I recently stayed at the Westin Chaoyang, a luxurious hotel in the northern part of Beijing.
The Westin is located in the Chaoyang district of Beijing and is right in front of Exit D of the Liangmaqiao Subway station. It is in a rather quiet neighbourhood in the northern part of Beijing. The hotel is right next to the IFC Mall which houses numerous high-end brands like Gucci, a grocery store and some dining option. Across the street there is also another small mall, and the Hilton and Kempinski Hotels are all within walking distance of the hotel. The Sanlintun (Expat) village is about two kilometres south of the hotel and is easily reachable by taxi or the subway. Most of the sights in the central Beijing such as the Forbidden City require taxi and or subway trips. Just make sure you tell the driver to take you to the Westin Chaoyang as there are two Westins in Beijing. The best way to reach the hotel is by taxi, although one can take a train-subway combination to get to the hotel.
We had reserved a Westin Deluxe room, and our request for a higher floor was honoured. The check-in was efficient, and the level of English spoken by the clerk was good. We were not escorted to our room by the staff, but didn't expect it. The room was fairly spacious (about 40 meters squared) with huge windows overlooking the city. The room had an LCD TV (about 32 inches) with a variety of channels including CNN and the BBC, coffee and tea making facilities, an ironing board with iron, a safe, two umbrellas and slippers. The room also had two Westin Heavenly Beds, a work table, a sofa to enjoy the view from the windows, a speaker phone, an alarm clock, as well as high-speed LAN Internet service (charged) and WIFI (charged). The minibar was fully stocked with a variety of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. The bed was quite comfortable, the furniture new and it was spotless. The room was cleaned daily and a newspaper was delivered daily.
The bathroom was functional and was separated from the room by doors. The windows separating the bathroom and the room are translucent and provide ample privacy. There was a sink, a separate bathtub, a shower stall, a separate toilet (with a telephone), the usual extra amenities such as razors and even flowers. There were plenty of towels for use. The soap, shampoo and other amenities were White Tea by Westin branded and of good quality. The shower was strong and the water temperature fully adjustable. There were also three bottles of mineral water in the bathroom. Remember not to drink the tap water in Beijing.
THE HOTEL FACILITIES
The hotel offered a variety of facilities for the guests: There was a large indoor pool, a Westin Workout gym with weights and cardio machines, as well as a sauna and whirlpool area. We used these facilities extensively and found them to be very good. The hotel pool was especially wonderful but there were no pool staff and as a result, there were times when we found some used towels and trash on the seats near the pool. There is a Westin Heavenly Spa, but we did not use it on this visit. The hotel also had a a business centre as well as many meeting rooms. The hotel has a very modern Asian vibe to it, and is rather large.
The hotel had 3 restaurants (serving buffet, Cantonese and steak selections) as well as a pool bar, 2 bars/lounges and a bakery. We ate breakfast at the Seasonal Tastes (buffet) restaurant which serves an international buffet and we found the food selection and quality to be quite good. Our rate included breakfast but the prices of all the restaurants were not too expensive for Beijing. There are some other food options outside the hotel at the IFC mall and of course if you take a taxi to another area.
Overall, the service of the hotel was professional and communication in (basic) English was not a major problem. The service in the Seasonal Tastes restaurant was prompt, although refills of beverages need to be quicker. The pool needs to be regularly maintained during the day to avoid having ex-guests towels everywhere.
The Westin Chaoyang Beijing is a good business hotel in the embassy district. For tourists however, the Westin is far from the main sights of Beijing. If you don't mind 30-minute taxi rides into the city, then stay here. That being said, the hotel does offer competitive rates due to its distance from the city centre. We would probably stay in the centre of Beijing next time.