The Peninsula Beijing

Here is the link to The Peninsula Beijing.

Apart from the fact that I just like the Peninsula hotels, I chose to stay here this time because of the hotel’s location in the centre of Beijing, in close proximity to Tiananmen square and the Forbidden City.

The hotel is still very nice, but the interior is getting a bit long in the tooth. Apparently though, the hotel recently embarked on an extensive renovation project, with the aim of making it look and feel more like The Peninsula in Hong Kong. As a result, currently only the Chinese restaurant on the second basement level is open to guests. The renovations are expected to last until 2017. As part of the refurbishment, the rooms will be doubled in size.

The hotel has excellent gym and pool facilities. There are changing rooms available in the gym and every customer receives a bathrobe, towel, slippers and a locker upon entry. Access to the lounge is free of charge for hotel guests. The gym has mainly cardio machines, but there are a few free weights and kettle weights available. The pool is only 18 metres long, which is admittedly a bit tedious if you are doing laps. But it serves its purpose and I guess it is better than nothing.

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Aman Summer Palace Beijing

The Aman Summer Palace Hotel is situated about 20km away from the centre of Beijing, if you assume that the Forbidden City is the actual centre of this enormous city.

The actual hotel is set in the grounds of what used to be the imperial kitchens of the Summer Palace and is laid out in the shape of a series of small courts yards that are separated by pavillions and buildings. It’s actually a very calm and relaxing environment, to the extent that when you’re inside the hotel you nearly forget you’re actually in an enormous city.

The rooms of the hotel are luxuriously appointed, but without decent artificial lighting, photography is a bit difficult inside the rooms.

I very much enjoyed my stay at the Summer Palace. It probably is one of the nicer hotels to stay at in Beijing. However, if you’re looking for a hotel with a central location to explore the sights of China’s capital, this is probably not the place.

As you may have guess, for me a good measure of a hotel’s quality is usually the afternoon tea they offer. The Aman Summer Palace does a really nice afternoon tea with lovely, fluffy scones.