CHECK IT OUT W BEI­JING-CHANG’AN

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Starwood Ho­tels & Re­sorts’ new­est W Ho­tel, si­t­u­ated on Bei­jing’s Chang’an Av­enue in the diplo­matic quar­ter, brings this youth-ori­ented and de­sign-savvy brand to the Chi­nese cap­i­tal, and un­til the end of the year a 25 per cent dis­count ap­plies if you book and pay seven days be­fore ar­rival.

Of­fi­cially “pre­miered” in April and within easy ac­cess of Tianan­men Square and the For­bid­den City, the W Bei­jing-Chang’an is the work of award-win­ning ar­chi­tects RTKL and Hong Kong-based in­te­rior de­sign firm AB Con­cepts.

The 349 gue­strooms and suites are state of the art; a dig­i­tal tablet con­trols the light­ing, and there’s a Blue­tooth sound sys­tem and large tele­vi­sion. Floorto-ceil­ing win­dows with city views and in­te­ri­ors trimmed in gold add a party vibe; the mar­ble bath­rooms fea­ture a rain­for­est shower and round bath­tub.

The 344sq m Ex­treme WOW (or pen­t­house) suite is kit­ted out for Las Ve­gas-style par­ties with a wide cir­cu­lar bed and a spa tub set be­side floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows. W’s sig­na­ture Liv­ing Room (or lobby) fea­tures a LED-lit cat­walk lead­ing to a cir­cu­lar bar along­side a very cool lounge area inspired by the city’s fa­mous Olympics Wa­ter Cube aquat­ics cen­tre. Other ho­tel fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a gym, in­door heated swimming pool and day spa.

DON’T MISS: An ad­vance pur­chase deal in­cludes a 15 per cent dis­count if you book and pay three days be­fore ar­riv­ing.

DIN­ING IN: Chef Gun­nar Kuchen­becker, di­rec­tor of cui­sine, has over­sight of YEN, spe­cial­is­ing in con­tem­po­rary Can­tonese fare and the Kitchen Ta­ble serv­ing com­fort food at com­mu­nal ta­bles. In YEN be sure to try the golden Pek­ing duck; each pre­cisely se­lected bird weighs be­tween 2.2 and 2.3kg and is mar­i­nated in cin­na­mon, ginger, star anise, fruit pulp and gold sugar flakes for at least 24 hours. DIN­ING OUT: Sis­ter res­tau­rant to Shang­hai’s M on the Bund, Cap­i­tal M, serves mod­ern Euro­pean cui­sine in a glam­orous set­ting over­look­ing Tianan­men Square. Try Hat­sune for sushi or the veg­e­tar­ian King’s Joy with pro­duce sourced from nearby or­ganic farms.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: W In­sider Jill Jiao sug­gests, “If you’re pas­sion­ate about de­sign, head to the 789 Art Zone (No. 4 Ji­ux­i­an­qiao Lu, near Dashanzi Bridge) where you will find a se­ries of mod­ern gal­leries housed in ex-elec­tronic fac­to­ries; the area has be­come a vi­brant cul­tural hub, show­cas­ing the best in mod­ern art.”

CHECK­ING IN: Rooms from CNY2 200 ($456). More: star­wood­ho­tels.com.

ALSO TRY: W Guangzhou; The Cos­mopoli­tan of Las Ve­gas; The Pure, Frank­furt.

CHRIS­TINE McCABE

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