St Regis Hotel, Beijing – drafty and marbly, but good

St Regis Hotel, Beijing – drafty and marbly, but good

01. Introduction: 13,733 amazing miles in Japan Airlines business class
02. Japan Airlines 787-8 business class (Shell Flat Neo) San Diego to Tokyo (Narita)
03. Japan Airlines 737-800 business class Tokyo (Narita) to Beijing
04. St Regis Hotel, Beijing
05. 3 ways this trip to Beijing was exactly like the Apollo 13 mission to the moon
06. BGS Premiere Lounge, PEK
07. Japan Airlines 787-8 business class (Sky Suite) Beijing to Tokyo (Haneda)
08. Royal Park Hotel THE Haneda
09. Haneda to Narita transfer bus
10. JAL Sakura Lounge, NRT
11. Japan Airlines 787-8 business class (Shell Flat Neo) Tokyo (Narita) to San Diego

Long time readers of my blog will know that choosing a hotel in a new city has always been kind of a nerve racking (yet fun) experience for me. Nerve racking because I really have no idea if the place I’m choosing is in a good location or not, but fun because, well…taking chances and rolling with the punches is what makes travel so interesting. I get the most satisfaction from my travels when I’m faced with a challenge and a need to adapt to an environment that I was not expecting, and taking a gamble on a hotel is usually the kind of travel challenge I like. Hitting the road is a lot less interesting when things go entirely as planned!

One of the things that puts my mind at ease when choosing a hotel in an unfamiliar city is to stick with the fancy stuff. I knew absolutely nothing about the city of Beijing when I was making this reservation, but choosing the St Regis over a lesser quality brand gave me that twinge of confidence I needed in order to think that if the location is good enough for a St Regis, it would be more than adequate for a lowly and uninformed traveler such as myself.

One of these days that line of thinking is really going to screw me over, but it usually works out pretty well. This time was no different. The St Regis Beijing is in a pretty darn good spot if I don’t say so myself – it’s very central, right in the middle of everything with Tiananmen Square just a 30 minute walk away. Of course those 30 minutes felt more like three hours in the sub zero temperatures that I had to deal with while I was there, but I imagine it would be a really nice walk in the spring or fall.

St Regis hotel location map
Trust me. The location of this hotel is pretty good if you’re looking for a place to stay right in the heart of Beijing.
St Regis Beijing exterior
No you guys, this is not hospital! It’s the St Regis Beijing, my home for this brief trip to China.

Unfortunately, choosing high-end hotel brands still doesn’t seem right to me after all these years – especially whenever I walk through the grand entrance that first time with three different hotel employees holding the door for me. For some reason or another I just don’t feel like I belong in fancy hotels such as this, but those thoughts usually only last a second or two before my eyes glaze over from the fanciness of it all.

The St Regis failed to disappoint in that regard and I felt at home right away, lost in a daze from the hypnotic twinkling lights and glossy marble finishes all throughout the lobby.

St Regis hotel Beijing main lobby
The check-in counter is on the right, and if I’m being honest, I was feeling a bit self-conscious about walking into this place with bright red sneakers strapped to my feet.
St Regis Beijing main lobby
Enough marble and gold accents in here to make Donald Trump feel right at home.
St Regis Beijing lobby café
This is one of the many café/bar areas just off the main lobby. I totally lost count of the number of restaurants and cafés in this place!
St Regis Beijing hotel hallway
If you looked up “spooky hotel hallway” in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure this is the picture you would see without any other description to go with it. Yikes!
St Regis hotel Beijing room 1112
Room 1112 is mine for this stay. Dang it! So close to achieving my dream of getting a hotel room with the number “1234”. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time…
St Regis hotel Beijing room
Cracking open the door and walking in the first time.
St Regis hotel Beijing China room
Who else gets freaked out about the thought of some weirdo hiding in your room waiting to pounce soon as you walk in? It makes me think that I shouldn’t have given up karate at such an early age.
 SANspotter hotel selfie
Thankfully the only weirdo in here was this guy, walking around with the camera taking pictures of everything. He was cool though.
St Regis Beijing hotel room pictures
It’s actually a pretty nice looking room isn’t it? OK, there’s kind of a lot of “Sheraton Orange” going on in here, but otherwise it looks pretty good.
St Regis hotel Beijing floor plan
It also features the same floor plan of a low-end Motel 6 found on the side of the freeway in a questionable part of town, but at least this was clean and pretty nice looking.
St Regis hotel Beijing bed
But let’s be honest: after flying halfway around the world and feeling completely spent, the bed is the most important thing in a hotel room anyway. This one looks perfectly nice and fluffy (and I can confirm that it was after a solid 10 hours sleep my first night here).
St Regis Beijing hotel room design
Brown velour and orange carpet. Whoa! That’s a color combo straight out of the 1970s and…I kind of liked it. It was also probably the reason why I was feeling urge to listen to some Fleetwood Mac right about then.
You probably think I’m joking, but I totally would’ve fired up the Fleetwood Mac on this Bose stereo if it weren’t for the fact that the connection was incompatible with my iPhone 6S. “Players…only looove you when they’re plaaaaayin’…”
St Regis Beijing complementary slippers
Very nice attention to detail here with the bedside mat and slippers.
St Regis Beijing complementary chocolate
Speaking of attention to detail, the welcome chocolates were a nice touch. Just two though? That basket looks as if it could hold a lot more than just two!
St Regis Beijing hotel room furniture
Even with all the nice furniture in this place, my eyes are still drawn to that 1970s funky orange carpet in every one of these pics. I’m not hating by the way…as matter of fact I’d love to have this stuff on the floor in my studio at home!
St Regis Beijing hotel room size
Here’s a wide angle picture of the entire room. Small, yes, but it was a comfy home for a few days.
St Regis Beijing hotel in room coffee
Coffee and snacks on display just off the main entrance. All of it was complementary, but I touched none of it for fear of breaking something and losing a leg from the sharp broken glass. I’m clumsy like that.
St Regis hotel Beijing bathroom
The bathroom. Unfortunately there was no 1970s vibe in here with orange and brown Formica plastered over everything, but still liked it quite a bit.
St Regis hotel Beijing bathroom design
To be honest I’m not really sure what to call this style, but “nice” is good enough for me. It was actually one of the nicest hotel room bathrooms I’ve seen in a while.
SANspotter selfie Beijing hotel
There’s that weirdo again. Someone call security!
St Regis hotel Beijing bathtub
There was no shower in this bathroom, but this very deep bathtub more than made up for it. Any bathtub deep enough to drown in is a good one in my book.
St Regis hotel bathroom amenities
Lots of complementary goodies here next to the tub.

Interestingly enough, the initial impression that I had of this hotel being too fancy for my tastes eroded away after the first day. The St Regis Beijing is certainly a nice hotel, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not perfect and not quite up to the standard that I would expect from a high-end brand such as this.

For example, the phone in my room would randomly ring at all hours of the day and night, and I’m ashamed to admit that it took three times of that happening for me to realize that the phone was possessed and there that there was actually nobody on the other end. I eventually had to completely unplug it from the wall in order for it to stop, feeling ashamed that I fell for it three times. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Another minor complaint was the room temperature. The windows were awfully drafty, and I could almost feel the cold wind coming through even with the curtains completely closed. I actually had to sleep wearing the complementary bathrobe because the thermostat couldn’t compensate for all that cold air coming in.

St Regis hotel room window
They must have got a really good deal on these windows, because they were about is drafty as a screen door with holes ripped in it.
St Regis hotel Beijing view
Speaking of windows, check out that view! As you can see, the St Regis is located right in the heart of Beijing.

On the flipside, I found the St Regis to be very clean with incredibly helpful and kind staff, and it was also very quiet during my stay. Never once was I woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of guests in adjacent rooms, and I heard nary a peep from anyone out in the hallway. That phone though…that stupid phone.

The next time I return to Beijing (and I will to check out the Great Wall), I’m not totally convinced that I would stay here again. Of course it is a very nice hotel in a very good location, and I’ve got no major complaints about it, but all the walking around that I did made me realize that there are some other really nice hotels within a 3 mile radius of this place which looked even better from the outside.

The natural curiosity I’ve got burning inside me wouldn’t allow me to stay in the same place again with so many other options available, and I’m willing to bet there’s an even better room nearby with phones that aren’t quite as possessed. I’ll do my best to find it on my next visit!

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