CHECK IT OUT HO­TEL JEN BEI­JING

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

With “mil­len­nial trav­ellers” and time-poor road war­riors firmly in mind, the newly opened Ho­tel Jen in Bei­jing’s CBD blurs the lines be­tween work and play to pro­vide an in­no­va­tive 24-hour “busi­ness cen­tre” with cafe, work pods and pri­vate rooms along­side a gi­ant gym, gas­tropub and brew­ery.

The lat­est ho­tel in a life­style brand launched by Shangri-La in 2014, the Ho­tel Jen Bei­jing is lo­cated in a gleam­ing high rise in the China World Trade Cen­tre com­plex, pro­vid­ing in­stant ac­cess to malls crammed with restau­rants and bou­tiques run by up-and-com­ing de­sign­ers, and easy sub­way con­nec­tions to the city’s lead­ing at­trac­tions.

De­signed by Stick­man Tribe Dubai, the ho­tel fea­tures large, lively public ar­eas with con­tem­po­rary art at ev­ery turn, from a tree sculp­ture with porce­lain leaves in the lobby to cop­per beer vats laser­cut with Chi­nese zo­diac signs in the gas­tropub.

The 450 well-priced gue­strooms have a down­town loft vibe with floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows af­ford­ing great city views. With king or twin beds, each room is geared to the needs of to­day’s con­nected trav­eller, of­fer­ing fast, free Wi-Fi, full-size desk and well-placed USB ports and in­ter­na­tional power plugs. (There is also an iron and board in the closet.)

The larger cor­ner rooms in­clude a kitch­enette and break­fast bar and of­fer the ho­tel’s best views of the city and strik­ing Rem Kool­haas-de­signed CCTV Head­quar­ters.

DON’T MISS: A work­out. Spread over two floors, the ho­tel gym is open 24/7 and in­cludes a swim­ming pool, box­ing ring, spin stu­dio, group classes, sports massage fa­cil­i­ties and juice bar.

DIN­ING IN: Ex­ec­u­tive chef Hoo Yau Meng over­sees the ho­tel’s busy eater­ies in­clud­ing the Beer­smith gas­tropub with its own brew­ery pro­duc­ing a new sea­sonal flavour ev­ery few months (try the Wagyu beef burger or Porter ribs) and the all-day din­ing San Wu Tang where herbs are grown hy­dro­pon­i­cally in the res­tau­rant (a bit of a talk­ing point) and guests can watch the ac­tion in the show kitchen. Try the Hainanese chicken rice or Jian­bing (Chi­ne­ses­tyle pan­cakes). Fam­i­lies en­joy free buf­fet meals for chil­dren un­der six.

DIN­ING OUT: Wangjing Xiaoyao for tra­di­tional BBQ skew­ers, Biany­i­fang for Pek­ing duck, and Han­she, serv­ing au­then­tic Sichuan food.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: The ad­join­ing mall has plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties for fam­i­lies and the young at heart in­clud­ing an in­door ice skat­ing rink and cinema com­plex.

CHECK­ING IN: Rooms from RMB1260 ($243). Open­ing spe­cial un­til Au­gust 31, from RMB1199 ($231) in­clud­ing break­fast. More: hotel­jen.com.

ALSO TRY: Aloft Perth; Canopy by Hil­ton Wash­ing­ton DC The Wharf; Ovolo South­side, Hong Kong.

CHRIS­TINE Mc­CABE

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