Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Shangri-La China World Summit Wing

27 Oct 2011 by Tom Otley

BACKGROUND Shangri-La is expanding at a formidable rate across China – 32 properties open and another ten in the pipeline – but nowhere more so than in Beijing, where it has six hotels. The China World Trade Centre – or China World, for short – has four of them, including a Traders hotel, the second of its new Kerry brand, the China World hotel and the China World Summit Wing, which opened last year.

WHAT'S IT LIKE? All things considered, it’s quite understated, certainly in comparison with similar five-star hotels at the top of very high buildings, such as the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong or the Park Hyatt in Shanghai. The idea is for the hotel to differentiate itself from the competition (and the other Shangri-La properties in the area) by having a luxurious residential feel.

The ground-floor lobby is connected to China World’s shopping mall and, via a different bank of lifts, the offices located on the first 55 storeys of the building. This lobby is pretty spectacular, with more than 100 striking artworks including murals, paintings and decorations. Regulars to Shangri-La hotels will recognise the large Art of Life mural in reception as being similar to ones in the Hong Kong properties (at least to my eye). There are also four huge chandeliers of hand-blown glass made in the Czech Republic.

You barely have time to appreciate it all, however, as you are whisked up to the 64th-floor lobby, which also acts as the Club lounge, to which all 278 rooms have access (imagine a hotel where every room is a Club room – that’s this hotel).

WHERE IS IT? At the top of the China World Trade Centre Tower III, Beijing’s tallest building, at 330 metres and 81 storeys high. It’s in the Central Business District at the junction of Number 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, the city’s main business thoroughfare, and the East Third Ring Road. It is 45 minutes from Beijing Capital International airport. 

ROOM FACILITIES The rooms are on floors 64 to 77 and are huge – entry-level Executive rooms are 55 sqm and Premier rooms are 65 sqm. All have floor-to-ceiling city views, free wired and wireless internet access, and a traditional design with plenty of wood and Chinese touches. There are huge flatscreen TVs (they need to be huge in rooms of this size), subtle lighting that can be dimmed and – most important – turned off from the bed, DVD players, iPod docks, Nespresso machines, a kettle with a selection of gourmet loose-leaf teas, and twice-daily room cleaning.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS On the fourth floor you’ll find Fook Lam Moon, a Chinese restaurant, and a Japanese eatery called Nadaman (serving kaiseki cuisine – described as “the art of transforming the blessings of nature into food”). The international Grill 79, on the 79th floor, serves more than 500 wines. There are also three private dining venues – the Chairman’s Rooms – on the same level. Atmosphere is on the 80th floor and offers live music every night. 

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES A particularly strong point. The pillarless 2,340 sqm ballroom caters for banquets of up to 1,400 guests, and an additional junior ballroom measures 770 sqm. There is also a 95-seat auditorium with a stage and audiovisual equipment for seminars, lectures and performances, another dozen function rooms on levels three to six, all with natural daylight, and a business centre.Leisure facilities The hotel has a large gym and a beautiful Chi spa (Shangri-La’s own brand).

VERDICT The residential feel works well since when you are this high up, you hardly feel part of the city. Instead, you get a retreat from the bumper-to-bumper traffic with great views, faultless service and modern, yet not over-complicated, rooms.

FACT FILE

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 278 – 87 Executive, 139 Premier and 23 Grand Premier rooms, and 25 Premier, one Governor, one Ambassador, one Summit and one Presidential suite.

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS Free internet, stunning views and a large range of loose-leaf teas along with a Nespresso machine.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in December started from 2,070 yuan (£207) for an Executive room.

CONTACT China World Summit Wing, Number 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue; tel +86 10 6505 2299; shangri-la.com

Tom Otley

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