Raffles has an old world charm and excellent service. The room I was given was beautifully decorated, very comfortable and quite large though a little noisy as it looking out over Dong Chang-an. For an old hotel, it is quite well maintained but the thing that sets this hotel apart is the service. The staff here went out of their way again and again to make things as easy and as comfortable for me as possible, and did so with a friendliness that is uncommon in Beijing's hotels. There was none of the "I'm too busy to deal with you" brush-offs of the neighboring Grand Hotel, nor was there the forced coolness of the staff at the Opposite House.
The location is excellent for many of the Party buildings, Tiannanmen, shopping on Wangfujing, the Foribidden city. Of the hotels in the area, I would recommend this one above the others I've stayed in (The Grand Hotel and the Peninsula) if only for the service. The breakfasts and lunches I had at the hotel were good. The massage was okay. I didn't try the pool or the spa. I used their transportation services twice (once to take me to a dinner a party in a hard to find location, and once for the airport) and both the drivers and the hotel staff who arranged it were nothing short of perfect.
If you're happy to forgo the lavishness of the Grand Hotel's buzz, the basement grotto and shopping mall, I'd suggest you'll have a better, more relaxed, time here