We came back from an Asian trip where we were fortunate to have stayed in a variety of great cities and accomodation, so feel we have a good idea of the 5 Star standards of the region...
- Lobby is lovely and impressive.
- Main restaurant has very large buffets with huge selection.
- Gym is very good with most machines we needed
- Location is ideal (5 min walk from Tiannamen and Forbidden City)
- Rooms were spacious
- Layout of hotel is confusing. There are multiple buildings and it took me time to understand the first number of room refers to a building #. Getting to gym or restaurant always seemed cumbersome.
- Check-in took ages despite there being many busy employees (and not many clients).
- Staff seemed very friendly and willing to help, but generally feel they are inexperienced and not trained well.
- The bathroom in room seemed very average or a 5 star. Could have been any mid range hotel.
- Generally the room was nice and spacious but didn't feel authentic like the original Raffles. I just think it lacks genuine character and just feels sterile.
- There was a smell of sewage venting from the bathroom. I figured out it must be a city problem as I could smell it walking on street coming from the manholes. Very hard to block that from your mind when you are in a 5 Star hotel paying the price.
- Not sure it is fair to blame this on hotel but I feel compelled to share my experience in this area. I believe that I had between 10-15 locals try to hustle/scam me within 2 days. Usually they are young students 'practicing' their English, but their intent is to lure you into situations where they try to fleece you (overpriced artwork or tea ceremonies you can read up on internet). One guy tried to lure my wife and I into an alley stating it was the entrance to the Forbidden Palace (we were right beside the Palace so it was very close). Another event, we took a bicycle rickshaw as the taxis don't stop at exit of Forbidden Palace. The driver says '3 yuan', when we arrive near hotel he says 'no that is 3 per minute! He wants US$100 dollars now for a 10 minute pedal (I negotiated it down to $20 and still feel burned). He left us within view of hotel but didn't cycle up to the entrance so that he could easily screw us over with no interference from staff. It went on and on! I think the hotel could have tipped us off on this epidemic con that occurs within seconds of their hotel (some are staking out the guests I am sure). I asked if it was safe to walk around area, and they laughed and said absolutely no problems. I guess screwing tourists over isn't considered a crime in Beijing.
This hotel was a let down considering the legacy it is attempting to imitate. The rooms lack personality in my opinion, and the hotel has a very confusing layout. I found the staff friendly but not well trained and generally disorganized. As you probably can guess from my comments above the scams and hustling happening outside of hotel got tiring. It is especially baffling that it occurs in broad daylight and in front of the sea of military servicemen who make their presence so well known. Unfortunately, by end of day two in Beijing I would be snarling at any friendly local that would randomly greet me (and if they were young I'd probably be right to do so).
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- Also Known As:
- Raffles Hotel Beijing
- Beijing Raffles Hotel
- Raffles Beijing