CHECK IT OUT HOTEL JEN BEIJING
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.