I stayed at the beautiful Park Hyatt Beijing for two nights on my quick mileage run to China. I debated between the Park and Grand Hyatt. The Grand Hyatt is located near Wangfujing; the pedestrian street with shopping and food stalls and not far from the Forbidden City. The Park Hyatt Beijing is a bit farther out of the tourist core in the more modern district. Ultimately I decided on the Park Hyatt as it is a a step up in luxury and I was able to do a price match to bring the total for my stay equal to what I would have paid at the Grand Hyatt.
The Park Hyatt Beijing is in a modern skyscraper. The lobby is on the 63rd floor and the guest rooms are on floors 37-49. The views are spectacular if you can see through the smog. The rest of the building is private residences, offices and a shopping mall.
Location: The Park Hyatt Beijing is part of the Yintai Centre in the east of the city center. The bottom three floors is a high end mall with luxury brand shops and some restaurants including a Starbucks. You can get to the Guomao subway stop without leaving the building to access Line 1 and Line 10. From the airport you can take a cab (less than $20) or take the Airport Express train and transfer to Line 10 on the subway. I opted for the taxi and it took a while as I was coming in on a Friday afternoon during rush hour. Be aware that the taxi drivers rarely speak any English. I would suggest printing off directions in Chinese to give to the driver. Even with that, my driver had a hard time getting there as he seemed to have never heard of the Park Hyatt Beijing. The good thing is that it is a tall building so as long as the taxi driver can get you close you can probably point out the building to him to get you the final mile or so.
All of the main tourist destinations are easy to access via subway. Once at the hotel I didn’t take another taxi until I was ready to go back to the airport. I would suggest asking the front desk for one of their amazing pocket maps/guides. It is the size of a passport and has a great subway map and directions back to the hotel in Chinese in case you get lost and need help.
Line 1 is the main east/west line through the city with stops at Tiananmen Square (and Forbidden City) and Wangfujing. The subway is very reliable and well laid out; I was able to navigate it to various other locations including the newly restored Qianmen street and the Olympic Park with the Bird’s Nest stadium. The subway is clean, runs on time, and only costs 3-5 RMB ($0.50 to $0.80) per trip within the city. Plus it is fun to ride with the locals.
Check In: The entrance to the Park Hyatt Beijing is located on the first floor of the building. There is a bank of elevators that take you directly to the lobby on the 63rd floor. When the doors open to the lobby, you have an expansive view of the city. Check in is to your right.
When I checked in there was a bit of a line and not one person spoke to me until it was my turn. It seemed a bit cold but I think this may be more of a custom. The Chinese I encountered were not overly friendly and rarely reached out to you first. Once it was my turn to check in the desk agent spoke English and was very professional (although not warm). He gave me the basics but I had to ask for more details. Could I have the welcome amenity points? Oh yes, I already added that to your reservation. Was my Diamond status on my reservation? Yes, and you have been upgraded to a King Deluxe room because of it. Where is breakfast? It is on the 65th floor and included with your Diamond status.
The agent then proceeded to take me to my room. Here he was much warmer and showed me all the details of the room; including how to use the elevator (it is a separate elevator from the one that takes you to the lobby from the first floor, and you need your guest key to use the elevator), how to use the lock (you don’t touch the key to the lock, you put it about half an inch away), the lighting system (there were MANY light switches), the window shades, each drawer of the dressing closet and mini bar, etc etc. I appreciated the lessons as it was a lot to take in.
To his credit, the rest of my stay this same agent was warm and helpful an remembered my name.
The Room: My room, a Deluxe Park King on the 48th floor (room 4817), was beautiful. A slightly larger version of the standard room, the Deluxe version is a corner room which means I had windows on two sides of the room instead of one.
The room was quite large and had a unique lay out. You entered through a hallway that ended at the powder room (toilet with sink). Turning left you had a straight shot to the end of the room. On your left was the dressing closet (oddly there was not really a dresser to put your clothes; you either had to hang them or lay them out on the bench) with a large mirror and safe. I kept my passport locked up the entire time, choosing not to keep it on my person when leaving the hotel. To your right was an open shower and large soaking tub.
Walk a bit farther and you were in the bedroom (although the entire room is open concept). To the right was a couch and table with two chairs. In the corner was the TV and the opposite corner was the king bed. To the left was a small counter space with fresh fruit and a half wall. On the other side of the half wall was another sink that was meant for getting ready.
The floors were all either dark wood or light stone except for a rug under the bed. I have heard the floors are heated but didn’t notice as it was nearly summer during my stay. The same stone as the floor is used for the bath and shower. All very high quality finishes.
The bed was one of the best I have ever slept in. It has a thick mattress top that, by my guess, is down or something similar. However as I was there in May so it was almost too warm even with the air conditioner turned all the way up.
The lights were a bit of a mystery to me throughout my stay. Controls are located all around the room including by the bed. Most of the time I would just have them all on or off, or use one of the preset “Scenes” that had their own buttons.
I only watched TV once during my stay and it had a number of western channels. There were many plugs throughout the room and you do not need an adapter. Just plug is straight in. Wifi was free and decent; just remember that you will not be able to access most western websites (Google, Facebook, Twitter, New York Times) due to the Great Firewall. There is a fridge in the room but it is only for the paid mini bar. There is also a Nespresso machine and tea kettle.
My room faced south and east. I had a peekaboo view of the CCTV building, the river, and train station. I kept the blinds open except for while sleeping as the view that high up was stunning.
Bathroom: It is hard to figure out what part of the room IS the bathroom as it is open concept and it all just flows together. However, there is a movable wall/screen that can be pulled out to separate the bedroom area (including the sink) from the bathroom area (dressing room and shower/bath). So if you were there with more than one person, you could divide the room in half during shower time if you wanted privacy.
The shower is open air on one side to the tub. The other sides are windows to the outside of the hotel (with shades if you want privacy), the wall shared with the powder room, and a glass door. There is a huge rain shower head built in to the ceiling as well as a wand with a short tether to the wall. Water pressure was very good and temperature easily controlled. The floor of the shower was a large slab of stone with a “moat” that collected the water run off and a drain hidden under the stone. Most beautiful shower I have seen.
The large square stone soaking tub was directly next to the shower and also open air to the room.
The powder room had a Japanese style toilet with built in bidet and butt dryer (for lack of a better term). The toilet lid automatically opened when you walked in. One wall of the powder room was a glass window to the outside with a mirror covering most of it but allowing natural light in. A small sink was also in the powder room for washing you hands. Toilet paper was also offered if you did not like to use the bidet.
Closer to the bed (and not able to be sectioned off with the screen) was the main, larger sink. A drawer provided all amenities you might want (comb, toothbrush, shaving supplies, etc). Hair dryer was also available. Two bottles of water were provided and refreshed daily.
Pool/Gym: The pool is located on the 59th floor. When you get off the elevator you are offered a locker. The locker room is spa like and separated by gender. There is a sauna and steam room, toilets, showers and sinks. An attendant was present to help you out. The only awkward thing was that in order to get from the locker room to the pool you had to walk down a rather long hallway past the gym. Towels were not provided at the pool so you had to bring one from the locker room. This lead to a couple of awkward walks to and from the pool from the locker room in just my swimsuit.
The pool itself was large with wrap around windows with views of the city. On each side of the pool were large hot tubs. The pool itself was a nice cool temperature. There were various lounge chairs around the outside, however I felt the warmth of the room (and the fact that it was enclosed) did not lend itself to just laying around on the loungers.
The gym had modern equipment and I saw at least one trainer there; my guess is that the residents of the condos also have access to the gym and pool.
Restaurants: Breakfast is served each morning at the China Grill on the 65th floor. As a Diamond member breakfast is complementary (normally it would be roughly $50 US). One thing I noticed about restaurants in China is that all staff serve all customers. In the US, you would have one waiter for the entire meal. In China (at least in my experience) you could have one person take your order, another deliver your order, another check in, another bring you your bill. Both times at breakfast I was seated and then given a small menu with hot items to chose from. I had the French Toast one morning and waffles the next. The rest of the food is buffet style and there is a large selection to choose from; both western and Chinese options.
The ambience was quite nice; being on the top of the building it has windows all around and above.
I also had dinner one night in the hotel lounge on the 63rd floor (lobby). It was expensive and mediocre, I had a long day out and chose it for convenience. Wouldn’t suggest it unless you just want a place to plop down and eat something instead of trying to find someplace else to go. Great views of course.
Service: I had read reviews that said the soft product (i.e. service) of the hotel was lacking. I did not find it to be the best service I ever had, but also didn’t find any issues after I checked in. Housekeeping came twice a day to the room and did a thorough cleaning each time. In the evening all the blinds are closed for your convenience (it does take a while to close them all even though they are motorized). I was pleasantly surprised that water bottles were refreshed as well so I never ran out of drinking water. I was a bit surprised that I was never was delivered a newspaper, perhaps you must ask for this service.
I called for ice my first evening and it was delivered quickly. I also had a pair of pants laundered (about $12) and it was done well and quickly.
The service at the restaurants was also very good although not extremely personal. I did have a good long conversation with one of the waitresses at the lounge, however other than that it was efficient conversation only.
My guess is that at least half of the guests were Chinese so, again, perhaps the service was more culturally in line with what Chinese guests would expect.
Overall: I found the hard product (building and rooms) at the Park Hyatt Beijing to be about the nicest I have encountered in a hotel. The hotel is breathtakingly beautiful. The soft product (food and service) was professional and efficient but not overly warm. The location is something to consider; you will have to take a taxi or subway to other locations; there isn’t much within walking distance of significance. I ended up paying about $200 USD per night; a steal for this nice of a hotel in my opinion, but on the expensive side for China. I would have no problem suggesting this property to anyone.