In Beijing's central business district, a 15-minute drive from Forbidden City
Elegant rooms with traditional touches and large marble bathrooms
Higher-category features include Nespresso machines and Bose soundsystems
Fitness center includes large selection of modern machines and free weights
Willow Stream Spa provides facials, wraps, massages, and beauty services
Small indoor lap pool plus whirlpool hot tub
Two bars plus two restaurants, including an upmarket steak house
Room service available around the clock
Four meeting and event spaces with audiovisual equipment
Free Wi-Fi throuhgout
Complaints of slow Wi-Fi and inability to access VPNs
Not within walking distance of major tourist sights
Located in Beijing's central business district, just a block north of the Tonghui River, the Fairmont Beijing is a luxury chain hotel with a polished atmosphere and an excellent spa. The 222 rooms and suites are elegantly decorated with a few Chinese touches and have large marble bathrooms with flat-screen TVs designed to be viewed from separate soaking tubs. Other features include a Champagne bar, a steakhouse, and an all-day casual restaurant with buffets at breakfast and lunch. An indoor swimming pool, modern fitness center, and large spa provide a nice number of wellness options as well. Overall, it's an excellent choice for business travelers needing easy access to local offices, but tourists wanting to be closer to attractions near Tiananmen Square may prefer staying at the Waldorf Astoria instead.
Modern, luxurious chain property popular with business travelers
With its internationally recognized name, this Fairmont outpost lives up to the expectations of most travelers familiar with the high-end brand. The Fairmont Beijing is a large and modern business hotel spread across two towers that are connected by a multistory skybridge. Its shiny glass exterior makes it look opulent and grand from the outside, an impression that continues once inside the dark marble lobby that's decorated with huge glass art installations and modern chandeliers. Off to one side, the dark Lobby Lounge features multiple leather pincushion sofas and chairs plus gold ceilings and wooden floors that add a touch of traditional Chinese ambience to the otherwise contemporary space. Most guests at this busy luxury property are business travelers, though the location is reasonably close enough to main attractions to attract a fair few leisure travelers, too.
In Beijing's Central Business District, near offices and a short drive to Tiananmen Square
The hotel is located in the city's central business district, in an area dominated by office buildings, apartment complexes catering to business people, and other business hotels. It's just a block away from Tonghuihe North Road, which runs along the Tonghui River, while the Yong'anli Metro station is around six minutes away on foot. It's a 10-minute drive to Panjiayuan Market, a flea market known for handicrafts and Mao-era propaganda posters. Tiananmen Square is a 15-minute drive away, as is Wangfujing Street. The Palace Museum inside the Forbidden City takes 15 to 20 minutes to reach by car, as does the Temple of Heaven. The Beijing International Airport is just over a half-hour drive from the hotel, traffic permitting. By metro, the same journey will take about 80 minutes.
Luxurious rooms with traditional Chinese touches, modern amenities, and elegant marble bathrooms
The Fairmont offers 222 rooms and suites, all with luxurious interiors with traditional Chinese touches complementing generally dark, modern decor. Deluxe Rooms -- the hotel's entry-level category -- have 45 square meters (484 square feet) of space and include lush, rose-colored carpeting, one king or two double beds with red-and-gold silk bed runners and throw cushions to match, plus muted-gold sofa seating areas and large desks. Beds face long wooden countertops with iPod docks, a few Chinese vases, urns, and sketches of bamboo, and capsule-style espresso machines. Other amenities include irons/ironing boards, minibars, and safes. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto other buildings. Bathrooms are clad mostly in marble, with heated floors and separate stalls for showers and toilets. They also come with deep soaking tubs that face wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, but the tubs have windows on two sides that look out onto the rooms, which may pose privacy concerns for some guests. Robes, hairdryers, scales, and toiletries are provided.
The hotel also offers one-bedroom Signature Suites with one king bed and 86 square meters (926 square feet) of floor space plus a huge Presidential Suite with a study room full of books on local art, a whirlpool tub, and a kitchen, plus a dining area for up to 10 guests. For business travelers, the Fairmont has Gold Executive rooms on the 17th to 23rd floors, including -- but not limited to -- Gold Rooms (similar to Deluxe Rooms) and Gold Junior Suites with sitting areas (essentially larger versions of the rooms, at 63 square meters/678 square feet). Higher category rooms include a number of in-room and in-hotel perks, and guests can expect upgrades like Nespresso machines and Bose soundsystems in these rooms.
Meeting rooms, two bars and two restaurants, sharp spa, indoor pool, and fitness center
As a business hotel, the Fairmont offers plenty of amenities geared toward the corporate set, including four event spaces with audiovisual equipment, the largest of which can fit up to 200 people. There's also a business center and computers can be rented from the hotel. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel but there have been some complaints of slow service, and past guests have reported difficulty accessing Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) necessary to log into Google accounts and other websites blocked by the Chinese government. Both valet and self parking is available, but it's limited to 10 vehicles.
The Fairmont also offers two restaurants and two bars. The Lobby Lounge Bar is casual and features a variety of light meals, coffees and teas, and evening cocktails plus an afternoon tea service every day of the week. As the name suggests, the more upscale Champagne Bar focuses on Champagnes and sparkling wines, but also has a decent selection of cocktails. Lunar 8 is a casual restaurant with a daily buffet and a la carte breakfast (not included in room rates), lunch (also available buffet-style or a la carte), and an a la carte dinner. The restaurant specializes in Chinese dishes, with plenty of international alternatives at breakfast time. The CUT steakhouse is a more upscale alternative, with a variety of meat and seafood dishes at lunch and dinner. Room service is available around the clock. All Gold Rooms come with access to the 20th-floor Gold Lounge, which features a free full breakfast, an afternoon tea, and evening hors d'oeuvres.
Wellness facilities include a medium-sized fitness center with modern cardio equipment plus resistance machines and free weights. The hotel also has a branch of the Fairmont's signature Willow Stream Spa -- the Beijing location spans three floors and features a huge range of wraps, scrubs, facials, and beauty services. There's also a small indoor lap pool plus a jacuzzi with jetted chairs and submerged inbuilt loungers.