Hyatt Regency Beijing Wangjing; Sheraton Grand Danang Resort
This hotel opened in June 2017 and is Hyatt’s third and newest hotel in the Chinese capital, as well as the debut Beijing property for the Hyatt Regency brand. Renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is also redesigning some of Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways’ domestic airport lounges, is responsible for the hotel’s core aesthetic: a traditional Japanese twist on an otherwise ultramodern design.
WHERE IS IT?
In the heart of Beijing’s emerging Wangjing business district in the city’s northeast, less than 30 minutes’ drive from Beijing Capital International Airport. The offices of several high-profile international companies, including Microsoft and Daimler, are practically next door, while leisure areas including the popular 798 Art Zone are a short drive away.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Kuma has done a phenomenal job of integrating natural elements within the greater whole of the building. Entering the lobby, guests are greeted by a miniature forest of tall bamboo plants stretching towards the ceiling, while natural woods pervade the overall design. The property also stands next to a large green park, which is complemented by a smaller garden within the grounds.
Impressively, the hotel’s design feels more personal than either of its two siblings in the capital city, the Park Hyatt Beijing and Grand Hyatt Beijing. The aesthetic is high end without being overly concerned with glamour. The overall ambience is warm and inviting.
There are 348 rooms divided into five categories – each with king and twin bed variants – and five types of suite. Sizes begin at 39 sqm, with the largest, the Chairman Suite, covering 290 sqm. I was in a King Bed, the hotel’s 39 sqm entry-level room.
Architect Kuma’s emphasis on naturalism within the property extends to the guestrooms, with light-brown wooden slats used to accentuate the walls, doors and cabinets and give the otherwise thoroughly modern room a traditional Japanese touch. The bathroom is long and thin but provides ample space, and includes a separate bathtub and rain shower – the latter even has a mirror on the wall, in case you needed any more convincing of the need to head to the gym in the morning.
These rooms don’t have a dedicated work desk. Rather, they offer a long table that stands underneath the TV. It’s minimalistic, lending the room a more spacious feel, and while there are ample power and USB sockets nearby, it’s more suited for a power hour of work than long stints.
While this is a new property, the hotel has thankfully opted for straightforward wall-mounted buttons over a complex tablet-based system with an impenetrable user interface. The bedside button controlling the curtains and blinds became a familiar friend by the end of my stay.
This isn’t a particularly tall hotel, so you’re unlikely to get towering views over the city, though some rooms offer phenomenal views of the bulbous Zaha Hadid-designed Wangjing Soho mixed-use development. Unfortunately, my room offered an underwhelming view of the rooftop of one of the hotel buildings. Check-in is from 2pm onwards, while checkout is at noon.
FOOD AND DRINK
There are plenty of places to eat at the hotel. The all-day Market Café provides an almost openair environment with its tall ceilings and indoor wooden awnings. This is where the breakfast buffet is served, though if you have access to the Regency Club lounge I’d also recommend that. The selection is not as expansive as Market Café, but space is plentiful and there’s outdoor seating. Lunch and dinner are also available at the hotel’s contemporary Chinese restaurant Cang Yue, which offers northern Chinese cuisine, Cantonese dim sum and Shanghainese dishes, and izakaya-style restaurant Shunpachi. For wine and cocktails, The Music Bar is the place to go, with live music and DJs providing entertainment.
There’s an impressive 5,600 sqm of event space. The largest individual space is the expansive 1,370 sqm pillarless Regency Ballroom. Overall, the property has 12 meeting venues.
The hotel has a 25-metre-long indoor heated pool (open 6am-11pm) on the lower ground floor and connected to a garden. The gym includes a 240 sqm fitness centre with Life Fitness equipment along with two studios for yoga, pilates and spinning, and hydrotherapy areas in the changing rooms with whirlpools and saunas. The hotel also provides a five-kilometre jogging map around the surrounding area.
This could well be my favourite Hyatt Regency property worldwide, thanks to its modern nature-inspired design and strong character. While it won’t be your hotel of choice if you are working in the city centre, if your meetings are in Wangjing or closer to the airport, the location is spot on. Craig Bright
The aesthetic is high end without being overly concerned with glamour