Spend your time in the Chinese capital nestled in on of The Peninsula's luxury suites
AFTER POURING more than Bt4 billion (US$123 million) into a massive facelift, the Peninsula Beijing holds the honour of being the first – and, for now, only –all-suite hotel in China’s capital and this latest incarnation combines timeless craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, first-class service and great cuisine to ensure a truly luxurious experience.
The iconic five-star hotel is ideally located on Goldfish Lane in Wangfujing district and offers easy access to shopping malls and historical landmarks like the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Temples of Heaven and Moon. Opened in 1989, it was formerly known as the Palace Hotel before rebranding to Peninsula in 2006.
In 2016, the 15-floor property underwent the major refurbishment that reduced the numbers of 525 guestrooms to 230 residential-style suites. The exterior takes inspiration from the imperial palaces, with guests entering the lobby through a towering, traditional Chinese gate.
“At a time when modernisation has become the buzzword, we have chosen to retain a traditional Chinese style with an iconic exterior design,” says Cathie Yang, the hotel’s director of communications.
“This is a combination of shopping complex and hotel and we are proud to be home to Chanel’s first store in China and other shops spread over three floors.”
The guestrooms come in seven types, ranging in floor area from 60 to 165 square meters. The options include Superior Suite, Deluxe Suite, Duplex Suite, Premier Suite, Grand Premier Suite, Wangfujing Suite and Beijing Suite.
Focusing on extra comfort and convenience, each suite has a separate bedroom and living room and is equipped with three to seven tablets that can be pre-set in 11 languages. This latest version of advanced touch screen control panel allows guests to adjust the room temperature and lighting, open and close the curtains and choose TV programmes with a single click rather than using the remote control.
“Our chairman Michael Kadoori is passionate about helicopters, Rolls-Royces and yachts, so the concept draws on air, sea, water and road,” Yang explains.
“The hi-tech tablet introduces the Voice over Internet Protocol service that allows guests to call home free of charge. All rooms also offer a selection of mobile phone chargers for every brand and guests will be greeted with Valrhona chocolate on arrival.”
The interior takes its design theme from a yacht, so all suites are graced with handmade mahogany furnishings by Cassina. Perfect for relaxing, the living room has a comfy sofa and a functional dining table that can be extended for three persons, while the TV is hidden away by a panel so as not to intrude on the classic surrounds.
The new structure provides a walk-in closet and a white marble bathroom, complete with separate shower and bathtub with a spa mode, which soothes guests with relaxing music and dimmed lighting. A painting of goldfish shaped like the number eight refers to the hotel’s address and symbolises good fortune.
Perfect for a family, the luscious 165-sqm Beijing Suite has a large living and dining space, along with a spacious dressing area adjoining the master bedroom. The study room can be easily converted into a second bedroom for the kids. There’s also a private cinema room, where guests can enjoy the latest movies or classic Hollywood blockbusters while chilling in upholstered sofas and armchairs.
During the day, guests can continue their exercise routines at the swimming pool and well-equipped fitness centre or enjoy the legendary Peninsula Afternoon Tea paired with premium Chinese teas in the Lobby.
The Peninsula is one of the hottest dining venues in the town. Popular Cantonese restaurant Huang Ting (Phoenix Court in English) is set in the courtyards of Beijing’s traditional noble houses and boasts a rare collection of antiques dating back to the Qing Dynasty.
The recommended dishes include Peking duck, stir-fried prawn with mashed salted egg yolk and broccoli, and stir-fried mandarin fish rolled with “Kin Hua” ham, black mushroom and celery.
The hotel also offers different “academy” programmes through which guests can experience the local culture. For example, the Baiju Celebration: A Taste of China’s Traditional Liquor takes guests to the factory and lets them learn how to make Chinese liquor, which they can then take back to the hotel and create their own tailored cocktail.
The Peninsula Spa offers a unique selection of spa treatments and beauty therapies, drawing on Chinese, Ayurvedic and European healing philosophies. As part of the cultural exchange with The Peninsula Bangkok, I try a 60-minute Chinese Meridian Massage, which has therapist James Jang using different techniques to relieve my tight muscles and balance my circulation.
IF YOU GO
>> Peninsula Beijing is at 8 Goldfish Lane in Wangfujing district, Beijing, China. Check out the best rates at www.Peninsula.com.