I stayed here for 7 nights during the Chinese New Year period in Jan/Feb 2014. Overall, this is an excellent hotel.
The good points:
1. The hotel is modern and the spacious rooms are well furnished and have large floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel clearly maintains its rooms and facilities well.
2. The staff are professional, efficient and pleasant. The housekeeping lady responsible for the 8th floor, where I was located, was particularly friendly and always greeted me when we passed each other in the hallway. This made me feel very at home and I hope her good manners and attitude is acknowledged by management.
3. I only had the chance to try one of their restaurants - Lei Garden - as most of their restaurants were closed until the 7th of Feb for the Chinese New Year - I checked out on the 7th of Feb. The yum cha (dim sum) at Lei Garden is sensational. The egg tarts were incredibly delicate and the dumplings were extremely well-flavored. This is by far the best yum cha I've had anywhere.
4. Additional requests such as requests for water and towels and requests to the concierge for bookings at Da Dong Peking Duck restaurant were met immediately. The staff do in this regard, do really try their best.
5. The hotel's gym facilities are excellent. The gym is spacious, looks out onto the hotel's back courtyard and has very modern equipment. I didn't try the swimming pool, but it looked very large.
6. The location of the hotel is fantastic - about a block away from the action-packed Wangfujing, and short taxi rides to tourist and business sites such as The Forbidden City, Hou hai, Sanlitun and the CBD.
Areas which can be proved:
1. By far the most disappointing experience of my stay was the buffet breakfast served at Cafe 99. I was allocated a table along the corridor near the entrance, as the only empty two-person tables were located here - this is fine and I understand the need to do this. However, after I came back to the table from the buffet with a plate of food, someone else was sitting in at my table! The staff had allocated my table to someone else. I then had to walk around the cafe area with my plate of food, following the floor manager, while he tried to find me another table - it took a few minutes as it was a very busy breakfast service. To his credit, the floor manager was very apologetic, but such an error shouldn't happen. I witnessed the same thing happen to another couple during the breakfast service. I hope the hotel puts in place a system to prevent this from happening again.
2. The pricing of the buffet breakfast, at $40USD, was too high. Yes, I know that some other establishments charge these prices - but the variety of the buffet was surprisingly limited and disappointingly, they didn't serve fresh juice, unlike other hotels that charge these prices for breakfast. The juice seemed like commercially-made juice with added sugar and flavour. It tasted artificial. That said, the pastries, bacon and sausages were of good quality. I also find the set up of the buffet to be too cramped. Most of the food and the egg station is set up along a very confined end of the restaurant, which induced a lot of congestion when people got up to get food. I think they'll find that people will be able to move around a lot easier and get food a lot easier if they physically spread the buffet out a little more across the available space.
3. It was a bit difficult to get taxis on some of the days - I understand that this is often the case in Beijing, especially during the new year period. But I wonder whether the Regent should, like some other hotels, start using iPhone/iPad/android apps which allow you to electronically call for and track taxis? Such apps are widely used in China and will allow for quicker service and greater assurance for guests.
4. A very minor annoyance is seeing some staff in the lobby and gym playing on their phones infront of guests. This actually happens a lot in 5-star hotels everywhere and it doesn't necessarily detract from the attentiveness of the service. But it just seems unprofessional, especially when lobby staff do it.
My disappointing breakfast experience aside, I would say that the Regent Hotel would sit quite comfortably alongside other quality western 5-star establishments in the city such as the Westin, Sofitel and Grand Hyatt. The staff are very good but probably not trained to St Regis/Four Seasons standard yet - they don't yet have that address-you-by-your-name and hand-things-to-you-with-two-hands kind if service that you'll find at the St Regis and Four Seasons. But I would say that the service is on a par with the Westin/Sofitel/Grand Hyatt. Overall, this is an excellent hotel and deserving of its 5-star status. It will be even better if it can improve on some of the things mentioned in this review.
Thank you to the hotel and staff that made my 7-night stay a mostly very pleasant one. I hope the hotel continues to do well in the future - I will be back.
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- Also Known As:
- The Regent Beijing Hotel Beijing
- Regent Hotel Beijing
- Beijing Regent