I’ve been doing trip reviews for a while now which I recently expanded into reviews of airport lounges as well as the occasional destination review. I thought that the next logical step is to review the places where you want kick your shoes off, relax and get a good night sleep before another day of travel, be it business or leisure. So without further ado my first hotel to review is the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing – hope you enjoy and all suggestions for improvements are welcome – just add a comment. I'm not sure if it should go here or in Trip Reports - mods feel free to move where it suits best. I've got the pictures from the review and the full review on my blog page as well which you can view here: http://www.carlousmoochous.com/2012/inbed-hilton-beijing-wangfujing/ Check-In: Ok so the first thing that people do at a hotel is check in, so that is the logical starting point for InBed. We arrived by foot on a cold early morning in February after navigating the subways of Beijing with our luggage in toe, thus we were pretty cold and exhausted after a very early arrival into Beijing by train. The friendly door staff quickly took care of our bags and directed us to the check in desks where the staff quickly checked our documents and checked us in. As a Gold Hilton HHonors member all members of my party were upgraded at check-in to an executive floor from the base rooms we booked, a great perk of the Hilton HHonors program. Arriving before 10am we had expected to drop our bags for the day and return in the afternoon to gain access to our rooms yet the service we received was amazing. We were able to get two of the three rooms instantly with third available an hour later. One of the hotel managers welcomed me to the hotel and personally escorted us to our rooms, provided a tour of the executive floor lounge before inviting us to a complementary breakfast in the lounge while the door staff arranged for our bags to be delivered to our rooms. This extremely early check in service gave us time to get comfortable and freshen up after an early morning of traveling, allowing us to be revitalized for a busy day ahead. Room: The layout of the Executive Floor rooms are well planned, light, open and inviting. A marble titled corridor runs along the oversized dressing room and bathroom suite before opening up into the main bedroom. Two large sliding walls intersect at 90 degrees which can be opened or closed to separate the main bathroom area from what is otherwise a large open bathroom/bedroom area. Beyond the bed lies a large desk, complete with welcome flowers and a letter from the hotel manager and a chaise sofa in front of the window. Fancy something to read? A magazine rack is cleverly tucked against the wall on one wall while a bookshelf with iPod docking station and all your business needs, including your own printer competes the remaining wall. Being a bit of a nerd (hello I write a travel blog for fun) I was excited to play with the automatic curtains and block out blinds. Blinds go up, Blinds go down.. I was a bit like Homer Simpson in a hospital bed. The furnishings and lighting in the room was comfortable and unlike many hotel rooms then air conditioning was set just right. The nice Big flat screen TV comes compete with DVD player and a selection of US cable TV channels. Of course no hotel room worthy of any decent star rating isn’t complete without a mini bar; and the guys and girls at Hilton went a little crazy when they installed this one! This mini bar feels bigger than the wardrobe I had in my dorm at university and is complete with enough drinks and snacks to keep any hunger (or thirst) away. Bed: Pretty much every hotel has its own signature or branded bed and the Hilton’s version of this is the Hilton Serenity. The executive room is fitted with a King sized version which is hard to part with on check out. The crisp white linens, and soft, but not too soft mattress provide a great nights sleep. I think the balance between hard and soft beds is hard to juggle and for me this bed was great. Although, If you are a super hard bed lover you might find it a little soft. There is a pillow menu available allowing you to select the perfect pillow, but I didn’t take advantage of it, and I’d be really surprised to hear if anyone does – it seems to be a good marketing strategy but not overly realistic. Bathroom: The bathroom suite is the size of some hotels whole room and comes complete with a deep freestanding tub complete with its own TV, shower room with a choice of rain or massaging shower heads and a separate toilet room, complete with its own telephone line of course. The vanity faces the bedroom and when the walls are open the mirror provides the only separation between the rooms. Peter Thomas Roth amenities are provided throughout the various bathroom areas as well as an extensive range of bits and pieces travelers need but don’t want to travel with in the bathroom. There are more towels and robes than one person could use during a stay, and with 24hr housekeeping available if you do manage to get through them all the staff would happily replace them I’m sure. There are plenty of lighting options for that relaxing candlelit soak in the tub or nice and bright for the morning shave with power points conveniently and stylishly located in the vanity unit for shavers or hair dryers. The water pressure and temperatures were great for both the soak in the tub (compete with a purple Hilton rubber duck) and the extremely relaxing massage shower head. If you turn the water to hot in the shower room and switch the shower head to rain mode you create yourself a mini steam room to sweat out the days stresses. I’m not sure if this is a planned feature but it works well none the less. Recreation: I find that whenever I travel I eat heaps more than I do at home, and when traveling for work move about a lot less. Thus it’s nice to be able to fit in a quick workout after a busy day in the office or a busy day of sightseeing to keep the waistline where it was before leaving home. Thus I find that a hotel gym is an important but often overlooked amenity in any hotel, especially during long stays. The fitness centre provided included a reception leading into clean although simple change rooms and a small gym room with a few pieces of cardio equipment and a variety of free weights. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood to exercise but the gym area felt quite small, contained and even with only 2-3 people using it it felt crowded and not overly inviting for a good workout. Behind the gym and change rooms is the pool and pool bar, which definitely provided an alternative workout or relaxation option. The large rectangular pool with views through tall wall to ceiling windows out onto Beijing was ideal for short laps or just relaxing around. If getting wet isn’t your thing the variety of day beds and lounges surrounding the pool would be a great place to relax with a cool drink after a long day exploring. If I wasn’t working I would have set myself up on a day bed with a good airline magazine and napped the afternoon away. Executive Lounge: Although the rooms are comfortable and provide a great space to work in piece and quiet, a full day in any hotel room gets tiring so it’s nice to be able to break up the day and stretch your legs , take time out somewhere other than your room, grab a hot or cold drink, a snack or catch up with a colleague. This in my view is the best feature and purpose of any executive lounge, and the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing is no exception. The lounge provides a reception desk for personalised check in, check out and any concierge needs, and two seating areas – one for relaxing and one for dining. Breakfast is provided each morning for executive floor guests and includes an egg chef, and a wide arrange of western and local foods and for the coffee addicts, espresso coffee. During the day tea coffee and a wide selection of cold drinks, including some beer is provided as well as a good selection of snacks to keep you energized during the day. At night happy hour (which was two hours if I recall correctly) provides a great range of hot snack sized food as well as beer, wine, bubbles and spirits. If you don’t normally eat much for dinner you could easily snack on the options available for the full happy hour and not need dinner afterwards. Eats and Drinks: On site there are several restaurant options, of which I dined at the local Chinese themed restaurant. I’m definitely not a food critic so don’t want to go into an in depth restaurant review, so I’ll just say the food, drink and service was great. Sure if you ate locally on the street it would probably cost a lot less, but for hotel style high class dining all the restaurants within the hotel provide plenty of options that are all reasonably priced and cater for all tastes. Staff: The staff at the hotel were undoubtedly and unquestionably exceptional in every possible way. From check in to check out the duty manager was exceptional in ensuring all our needs were met, and at some points I felt as if he was my own personal assistant taking care of everything around us. All other staff in the hotel, from the lounge attendants to the housekeeping staff were extremely attentive to details and extremely professional. People are the most influential factor in any service industry, and if the people aren’t professional the whole operation falls apart; fortunately during this stay there wasn’t the slightest hint that the staff weren’t anything but professional, welcoming and courteous. Check-Out: Our check out processes could have been conducted in the lounge we decided it was just as easy to check out downstairs. Despite a complicated payment requirement on our side, the process was painless and although it was only a short stay I was sad to be leaving – a good sign of a great hotel. We had asked the concierge in the lounge to arrange our airport transfers which arrived on time and safely transported us on time to our flights home. Overall: The quality of the hotel itself, complete with it’s comfortable and stylish amenities combined with the superb staff made this stay in Beijing extremely comfortable and refreshing. I would have no issue in recommending this hotel to anyone visiting Beijing in the future, especially if you are planning to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, both of which are only a short walk away as is plenty of shopping and plenty of local culture.