We just recently had a very enjoyable stay at the emperor hotel in beijing. We arrived later in the evening so we took a taxi from the airport (see 'supaclass's review for alternative options than taking a taxi - nice!). The taxi cost about 100rmb and took approximately 35 minutes (although the traffic was pretty heavy - although this seemed to be the norm). Our taxi driver did not know where this hotel was. We used the offline map app - maps 2 go - of beijing which DID NOT have the Emperor Hotel marked in the correct spot (it was off by a few blocks) so we had to find the place ourselves using wi-fi. A general tip for all locations/hotels you want to travel to by taxi, try to have the Chinese spelling/address for the cab drivers as from our experience throughout china, directions in pinyin were not widely understood. The Emperor hotel was at the end of a long, narrow, not overly buy shop and stall lined street - qihelou street adjacent to beichizi, a street that borders the east side of the forbidden city.
The location overall, fantastic. A 10-15 or so minute walk along the east side of the forbidden to its entrance or a 10 minute walk to jinshan park and add an extra 5 or so to BeiHai park as well. Relatively close to the metro station and easy to get to the wanfushing street and night market.
The roof top bar/patio was beautiful both in set up and the views it provides. Te patio itself is actually on trip advisor for the views of the forbidden city and Jinshan park it provides. A bit cool this time of year but a lovely bonus to an already fantastic property.
Te rooms themselves were quite unique - plenty of room, storage and all the travel ammenities you could want - even a fitness centre and a complimentary minibar that was replenished daily. Plenty of hot water, wi-fi was a bit hit or miss.
We found th staff to be very accommodating and friendly and spoke good enough English to address our questions (keeping in mind any English is really a bonus). We found all staff to be pleasant. We were even provided daily cookies and weather reports - Nice touch. The only improvement I can note is that we had a free breakfast included in our reservation but nobody told us that until we checked out- no big deal but you may want to check this out at check in.
Overall, a great location (if you know where you are going!) unique and modern rooms, very clean and hospitable. A great base to see beijing.