The hotel lived up to the usual expectations from a Sheraton family hotel. All the amenities were very satisfactory, but they all had a little peculiar touch to them which I attribute to Beijing.
The gym was very good indeed, and the towel service was excellent. The sauna was where I noticed some differences. The heat setting labels on the door did not seem to rhyme with the experience inside the rooms. Without exception, I found them all to be warmer than expected. I asked the guy at the counter, and he said something in limited English to give me the impression of almost being called a 'wuss'.
Simiilarly the breakfast afterwards was a very good buffet of all the usual choices, western as well as Asian. But the pepper on the table tasted quite different than the usual ground black pepper. Somehow it reminded me of the white pepper found on East Malaysian islands. The eggs too had a different taste to them, not bad but definitely different. And when all the stories about melamine in milk powder start popping in my mind, I quickly lost the appetite created by my workout.
Room was very good, with the bed and linens perfectly done. I enjoyed my sleep for all of my weeklong stay. But the bathroom smelt strongly of some kind of cleaning supply, it was a sweet foodie/floral smell of some kind. I am sure it was meant to make the bathroom feel welcome, but the strength was too industrial which made it seem very synthetic and thus mildly repulsive to me.
The highlight of my stay was actually outside the hotel. The Sichuan restaurant in the alley behind the hotel was a fantastic find. They didn't speak much English, and were endlessly amused by my attempts to convey what I wanted in my limited Mandarin. But they went out of their way to provide me with a Sichuan pepper chicken, and get this 'Skinless and Boneless' version of it at that. And man, did it hit it out of the park! I would go to this place again, even if I was staying in the opposite corner of Beijing.
One lowlight was the lurking suspicious characters in the frontyard of the building right across from the hotel. I can only guess what they were upto but as long as I stayed on the straight course from hotel to the convenience store and back, they left me pretty much alone.
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Great Wall
- Great Wall Sheraton
- Sheraton Beijing
- Sheraton Hotel Beijing
- Beijing Sheraton