The Four Seasons Beijing, along with sister properties in Guangzhou, Shanghai Pudong and Shenzhen are part of Four Seasons rapidly expanding portfolio of luxury properties in mainland China. I decided to try out the Beijing property during my recent trip there.
I arrived by train from Shanghai to Beijing and booked a limo to pick me up from the train station. There were some miscommunication and the driver waited at the wrong place but it was resolved in the end. The ride was about an hour, longer than expected due to Beijing's notorious traffic jam.
Upon arrival, a very nice expat lady staff escorted me to my room and checked me in. I booked a Four Seasons Room which at nearly 60m2 is very spacious and easily qualify as a junior suite. The hotel also throw in complimentary Executive Club lounge access in addition to my FSPP benefits.
The room has a basic layout with a sitting area, a large King Size Bed and a spacious working desk. There are spacious closets in the bathroom as well as in the main hallway. The room have amenities and features galore including a very stylish coffee machine, in-desk plugs and various A/V connections; LCD TV equipped with blu-ray player and automated curtains. The en-suite bathroom is very well equipped, with a deep soaking tub and a window view of Beijing skyline, dual vanities and separate shower stall and toilet cubicle. There is also an in-mirror TV in the bathroom. Typically Four Seasons, all the furniture and furnishing are very comfortable and of high quality. Another plus point is that there are lots of plugs in the room to charge your electronics, clearly the hotel is mindful of the needs of business travelors. Only issue I had is that the water in the shower stall took a while to get hot, about several minutes. Basically, everything works in the room and comfort factor is high as per usual Four Seasons standard.
Common Areas and Location
The hotel features an open lounge and two signature restaurants, one Italian and one Chinese. I dined at the lounge and the food is delicious especially the breadbasket. The breakfast also serve at the lounge is of good quality and variety. The interior design and furnishing of the two restaurants in the hotel are among the most posh and luxurious I have ever encountered in my travels, featuring authentic wood carvings, beautiful crystal chandeliers and very comfortable chairs. Clearly the owner spares no expenses to decorate the place. I tried dinner in the Chinese restaurant and food quality is very good, while at the same time feast my eyes on the interior decoration.
The Executive Club Lounge is spacious and has several servings of food and wine a day but I find the variety to be very lacking and the portions rather miniscule, perhaps as a cost cutting measure since there are hardly any guests using the lounge most of the time. There is also an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre and a Jacuzzi in men’s changing room. There is also a Spa which as usual I did not bother to try.
The hotel while a bit out of the way of the common tourist location, isn’t that bad. There are two shopping malls within walking distance from the hotel including the fame Beijing Lufthansa Centre with many high-end shops. A subway station is also nearby.
This is one aspect of the hotel where it is truly a hit and miss and generally very inconsistent. Some staff are clearly more friendly and more enthusiastic to serve than others, like the reception and front desk staff and some of the staff in the Executive Lounge. Then there are others that are kind of indifferent. The hotel is still new and perhaps more training is required. Staff, like other hotels in China, also tends to go by the book and apply the “rules”, whether they pleases the customer or not. For example, I was having a quick meal at the Opus lounge and asked for additional serving of bread. Usually, this was never an issue in just about any other Four Seasons I have stayed in. However, I was told by the waiter that each set meal was allocated only one bread basket and if I wanted more, then I have to order another set meal. Even more ridiculous is the check-out process, where I was told that as per company policy, I must settled the bill by credit card in full and cannot pay part of it with my spare change. For the later case, the hotel relented after I argue against it. In both cases, clearly it doesn’t make sense and decidedly “un-four seasons” like. Overall, despite these nit-picks, there isn’t anything major to complain about.
The Four Seasons Beijing is a decent 5-star luxury hotel and perhaps with time and further training, it will truly be worthy of the Four Seasons name. Certainly the physical product is very enticing and what it needs is better service. As of now, there are still some rough edges here and there. I will rate it a 4 out of 5.