CHECK IT OUT W BEIJING-CHANG’AN
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.