Beijing definitely has its pros and cons. One of the biggest pros of Beijing is the hotel prices, which tend to be reasonable even for higher-end properties. I was only going to have one night in Beijing so I wanted to stay at a nice property and settled on the St. Regis Beijing. I made the booking through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which is a great program for holders of the American Express Platinum and/or Centurion cards. The FHR benefit for the St. Regis Beijing was a complimentary upgrade and a $100 food and beverage credit per stay.
Since the rates were pretty reasonable, and because I could eat at the hotel for “free” thanks to the FHR benefit, I splurged a little and booked a St. Regis Suite for the US equivalent of about $300. I also checked the room category types and found that the next category of suite was an Ambassador Suite.
(ATB Top Tip: always know the type of room you’d like to upgrade to and don’t be afraid to ask for it if it’s part of your hotel/status benefits)
The hotel charges way too much for an airport transfer so I decided to risk a taxi. Bad decision. I knew the subway station near the hotel and, once I determined we were in at least the right area, just paid the driver and got out in the middle of the road during a stop light. After about 30 minutes I found the St. Regis. I would have preferred to use the hotel’s car service but it was just too expensive for me (I pick weird things to be cheap about). The check-in process was quick and easy and I was happy to find out they had upgraded me to an Ambassador Suite without me even having to ask!
I walked through the door of my suite and was immediately happy with my decision to splurge a little.
Off the entryway was a half bathroom.
The room was in a C-shape with a living room, dining/office area, and bedroom with a comfortable king-sized bed. The views outside were nice but nothing incredibly epic (the hotel is in the embassy area of Beijing).
The living room area was very nice with a large TV, comfortable couches, and a minibar among the cabinetry.
The living room led to the dining/office area. There was a welcome amenity of snacks waiting for me on the dining table.
The bedroom was very nice, with a comfortable king-sized bed and another TV. The views outside were again very nice and I liked how the windows could open a bit in case you wanted to get some
(note the other hotel in the window that does a good job of branding!)
The bathroom was very nice with a tub and separate shower and had two AMAZING features: a TV in the mirror (similar to the St. Regis Abu Dhabi) and a Japanese-style toilet seat!
(picture will be added later today, sorry!)
I had big plans to walk over to Tiananmen Square and see the sights a little bit but unfortunately this was the second night of my trip, when the jet lag of the flight to Asia usually hits me like a ton of bricks. I accidentally fell asleep! But it was no matter, the bed was comfy and I got a great night’s sleep, which I would need for my trip to the Great Wall of China the next day.
Room Service for Breakfast
What I had originally planned was to split my $100 food/beverage credit between dinner and breakfast, but I fell asleep, which meant I needed to use it all on breakfast! I’m actually not much of a breakfast person so this was kind of a challenge and I ended up only using about $80 between the steak and eggs, french toast, and a glass of sparkling wine (they were out of champagne). I guess there was a fruit plate, bread basket, and coffee too now that I think about it!
Everything was wonderful at the St. Regis. I’ve still never taken advantage of the St. Regis butler service (where they will unpack or repack your things for you or draw you a bath, stuff like that) just because I don’t think I’d be comfortable asking someone to do that, but it was a very nicely-decorated room, the room service was great, and the hotel facilities were beautiful (although they asked me not to take pictures in the lobby with my tripod, boo).
While I wish their car service was cheaper I guess I understand why it’s so expensive: because Beijing taxis are so terrible and the St. Regis is a luxury property. If I’m honest I’d admit I’d probably just pay it next time instead of dealing with the confusion, so joke’s on me I guess!
All in all it was a great (albeit short) stay at the St. Regis in Beijing.