Solid service - no argument there, but they must have hired a designer who believed elegance should mean non-intuitive and hard to use interface, and one who never considered the traveler's perspective. Steve Jobs would have found everything wrong in this place For starters, when I entered the dark room, there was no light switch within reach. I had to "feel the wall" all over in the dark until I managed to turn on the bathroom lights. Then, I still could not find lighting controls for other lamps. I could barely make out a desk lamp and a standing lamp by the desk, so I fumbled in the dim light for their switches - no luck. It turned out that the standing lamp had no switch on or near it at all - you must use a switch by the nightstand to turn it on and off (yes, located across the room, in the farthest corner). The desk lamp control is mounted off the base, where you must turn a knob-like button in an unusual circular motion (now, to be fair, might that be fashioned after iPhone's button?)
That was a good introduction to things to come. This "elegant" design concept went so far, that the thoughtful hotel management placed elegant little cards everywhere in a futile attempt to rescue us from the anti-Jobs hell. Next to the faucet stood a card educating you how to drain water from the basin (which fails miserably its educational function, illustrating just how elegant that draining design must be). Ditto for the bath tub (this time employing a different, push-down mechanism). On the bed an army of cards stood in a stone henge formation, inviting a curious read. One night I returned to find a new card joining them, informing me of my "decision" (which I had not made) to save the planet by not asking for a change of sheets (perhaps it was reasonable to assume all travelers wish to save the earth?) I was told to find a "renewal card" and place that on the bed next time to indicate my planet-destructive thought. I started a search in earnest for that one missing card among the dozens in the room, but atlas, it must have escaped the room when other cards were not watching..
I never thought I would find the familiar TV remote control so attractive until that night, as I switch TV channels at will, my fingers gliding effortlessly. Yes, even with all the unnecessary and inelegant buttons!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally situated in the midst of the capital’s financial district with access to major corporate headquarters, the hotel is just minutes from cultural icons such as The Forbidden City as well as Beijing’s finest shopping and entertainment districts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Beijing Financial Street Hotel Beijing
- Westin Beijing Financial Street
- Beijing Westin
- Westin Hotel Beijing