher spec rooms and suites come with massage chairs and a bath menu.
I’m as with-it as the next hotel reviewer (honest), but I admit to being taken aback by the R&B tunes playing in the lobby. Still, it seems to fit such a contemporary swoosh of black marble, glass and twinkling spot lights. The airy space is overlooked by a couple of balcony levels that house the restaurants and bars.
Eating and drinking
For folks who like to dine in the hotel (and we all do now and again), the Westin is extremely well kitted out. Grange is one of the better steakhouses in the city (marvel at their beautiful open grill), and Senses serves a thrifty Cantonese dim-sum buffet on weekends (they make their money back on the wine mark-ups I’d wager). Taste is the venue for the most generous breakfast buffet in town, with everything from sushi to curry. On Sundays it’s the haunt of Beijing’s brunch set for ‘Bubbalicious’, an all-you-can-drink Champagne fest with dozens of live cooking stations for a relative bargain. Mix, the Jazz bar beside the lobby, gets pretty hopping some nights.
The Westin Spa has an extensive menu of massages and treatments (even including men’s facials and back scrubs). A decent-sized pool lets in lot of natural daylight, and I loved the underwater speakers. The fitness area (less nice) has its own juice bar and yoga studio.
White-suited desk staff have their “passion” on their name badge, eg, Wang, passion: football. Conversation starter, maybe? It’s all very quirky, though they do seem a little more harassed than at other five-star hotels - likely a reflection of the hotel’s high occupancy.
Who stays there
Business travellers, embassy staff and tourists. The Presidential Suite has a revolving door of A-lsters including President Obama, Will Smith, Prince Andrew, and George W. Bush.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
Pros & Cons
- Close to top restaurants and nightlife
- Surprisingly fun for a chain hotel
- High standard of comfort and facilities
- Not the most attractive area