After much anticipation, Rosewood Beijing finally soft-opened last month as the luxury hotel brand’s first property in China (see story). Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has been given a private tour of the property, which is set for grand opening in March next year, when all the meeting and leisure facilities will be in operation.
The opening was delayed for a year due to the number of details that had to be ironed out. It is not difficult to understand that when one has a chance to look at the final product. The interior of the hotel has the air of a contemporary art museum, and while the overall feel is sleek and modern, art pieces that pepper all the rooms and public areas are firmly inspired by traditional Chinese culture. Reinterpretations of disciplines such as calligraphy and porcelain painting make for some striking visuals that bring in a sense of place.
The rooms have all been tastefully fitted. Even the entry-level Deluxe units feature walk-in wardrobes as well as Frette 600 thread-count linens, Frette bathrobes and custom-made bathroom amenities by Lorenzo Villoresi, as well as the 50-inch LCD smart TV; Blueray DVD player; iPhone 5-compatible Bluetooth music station and Samsung soundbar speaker system. The mini-bar is stocked with premium liquors and equipped with a Nespresso machine.
The 283 units include 207 Premier and Deluxe Rooms measuring around 50sqm, 16 Grand Studios at 63.5sqm each, eight Twin Rooms of 54.5sqm, 31 Manor Suites of 68.3sqm and 15 Rosewood Suites of 74.4sqm. Still being finalised are five Spa Suites, located in the Sense spa, and the Presidential Suite.
Premier Twin Room
Business travellers would appreciate the very sturdy and roomy workdesk (although it is not available in some of the suites), and the Grand Studio even comes with an iMac. The connectivity panel located next to the desk has a universal socket and two other types compatible with the EU and US standards. There are also two USB ports and AV jacks. Control panels can be found on both sides of the bed, and they are designed to adjust lights and window shades throughout the room.
Another big attraction is the Manor Club lounge, a 900sqm facility that comes with not just perks such as exclusive breakfast, evening cocktails and free boardroom use, but also chess games and reading material guests can enjoy in the sofa, the ottoman chairs or even at the outdoor terrace. But what really sets this place apart is the cigar room located at the end of the hall, which is set up with all the needed amenities as well as a billiards table. The in-house cigar menu starts from RMB85 (US$14) for a Montecristo No 4 to a RMB290 (US$47) Cohiba Esplendidos. Access to the lounge is complimentary to club floor and suite guests, but it can also be purchased for RMB850 (US$139) per day.
Of the six of the food and beverage concepts, four have already opened: all-day-dining Bistrot B, with and outdoor garden and a wine room on the upper level suitable for a private cocktail function of up to 60; Bistrot B Lounge. Bar; Country Kitchen for Northern Chinese cuisine, also with an outdoor terrace; and The House of Dynasties that offers eight private dining rooms, for up to 16-20 people. All of the rooms have their own living area and a kitchen counter where a stationed chef can given every dish a final touch before serving it to the guests. Each room is themed after an imperial Chinese period, and each has its own custom-made crockery to reflect the theme.
We visited Country Kitchen for lunch, and found it to be a thoroughly memorable experience. Not only was the food superb, we also got to watch how they were made. All the food is prepared a la minute at the various show kitchens, ranging from noodles and dumplings to Mongolian barbecue and Peking ducks. Other than tables and semi-private booths, there is also kitchen counter seating for small groups or lone diners. There is a separate bar at the entrance where guests can hang out, or dine more casually if they’d like. A set lunch here starts from RMB110 (US$18).
Peking duck oven in Country Kitchen
The upcoming openings are Red Bowl hotpot restaurant next month and Mei, a multi-section entertainment bar, in March. It is expected to attract hipsters and the city’s well-heeled set.
On the front of leisure facilities, the fitness centre is open, and there will soon be yoga classes offered to staying guests on a complimentary basis. Both the swimming pool and Sense spa looked like they were ready to go, but we have been told that some final touch-ups are still required. According to the spa director, Fatna Fallah, while the normal operating hours of Sense will be 10am to 11pm, guests can request for off-hour treatments as long as they book in advance.
There will be 3,350sqm of meeting space in total when all the venues are finished. Six function rooms are already in use, and before the grand opening, there will also be a pillar-less ballroom of 730sqm, with an adjacent 301sqm garden terrace. But what events planners really want to watch out for is the Pavilion, a residential-style space equipped with its own show kitchen.
A special opening package is currently being offered until February next year. Called “Time to Discover”, until December it starts from RMB2,188 (US$357) per night for a Deluxe Room and includes airport limousine pick-up, 24-hour flexible check-in and check-out, breakfast at Bistrot B, in-room local beer and soft drinks, and free wifi. From January to February, the starting price will be adjusted to RMB1,988 (US$325). Under this package, access to Manor Club can be added for RMB500 (US$82).
The Rosewood hotel brand is the luxury collection of Rosewood Hotel Group, owned by Hong Kong-based New World Development.