A business acquintance recommended the Grace Hotel to me. I am usually staying in hotels belonging to big networks, since my experience with the so-called boutique hotels left me with mixed feelings because of the very large spread in quality. However I agreed to give it a shot. First of all, it was nice to find out that the hotel is one of the closest to the airport, sparing me the hassle of the Beijing traffic jam, which is notoriously among the worst this planet has to offer. The welcoming ceremony at the hotel was heartfelt, check-in was handled very swiftly, and the dynamic general manager even gave me a quick tour of the premises. The building has an astonishing architecture, blending in with the adjacent 798 art district of Dashanzi. This interesting location explains why you'll be having dinner next to art critics and aficionados. Even if you're not in the art business, try to take advantage of the hotel's situation to stroll around the alleys of galleries, featuring a very large number of contemporary Chinese artists. Back to the hotel. I was not expecting too much of the room
(I chose a fairly standard one on the second floor, overlooking the garden). But I was wronged by the delightful decoration of my room, the comfortable and large bed, and an absolutely impeccable bathroom. Lighting is just great. Needless to say all the usual commodities are available, and that they are all in excellent condition. As soon as I had settled in, I asked for a sandwich through room service. It was delivered in minutes. Agreed, it is not a very large hotel, but still. And the sandwich was very good indeed.
In the evening I had some free time and I decided to go to the city center for some entertainment. On my way down I ran into the General Manager, Mr Yves, who was taking care of his customers instead of hiding in his office, and he gave me some excellent advice on cultural events taking place in central Beijing. After I made up my mind, he personally called a cab for me, and gave me some tips about places I could check out for eating in town.
Speaking of food, I should mention that I did eat several times in the hotel's (only) restaurant. Each time was lovely and great, but the Sunday Brunch was more: it was perfect.
Whereas in most top-notch hotels in Beijing, a Brunch is more or less a family buffet offering fairly basic dishes that come in tasty and careful flavours, the Grace Hotel chose a different path. Its Sunday Brunch is ' a la carte ', and oh, what a 'carte'! You can choose up to four dishes of any kind, and I challenge you to finish up all four of them. The food tastes absolutely delicious, and chef Christian deserves credit and recommendation for this culinary gem.
Next time I'll travel to Beijing, I shall go back to the Grace Hotel. I still need to try the cocktails from the hotel bar... I heard they were highly praised.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- First Art Hotel in Beijing, first Hotel in 798 Art District ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grace Beijing Hotel Beijing