There’s a bevy of Hong Kong developers investing in projects across China, and New World’s hotel and resorts arm is one of them. The New World hotel portfolio extends to seven hotels across China – with six more in the pipeline – and three in Southeast Asia, with plans to open another four by 2019. The New World Beijing Hotel marks an astute move into an area of the Chinese capital ripe for renewal, with a property that matches the product and services offered by the brand’s global rivals.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Staff and a friendlytaxi driver were proud to point out that this was the first luxury hotel in the Chongwenmen neighbourhood, which has been undergoing commercial redevelopment. Contemporary oriental design has been married with international, high-end service standards.
WHERE IS IT?
Until recently, Chongwenmen was a lesser known part of central Beijing’s Dongcheng district, being tucked away from landmarks such as the Forbidden City and the circuit of international five-stars, which some foreign business travellers rely on as co-ordinates when navigating the capital. But the area won’t be obscure for long, judging by the surrounding development. It also has a prize visitor landmark in sight: the Temple of Heaven, 2 km up the road. The Forbidden City and the shops of Wangfujing are a short taxi ride or a brisk walk away when not at the height of a North China summer or winter.
In keeping with international luxury trends, and what is expected from many on the road, the 309-guest room and suite hotel offers club floors on two levels. The Residence Club Living Room on the tenth floor offers separate check-in – with late checkout up to 4pm, subject to availability – plus the convenience of all-day refreshments, boardroom, lounge and happy hour. Apple users will be happy to find iPhone speakers, while a DVD player is an extra in the Premier rooms; 40-inch LCD TV screens are standard throughout.
The 84 sqm Premier room has a divider to separate the living area from the bedroom, particularly useful when working on the desk and shielding one from the temptation of slumber. Sliding walls are also a feature in the Superior and Deluxe rooms, where they separate the bathroom and sleeping areas.
Anyone who has availed of the free wifi, adaptable power connections and the space and comfort associated with the international brand hotels in China will not find any of these conveniences lacking here.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
8 Qi Nian is the signature restaurant offering a range of provincial specialties. Appropriately, given the auspicious significance of the number in these parts, there are eight private dining rooms, with one having its own fireplace, bar and kitchenette. Ample wines and spirits adorn the corridor walls, but a “tea library” also has pride of place.
The lobby-level Tian Tan Kitchen provides buffet lunches and dinners with the taste for rustic Italian fare popular among many Beijingers well catered to.
Yin on 12, with access to a terrace bar and lounge, comes alive at night with more upwardly mobile denizens, but with younger, sophisticated cocktail types as opposed to the rowdy brandy and red wine set.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
Samsung, Volkswagen and the University of Columbia are among the names that have held events at the hotel’s meeting space, which includes the 520 sqm ballroom (which can be divided in two), the Gallery breakout rooms and coffee bar area that can be adapted for cookery displays and teambuilding. The ballroom’s 220 sqm foyer has been used for exhibitions and even a banquet for an expat dining club, with the pillarless ballroom reserved for the after-dinner disco.
A heated indoor pool and fitness centre, with sauna and steam rooms, are open from 6.30am to 10.30pm. Also on the third floor is The Spa.
Beijing can be brusque and dusty when there’s development going on in the vicinity, but the stewardship of the door greeters made one feel assured that comfort and good service ensued. A welcome addition to the capital.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 309 rooms: 141 Superior, 117 Deluxe, 18 Premier, 16 Grand Premier and 17 Suites.
- HIGHLIGHTS The 8 Qi Nian restaurant and Yin on 12 rooftop bar for sunset cocktails. The Temple of Heaven is just up the road.
- PRICE Internet rates for Residence Club rooms in mid-August start from RMB1,488 (US$240), which includes free wifi,local calls and lounge access.
- CONTACT New World Hotel Beijing8 Qinian Street, Chongwenmen, Dongcheng District; tel: +86 10 5960 8888; beijing.newworldhotels.com