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Home > China  Hotels > The Ritz-Carlton Beijing

The Ritz-Carlton Beijing
Address:1 Jin Cheng Fang Street East, Financial Street, Beijing 100032 China
Tel:8610-8589 5138

Located in the recently developed Financial Street area on the west side of town, this hotel truly lives up to the image of a Ritz-Carlton. Tourists beware, this location is close to nothing, but for the business traveler it is perfect, as it is in the heart of the government's economic hub. The building sits at the busy intersection of two traffic-clogged streets. Covered in aquamarine glass, the structure makes a distinct impression.

While the main entrance and lobby lack the grand opulence of the nearby St. Regis, both are elegant and appealing. The interior design is inspired by Chinese aesthetics. Comfortable couches in oranges and golds are welcoming, though slightly cluttered. Directly across from the front desk is a Tea Apothecary¡ªa tasteful departure from the typical hotel cafe, offering exotic varieties of teas as well as coffee and alcoholic beverages. Small Chinese touches at the check-in counter give the feeling that you're in Asia, without the kitschy feel of a Chinatown.

If only the service at the Ritz Carlton Beijing on Financial Street were as impressive and meticulous as the decor. In the year since the luxury chain opened this hotel on Financial Street, the operation has managed to turn out a competent fleet of service staff. All employees warmly greet guests as they pass by in the restaurants, corridors or any other common areas. Waiters, front-desk personnel and other service staff earnestly answer questions regarding the building's facilities. However, the service is less acute and coherent than one would expect from a hotel of this caliber. Requests for the concierge's assistance may get an aloof response, and the doormen do not issue cards with the guest's vehicle's license plate number (a standard practice in Beijing's international hotels).

Dining options are threefold. On the first floor near the lobby is Greenfish, serving contemporary western and Asian fare buffet and a la carte. Diners who sit near the windows have a view of the fountain that surrounds the outside perimeter. Still on the first floor, tucked in the back, is Cepe, serving classic and contemporary Italian cuisine. Upstairs is Qi that specializes in dishes from various regions of China. Spacious and beautiful, Qi has a number of private dining rooms for small groups and a banquet room for large groups. It has been recognized in international consumer publications as one of China's 50 best restaurants. Its one detractor involves cigarettes: Diners who ask to be seated in the smoke-free section may be seated a few feet away from the smokers.

Given this hotel's proximity to corporations and banks, the meeting facilities here are a considerable draw. The 500-sq-ft ballroom accommodates 450 conferees and divides into three rooms for smaller functions. Additional meeting rooms¡ªnamed Temples of Heaven and Earth¡ªare further options for business and social gatherings. Breakout space is ample at 200 sq ft. Audiovisual equipment is state-of-the-art, and Wi-Fi beams throughout the precincts. The 24-hour business center is fully staffed and has a plethora of international newspapers and magazines available, as well as a fax machine, scanner, copier and computer with Internet access. Catering services are at the ready.

The fitness center houses cardiovascular machines and a heated lap pool with a whirlpool and steam and sauna rooms. The spa features several Asia-inspired skin and body treatments and massage services, including acupressure, aromatherapy, salt scrub and nutrient wraps. The salon attends to hair and nails. The Boutique carries Ritz-Carlton's signature apparel and gifts.

The well-lighted standard rooms start at a spacious 535 sq ft. Furnished with king or twin beds, armchairs with foot rests, and a writing table, these rooms are decorated in a sophisticated palette of sage and umber. On the nightstand, guests find remote controls for the drapes, the nightlight and the small skylights over the bed. The 37-inch flat-screen TVs show international channels and come equipped with DVD/CD players (a few old classics are available from the concierge). High-tech equipment includes cordless multi-line phones with voice mail and data ports, fax hookups, and high-speed Internet access (around US$17 per day). Safes are large enough to store computer notepads. The closets hold two robes, two pairs of slippers, an additional blanket and pillow, an iron and board, a precharged flashlight, an umbrella and an extra set of drawers. Upon closer inspection, guests will find a small handkerchief that doubles as a map of the surrounding area. The minibar is stocked, but the tea- and coffeemakers provide only instant granules and tea bags.

The marble-clad baths are worthy of a luxury hotel. Guests can watch the morning news on 15-inch TVs. A deep soaking tub and a shower flank the sink area, and lighted makeup mirrors, hair dryers and scales are provided. The toilet is enclosed for additional privacy.

This Ritz-Carlton offers junior and executive suites. They both have upgraded bedrooms and baths, but the executive suites, which start at 995 sq ft, add a sitting room, a half-bath and a small guest closet. Stepped-up appointments include three flat-screen TVs, an iPod docking station, a large coffeemaker with real coffee, a sofa and bookshelves. The master bath has a separate shower, a large, stand-alone tub, and Bvlgari toiletries.

All rooms and suites afford views of either the park or the city. Guests who shell out extra for the latter, higher-priced view could wind up with either a tableau of the hustle and bustle in the surrounding area, or a look-see at the tarp and loose tiles of the hotel's lower-level buildings.

Unlike the St. Regis and comparable hotels that boast that their guests will forget they have even left their home country, the Ritz-Carlton on Financial Street, with its China-inspired decor, always reminds guests of their host country¡ªalbeit a very luxurious version.

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