19 Nov REVIEW: WESTIN BEIJING FINANCIAL STREET
Beijing is a fascinating metropolis with rich history that every serious traveler needs to explore at least once in their lifetime. Looking for a great hotel in this city is not easy business as it’s inundated with hundreds of options from big hotel chains to very interesting boutique hotels. After much deliberation, we chose the Westin Beijing Financial Street (one of the two Westin properties in the city) where we spent two memorable nights and used it as a base to explore the city.
Summary: The Westin Beijing Financial Street is a beautiful property and very centrally located. It might not uber modern but the great service and amenities the hotel provides more than make up for that. The rooms are very spacious, well-designed and functional which is everything you need from a city hotel. The Club lounge offers an elevated experience and is definitely worth the splurge (if you don’t have access to it already). Overall, a great stay which we would recommend to anyone visiting Beijing.
Booking: The Westin Beijing Financial Street is a category 4 SPG hotel and redemptions start at just 10.000 points per night for a Westin room. You can also spend an extra 5,250 SPG points to upgrade to a Renewal room which is well worth it. Entry-level rooms (Westin room) are usually around $200 a night. You can book or redeem for your room by clicking here.
Getting there: The hotel is, as the name implies, in the financial district of Beijing (you’ll notice most of the guests are there for business) and it takes about 45’-60’ to get there from the airport depending on traffic. The hotel arranged a pick-up for us which was a great option as the airport is a bit chaotic, we didn’t have internet access to say, call a taxi on an app and even if we did, popular apps such as Uber do not exist in China. It was nice not to have to think about getting a taxi and trying to explain to the driver where we’re going at midnight, which is when we finally got out of the airport. As an added bonus our hotel car also had free wifi so we were able to catch up on email during the drive.
Checking-in: The hotel is in a big tower building and the lobby, as well as all the restaurants and bars are on the ground floor. Checking-in after midnight was obviously a breeze but during peak times we noticed that it took longer. During check-out we waited for about 10-15’ which wasn’t ideal but it was only a minor issue in an otherwise great stay.
The room: We had booked a Renewal room and also had Club Lounge access and breakfast for two. Renewal rooms are on higher floors (ours was on the 32nd) and so have nice views of the city. Our room was huge (probably around 60sqm) and consisted of a large bedroom/office area with the infamous, super comfortable, Westin Heavenly bed (it was amazing!), a bathroom with his/hers sinks and a large walk-in shower area and a separate small walk-in closet. Without being overly modern, the room and in particular the bathroom, felt luxurious and just very practical, comfortable and bright. We also liked the multi-plugs and the USB ports which made working/charging devices very easy. The marble in the bathroom and the size of the walk-in shower were particularly impressive touches. All rooms come with free, high-speed internet.
Rest of the hotel: The hotel has a gym, a spa and a pool which are all located on the same (highest) floor as the Club Lounge. All the restaurants and the bar/café are on the ground floor. The gym is a very good size and the nice thing is that you can rent workout equipment if you need for just a small fee (about $US4.5). The pool is very big (probably Olympic size) and is excellent for those who do laps. However, we were disappointed to be told that you had to use a cap to enter the pool. There is also a jacuzzi right next to the pool. In the changing rooms, you will also find another jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Overall, the pool/wet facilities were nice, though felt a bit dated. However, having a pool of that size in a city hotel was definitely unexpected. The Club Lounge was a great space, nicely decorated, with lots of seating options and great views of the city. Additional guests could be brought into the Lounge at an additional fee (see relevant photo). Overall, we spent a lot of time in the Lounge as it was a perfect place to relax or catch up on work during the day.
The Club Lounge
Food/Service: Breakfast is served in the main restaurant on the ground floor and offers a large variety of Western, Chinese and other Asian options. We also tried breakfast in the Club Lounge which we found to be a, even better experience as it was quieter and just felt more intimate. The Lounge also offers many options to choose from, including an egg station, so it felt like the perfect balance between variety and privacy (almost like eating in your own dining room). We also ended up trying both the Italian (Prego) and Chinese (Jewel) restaurants at the hotel. In both cases we were extremely impressed with both the quality of the food and the service. The staff went out of their way to help us choose the right dishes and to ensure we had a great experience. At Jewel, we were particularly impressed by the waiter’s willingness to create a series of small versions of many of the dishes so we could try different flavors. Everything we tried, even in the Italian restaurant (which by the way has an Italian chef) was spot-on and very well presented. Overall, we had a great culinary experience throughout the hotel and were impressed by the service and attention to detail.