Hotels Reviews

Beijing’s Best. The Peninsula Beijing stuns after renovations.

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Peninsula Beijing

Whoever said, “Expectation is the mother of disappointment,” hasn’t stayed at the Peninsula Beijing. It’s been 5 years since I stayed in one of the nicest hotel rooms in Asia, The Peninsula Suite at the Peninsula Bangkok. I consider that stay as one of my most profound, it was not just the physical opulence, but the hotel recalibrated my understanding of luxury and customer service.

The Peninsula Bangkok set a standard, one that I’ve held other esteemed properties to around the world, and needless to say, my expectations were significantly higher entering my second Peninsula stay in Beijing.  As a group, Peninsula prides itself on not only knowing your needs, but creating experiences that you’ll be talking about for years to come.

The Peninsula Beijing not only executed these principles with understated precision, warmth, and professionalism, but surpassed any expectation I had going into the stay. It was nothing short of one of the best stays I’ve had, bar none.

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Peninsula Beijing Lobby

Details of our Trip:

  • When: December 2017
  • Where: Beijing, China
  • Booking: Virtuoso
  • Room: Duplex Suite —-> upgraded —–> Grand Premier Suite

The Peninsula Beijing recently underwent a $100M+ renovation.

The Peninsula Beijing not only spent a fortune renovating the hotel, but they cut their total room count from 525 rooms to just 230. It nows holds the title of largest entry level “room,” in Beijing, which is now a whopping 65 sq meter suite. Absolutely fantastic. Earlier in the year I had visited the hotel for Afternoon Tea with my parents on my Mom’s Surprise Trip Around the World and was impressed with what I saw.

Now that we were looking to visit Beijing for just 2 nights, I wanted to make every single part of the trip memorable. Enter Virtuoso.

Booking with Virtuoso.

For special stays, typically those not involving the redemption of points, I use Virtuoso. I have a good relationship with Josh King, and highly recommend his services. I let him know that my girlfriend and I would be traveling to Beijing for the weekend and wanted to check rates.

a building with lights on the front
Peninsula Beijing Exterior at Night

Given the list of prices below, we were most interested in a duplex suite.

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I also inquired about airport transport. One of my bucket list experiences was taking the Peninsula Rolls Royce airport transfer.

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With those rates you also get the following benefits:

  • You also are met with the senior most staff member upon arrival.
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Peninsula Beijing Virtuoso benefits 2018

Airport Transport and Arrival

The Rolls Royce transport was a complete surprise to my girlfriend. In actuality, staying at the Peninsula was a surprise, too. We had discussed options, but the ultimate decision had been a bit of a mystery 😉 I’m a huge sucker for surprises, and love to pull one off whenever possible.

One of the cool aspects about arrival in Beijing is the opportunity to arrange an escort to meet you at your arrival gate, and walk you to your airport pickup. Yes, this is available at other airports as well, but it’s very affordable and quite a cool experience that I wanted to share. Some hotels include this service as part of the pickup, the Peninsula does not. It cost roughly $45.

Our Escort:

a man walking down an airport with luggage

American Airlines flights arrive into Terminal 2.  If you’ve arranged pickup, you’ll exit the airport, walk across the street where your car will be waiting for you. Personally, I prefer the VIP transfer in Terminal 3, but it’s still a cool experience. Our Rolls was waiting for us. I’D HIGHLY recommend paying the premium once in your life.

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Peninsula Beijing Rolls Royce with Miles

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Check in and Room: Premier Grand Suite.

As part of the renovation, the Peninsula Beijing did away with a traditional front desk and instead has a more remote style check in off to the right. However, we were greeted by Anna Porisch, Director of Guest Relations when we arrived.  This is a perk of using Virtuoso, but Anna was on another level. She warmly greeted us both, and escorted us to our room, an upgraded Grand Premier Suite for in-room check in.

The suite measures roughly 1000 – 1100 sq ft and is drop dead gorgeous. She informed us that we had been double upgraded from a Duplex suite to a Grand Premier suite. The neutral, cream tones of the room feel fresh, luxurious, and paired perfectly with the alabaster marble of the bathroom.

Everything in the room can be operated via iPads that control the shades, tv, lights, temperature, etc. Not only is the room luxurious, but the technology, while extremely advanced, is understated and subdued. I loved that the design of the room was to make everything accessible without knowing it was even there.

I also loved the integration of the TVs subtly tucked behind sliding doors.

The closet of the suite has a perk I’ve only seen at Peninsula. There is a caddy that you can leave your dull shoes in for a shine. The door opens to the hallway, eliminating any interaction with staff. Simply put your shoes, laundry, pressed items in the caddy, close it, press a button, and voila – your items are returned looking next to new.

The hotel had arranged special little treats for us too. Knowing that both my girlfriend and I work in the entertainment industry, a Valrhona chocolate cake was made in the shape of a movie camera. We met the pastry Chef, Frederic Moreau, that night at dinner. A true master. It will be something we remember for the rest of our lives.

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Peninsula Beijing Miles and Chocolate Video Camera

They also made special arrangements to have our initials embroidered onto the pillow cases. 

We couldn’t believe the extra steps they took to make our stay special. I’m not sure what Josh told them, but it worked 🙂 Anna, informed us that we could take the pillowcases home as well. Incredible.

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Peninsula Beijing Monogrammed Pillow

The side tables, instead of keeping drawers that guests never use, employed a different approach. Integrating charging cables and plugs that all guests will use.  Add in the iPad controls and touch screen lighting switch – I felt like I was in a very luxurious future I never wanted to leave.

Anna gave us a full suite tour as well. One of my favorite parts is the bathroom. Dual vanities, luxurious products, and when you run a bath you can select an option that dims the lights, turns on your “do not disturb” sign, and plays relaxing music. Mouth drop.

Dining

As a perk of Virtuoso, each room receives buffet breakfast for 2 in Jing. It’s a beautiful restaurant with regional items as well as western options. There are made to order omelettes and sweets like pancakes as well.

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We also visited Huang Ting, the Peninsula’s Cantonese restaurant. It was outstanding as well.

Location of the Hotel:

Our main purpose for the trip was to be within walking distance to Forbidden City. It’s roughly 20 minutes on foot to Tiananmen square and the entrance to Forbidden City. If you’re looking for a “high street” to do a little retail therapy, you’ll only have to walk about 5-10 minutes to hit Wangfujing, a long corridor of mixed western and eastern stores.

a stuffed animal in front of a large building with Forbidden City in the background
Miles Forbidden City

We were so busy that we didn’t get a chance to use the spa, gym, or pool. I peeked my head in before check out, but didn’t use the facilities. Here are a couple of pics from the hotel website.

Other Service notes:

Anywhere we went in the hotel we were addressed by name. We were never made to wait, tended to immediately when we grabbed a drink, snack, or just wanted to see various parts of the hotel, and always made to feel very welcome. Miles was in love and found a new Pen Pal 🙂

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Peninsula Beijing Miles with friends

A continued quest to fulfill my Peninsula Bucket List.

After we spent 2 phenomenal nights at the Peninsula Beijing, bid adieu personally by Anna Porisch, I couldn’t help but feel renewed in my quest to stay at every Peninsula hotel in the world. These are truly special experiences. At just 10 hotels currently open, it’s not an impossible quest, and one I think worth the investment in time and money. I couldn’t recommend the Peninsula Beijing more, and if you’re looking to make your base of operations as special as the sights you’ll see in Beijing, I’d urge you to stay at the Peninsula Beijing.

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Peninsula Beijing Lobby with Miles on Stairs

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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8 Comments

  • Michelle April 27, 2020

    I had the opposite experience. I booked through virtuoso, and the check in and breakfast service was absolutely awful. I’ve stayed at many peninsula’s around the world over the past 20 years, and never have I experienced such rude service. I’m originally from Hong Kong, and they insisted on only speaking to us in mandarin – which my grandmother and brother don’t speak. Racism to the max. I would book a local hotel if I wanted that service – not what I had assumed was the best chain in the world. I was never addressed, and when I waited for service nobody bothered to come even attend to me. The Peninsula hotel is my favorite hotel chain, one that feels like ‘home’ to me so I am extremely disappointing. Furnishings were impeccable though.

  • […] It’s special and something that my girlfriend and I experienced in Beijing when we stayed at the Peninsula Beijing, and I wanted to share with her on our return to […]

  • MB January 16, 2018

    Peninsula Shanghai was the worst! I was left to carry my luggage from the taxi and went down hill from there. Never again will I stay at a Peninsula

  • Jeff January 13, 2018

    Those are some great rates. I’ve stayed at 3 star hotels in New York at around the same prices. (granted this was during the busy summer season)

  • F. January 13, 2018

    “404 – Page Not Found” on Virtuoso web site

  • Donald January 13, 2018

    At RMB 1900+ adding in the VAT, the Rolls Royce / gate meet & greet surely is a “splurge”. It’s barely more than a 30 minute ride and it’s the cost of a full night’s stay! I’m happy you documented it here since I won’t be following in your footsteps. I’ll spend $300 for a 45 minute helicopter ride, but not to sit in the back of a Rolls.

    But I love Virtuoso too when paying out of pocket, because of all the perks added in. Certainly the room prices are very reasonable considering what you get! Staying at a true 5 star hotel is an amazing experience that usually costs a great deal more. I’ll be in Beijing for 3 days in March and the prices I’ve looked up are very similar to what’s shown here. The Peninsula has definitely gone to the top of my list. Thanks for the great review. I think I’ll be making my journey there by taxi though. 😉

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