The stage is set but the players need training
Recently , I had the pleasure 2 nights at the brand new Shang China Summit Wing.
Because of the below good reviews , Shang high security and new hotel is always preferred. Shang brand consistently delivers good service elsewhere. This is why the below is long and I hope it helps you on what to expect and the management on what to improve.
On arrival in this beautifully architected building after flying 20 hours., I am not impressed with
My Male Caucasian colleague was greeted warmly with but not me who looks local, and is treated like arm candy. I book all 3 rooms under my name, they did not talk to me, and wasted the next minutes looking for my colleague’s name.
The first thing they did to welcome me was to ask me what time I would like to check out. Since I am Golden Circle member, this question was never asked in other properties. I later learnt that I should have checked in at 64th floor not at Ground where the staff seems to treat you more like a nuisance than a guest.
No one explained what is included in the room package, only breakfast place was mentioned.
In the room, I immediately called down for information but was told to wait, line was cut, there was no call back. Second time I called, I asked to see the manager who then explained everything in person which is good but would be better if this was the check -in staff to save time.
Manager was well connected , she helped us make arrangements to Da Dong beijing Duck, even though no reservations was possible, we could save some time by pre-ordering the ducks.
Now the lifts, expect to have exciting wooshing speed up but expect also your luggage travels with you, there seems to be no separate lifts for luggage. Then the corridor on 64th floor, narrow and with edges, not good for navigation on jet lag mode. The lift itself can be a challenge, key card control and tap on the desired number to activate, works on touch screen concept, no indicators where to tap. We were at Day 1 stuck in the 64th floor with 8 other people in the lift, all trying to find out how to activate the touch screen, it was quite amusing.
Room is beautiful, great size, nicely designed, old world Chinese charm meets modern functionally and fabulous views. Bed is very comfortable, sheets luxurious and good quality but you tend to expect this from a new 5 star hotel. No overtly complicated switches and climate control that actually works, something I greatly appreciate. Bathroom design good, L’occitane toiletries as with other Shang. However, the tub was not that clean for a new hotel. Pieces of hair left behind from cleaning lady? and stains at drain were not properly scrubbed off. The WC is a real problem, expect to always flush twice, ugh.
We had the special opening package, so everything in the well stocked minibar was complimentary. Suggest hotel places a placard stating this instead of a standard listing of prices, gives such a different impression.
Nespresso coffee machine in every room, dream come through. No more lugging my machine around. Selection of coffee type however was limited to 2 type only. Clean kettles, good quality service ware, and a very lovely welcome box of macaroons, chocolates and a fruit. However, I did fill up the guest pre-arrival form asking specifically for non-gas water and no fruits, this was ignored. At turn down, you get cookies, which is always welcomed.
Working area neat, large desk, with such a view, one can get such inspiration, imagining sitting behind a high rise office, the world at your feet. Be warned, power socket well hidden, and the service staff I called could not explain it in English and my mandarin is not that great so I gave up after some minutes. Workchair irritated me, there was a lever to adjust the height but it was not working, and said lever was also coated in dust. To be fair though, I did not ask for help as I did not want to wait for help.
No time for the tv but I do like to have music in the room, they have a JBL ipod dock which sounded great. A nice 40/42 inch ? Samsung flat screen with Samsung dvd player in every room. Tried it with my cds, sound quality not too good, hotel should have a check, the setting may be off.
The 78th floor houses a very nice looking gym, spa and pool with a view and Jacuzzi seats, impressive. Did not actually had the time to experience it but would definitely want to the next time.
Now onto the meeting room which was complimentary for guests 2 hours each at 64th floor. Comfortable place, Coffees came fast and efficient.
The Peak / Atmosphere Bar was very swanky, old new york style type. Impression from night view almost like Chicago’s Waterford Tower. You can see Tiananmen square Locals must like it a lot, there is a queue to get in and places are reserved, so finding seats for 4 people not the easiest. Service here also needs improvements, had to do helicopter hands to get notice for the orders. Perhaps it’s a perception thing, ladies, they ignore, Male Caucasians (MC) gets served. My colleagues laugh at me, guess which category they belong in, haha. I saw an Italian lady give up trying to signal the waiter and walked to the bar to order.
Night 1, welcome drink, not many staff seem to have a clue about. We asked to take the welcome drink, they gave us the menu. Coming from Shang Qingdao, MCs naturally ordered champagne. Surprise, we get billed for it. Then when we ask, welcome drink is only cocktails. A little miffed, we ask them to deduct a cocktail price then, which they did. Night 2, we learnt, we ask female waiter if whisky sour can be the welcome drink, her answer, sure you can have it if you pay for it. Such a combination of sass and totally no clue what is a welcome drink. We asked another, ok, successful cocktail procured. Night 2 was much better, we chanced on a nice guy- Swiss import who served us quick drinks and good service. Chinese Bartender was also quite ok, attempting to engage in conversation. Sound quality and lighting at bar is good, choice of live singing band perhaps can be improved, still alcohol can help dull the senses.
Successful night of good company, great view, fast and good service later, I stagger back to the room, only to smash into a wall, courtesy of the narrow walkway and most likely a few too many drinks.
Breakfast at 79th floor, very nice touch, probably best breakfast place ever. Luxuries not spared, you are seated in nicely separated tables, suitable for business or private conversations, overlooking the view. Good quality cutlery, service ware and great service. You order off a menu and while you wait, fresh orange juice is served and a continental breakfast is tempting you on the table with croissants, Danish apricot and chocolate pastries, muesli, cornflakes and yogurt, there is even a cheese and salami plate. All trimmings are in place, from cold butter to ceramic spoons for your honey, jams or nutella. Espressos good, coffee I would skip as room nespresso machine is better. My order of la mian noodle was well done , superior broth and MCs enjoyed their eggs and fried noodles too. 100 points here.
The location is central, the connected new shopping is not yet opened, but 3 minutes walk away is the sister hotel Traders which is connected to China world shopping, a good place for all things international and people watching. Walked there for a lunch, found a nice and simple local place called Match with above average dim sum, hong kong style.
The hotel manages the taxis for you and you simply present yourself for the queue, sometimes it can take long during peak dinner hours, so allow for some room time-wised. Hotel cars are also available but booking in advance is essential, the day 2 night we tried after waiting 15min for taxis which did not arrive, we were told we have cars but cannot find the driver. My airport drop off was a good experience though, driver was on time, courteous and car had juices and water and towels plus a send off service where an airport personal takes you through all the way until after security check. Would be 100 points from me, if hotel changes type of bottles the juice and water is served, because its not so easy drinking off a glass bottle compared to plastic, or they should provide then glasses.
All in all, I would return because things will improve. Staff are young and perhaps also young to Shang concept, they should transfer other staff here to set good example. Still, one aspect prevails, throughout my stay, all staff without exception greeted and gave way to the guest, this is basic good training. All facilities are top notch, Shang is a good brand and service levels here although below other Shangs I had experienced, I am sure it will improve.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- China World Summit Wing, Beijing comprises 278 guest rooms and suites, four designer restaurants, two bars and a lounge. Accommodations with guest room sizes averaging 65 square metres are the most spacious in the city. The hotel also houses the city's highest spa retreat with CHI, The Spa - Shangri-La's signature spa brand - on level 77. Most of the city's attractions, such as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, are within a 15-minute drive. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- China World Summit Wing Hotel Beijing