St Regis Beijing

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Chad, Apr 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Chad
    Original Member

    Chad Silver Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    193
    Status Points:
    320
    St Regis Beijing

    Towards the beginning of March I had a five night paid stay at this hotel.

    Positive Aspects

    Upgrade. I was upgraded from my booked Diplomat Deluxe Room to a Statesman Suite. The Statesman Suite appears to be a pretty standard platinum upgrade – the St Regis Suite is also available in the upgrade pool for platinum members. My reservation was changed to the Statesman Suite within 24 hours of booking – of course any “pre upgrades” are still subject to the normal provisos at check in.

    Breakfast. This was included in my room rate but is also provided on a complimentary basis for Platinum members. I found the breakfast buffet had a good selection of local, Asian & International items. I particularly enjoyed the lamb chops cooked to order. Most mornings the Hotel’s new Executive Chef was in the restaurant talking to guests etc. I like a Hotel that has good interaction between senior staff and guests.

    Pool – the hotel has a very nice indoor pool for swimming laps etc.

    Happy Hour – in a very generous gesture the hotel hosts free drinks in the Press Club Bar from 5.30 pm – 7.00 pm. This is available for all hotel guests – not just platinum members. Just to note the Press Club Bar is quite small, smoking is allowed and it is China – so people who are smoke adverse may not be overly keen.

    Arrival service – I arranged a pick up using the hotel car (Audi A6), I was met at the gate and the whole procedure was very quick and efficient. Note that although you are met at the gate, no immigration express service is included, you join the normal queue and the hotel representative waits for you, as I was first of the plane this was no issue.

    Neutral Aspects:

    Location Subjective. The diplomatic area around the hotel is somewhat sterile, however in the vicinity are some interesting restaurants and the silk market is an easy walk. The Forbidden Palace/Tiananmen Square are within a long walking distance or a cheap relatively quick cab ride away. A subway station is also within a short walking distance. I walked from the hotel to the Forbidden Palace, which seemed about five kilometers (those who refuse to embrace the metric system can do their own conversions!), while this would normally be quite a pleasant distance to stroll – in Beijing with the pollution, traffic and crowds I found it quite unpleasant. I only travel for leisure so can't comment on the location in terms of nearby business districts etc.

    Check-in. Despite using the hotel car, check in was not done in the room. The agent checking me in also provided no details at all about any of the hotel facilities or features.

    Room. Of course this is very subjective, but I found the room quite average. Although the Suite was a good size, it seemed poorly laid out – with a huge entrance area wasting a lot of space that could have been better utilized. The bathroom was of an average size, and I found the separate bedroom to be somewhat cramped. The bathroom contained a Japanese style toilet and a TV in the mirror but was largely unremarkable. There wasn’t really anything wrong with room, but somehow it just lacked, a certain je ne sais quoi. The small windows and lack of clear weather also added a level of gloom to the room.

    [​IMG]
    (Living room looking towards entrance parlour.)

    [​IMG]
    (Living room – unstylish furniture was actually very comfortable. Not a fan of the small windows.)

    [​IMG]
    (Bedroom – nice linen, very comfortable bed but somewhat cramped.)

    [​IMG]

    (Bathroom – I had to put the cloth down to put my toiletries on as housekeeping never bothered)

    Public areas. While the ground level public areas were what I would expect of a St Regis the effect was cheapened by a smashed glass panel in the elevator that wasn’t repaired during the entire length of my stay. When the hotel was renovated prior to the Olympics the budget must not have stretched to the hallways – because the hall on my floor looked like something from a Motel 6 in Pittsburg.

    Negative Aspects

    Housekeeping. I did not find housekeeping to provide an adequate standard. Upon arrival a plate of chocolates and a bowl of fruit were waiting in the room. The fruit was never removed – so by the end of the stay I had a bowl of visibly moldy grapes in the room. Housekeeping also stopped properly replenishing my toiletries and left inadequate amounts of bottled water. Of course when I called the butler these were delivered – but I don’t expect to have to call the butler because no soap has been left in my room. One day the toilet wasn’t cleaned and the same glob of dried shampoo/shower gel remained on the shower door for the entire length of my stay.

    Room condition. My bathroom had a very bad smell and unpleasant growth on the marble.

    [​IMG]
    (Cleanliness is overrated.)

    Why I wouldn’t stay here again.

    As previously mentioned my bathroom had a very unpleasant smell emanating from the drain. Although one of the Butlers took a keen interest and tried several things to fix the smell, other staff ranged from dismissive to indifferent. In fact the only time it was really taken seriously was on my last night when the Front Office Managers tracked me down. This resulted in an evening of calls from butlers and maintenance – given it was my last night and I had a 6.00 am departure the next morning I was not overly impressed that after mentioning it every day, only as I was departing was an interest shown.

    The Front Office Manager waived the cost of my transfer back to the airport and told me to contact her directly for my next stay – I politely told her that my next stay will be at the Park Hyatt.

    My gripe wasn’t just that the smell made the bathroom extremely unpleasant and almost unusable, or as housekeeping always left the door open the odour started spreading to the bedroom, rather that I expect at a St Regis the immediate response to any problem with the room should be an automatic offer of a new room. I should not have to raise the issue every day only to be largely ignored except for a flurry of activity eight hours before I leave the hotel.

    For the record – I did check with the butler if the smell could be considered normal (I mean it is Beijing) he advised me that is wasn’t. I have received no follow up from the hotel

    Conclusion

    Bathroom issue aside, this is a hotel with a lot of strengths, although I would rank it in the bottom group of the eight or so St Regis Hotels I have stayed in, it is of a St Regis Standard. I think it would be better suited to those who prefer a more traditional feel – I personally prefer the more contempory style being used by newer St Regis properties. Of course due to the problem that arose during my stay I am unable to personally recommend this hotel. I don't find anything overly appealing about the other Starwood Properties in town so will try the Park Hyatt next stay.
    More photos
     
  2. Jslo
    Original Member

    Jslo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    2,649
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Headed for Beijing soon, very useful review! Cheers.
     
    uggboy likes this.
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Wow, I would have spoken very emphatically to the manager on duty if the bathroom smell and mold issue were not fixed immediately.

    To me, the living room picture looks like mismatched leftover furniture and furnishings.

    This property seems nowhere near the standards of the Shanghai St Regis (Pudong).
     
    Jslo and uggboy like this.
  4. theskyflyer
    Original Member

    theskyflyer Silver Member

    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    185
    Status Points:
    360
    Glad I stayed at PH Beijing last year. You'll love the Suite there - the bathroom is simply fantastic. I had a suite connecting with a regular room - and while the Suite is fabulous, the layout of the regular room is a bit bizarre. One would have to walk through the bathroom to go the sleeping area. No issue for single traveler, I suppose, but what if your spouse is bathing and room service guy shows up?
     
    Jslo and uggboy like this.

Share This Page