I just returned from a 5-night stay at The Opposite House and I’m still floored at how beautiful this hotel is, how fabulous is the neighborhood, and how amazing and well-trained the staff were. If you’re planning on booking at a standard hotel (i.e., a Hyatt, Four Seasons, etc.): don’t do it. Big mistake. Dumb. You’ll regret not staying at the Opposite House. There’s a reason why this place is currently ranked #3 out of 4,675 hotels in Beijing.
LOCATION: Sanlitun Village is a lovely and posh neighborhood where most the embassies are located and there's a lot of green space. The street where the hotel is located has a high-end shopping mall and lots of bars and restaurants. It was a terrific place to walk at night. The metro stop is a 10 minute walk and Beijing’s taxis are notoriously cheap.
THE HOTEL: I booked a Studio 70 (70 sq. meters) and was upgraded to a Studio 95 (95 sq. meters) with a balcony. As my photos show, the room was enormous and so was the balcony (ask for room 521). I was greeted upon arrival by two doormen who were always there and always smiling (one ran to a store one night to buy something for me—very nice kid). The entire staff with whom I dealt spoke good English (some were English!). I was also greeted by Maria Sablina, who checked me in, and whom I’d like to thank for taking such good care of me during my stay. I enjoyed speaking with her every day and she gave me a lovely tour of my room (it’s so big you literally need a tour). She was the consummate professional.
The lobby is a gorgeous piece of art and design. It’s not really even a lobby, it’s a giant living room. They don’t have a standard check-in desk. You’re greeted by, for instance, Maria, who sits down with you on a sofa and checks you in on an IPad. Very cool. The stainless steel pool downstairs next to the Kocoon Spa (ask for a massage with Abby) is beautiful.
THE ROOM: Ginormous. Please allow my photos to do most of the explaining. Walk in closet, walk-in shower, and walk-in commode. The huge wooden bathtub that a lot of reviewers post pictures of is even more impressive in person, and you will probably use it every day. Before I forget, the WIFI in the room was free and very fast. I was able to surf and watch video in the room and on my big balcony at night. Two LED TV’s (lots of channels in English) connected to a central Bose speaker system. There’s a master control panel next to the bed to handle lights, audio, and curtains. While you are surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, the electric curtains will black out the room to the point where you need your cell phone to see at night if you haven’t left your night light on! They also give you an IPad from which you can order room service, read about the hotel, and listen to music.
There’s a minibar that is full of candy bars, snacks, beer, soda, milk, water: and it’s all free and restocked daily. You have a Nespresso machine with coffee pods and a tea kettle to make instant tea and coffee (and you get plenty of this, too). I asked a maid for extra coffee one day and she gave me enough to throw a party (actually, I could have invited 20 people over the room was so big). There are bathrobes and slippers in the giant walk in closet with tons of drawers and storage space. A little amenity bag with toiletries (including toothbrushes and razors) is refilled every day. At night during turn down service, the porter brings a few extra bottles of water (they give you so much water) and a gift. One day it was a mud facial mask, the next some beautiful postcards (oh, they will mail your postcards for free), an Opposite House business card holder. They gave me 3 Opposite House music CD's which I've been playing at home (yes, the hotel has its own music). Very nice touches at every step. Maybe the coolest thing in the room (to me), was the “power station” in the desk, in which you can plug in any device that can handle 220 V without needing a Chinese electricity adapter (also, there’s a 120 V in the bathroom so I was able to charge my toothbrush).
BREAKFAST: Breakfast was included in my rate. You can either order the buffet or a la carte off the menu, and the food is delicious. It’s mainly a “western” breakfast. Eggs benedict, big English breakfast, omelets, etc. Order whatever you want if it’s included in the rate.
Finally, I’d like to personally thank Carl Hadaway, Director of Guest Experience. Not only did he leave me a handwritten “welcome” card upon my arrival, he sent me a bottle of wine and a handwritten “apology” when there was a very small problem in my room. So small an issue in fact that I was rather blown away by the kind gesture of sending the wine. Then he came and introduced himself at breakfast one day to again apoligize for the inconvenience, where there was no inconvenience at all. One way to judge a hotel's management is to observe how they react to a problem, and they totally nailed it.