Beijing is not only China’s capital, but it’s also its cultural powerhouse. It went from being a timeworn walled city to a thriving megalopolis in less than 100 years. Having been ruled by three dynasties, the city has some jaw-dropping architectural wonders. Think the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, and even Buddhist monasteries. Moreover, it also has gorgeous green spaces. This includes the centuries-old Beijing Zoo, one of the 25 Largest Zoos In The World. Creativity runs high within its walls, right from live music to opera to contemporary art. If that wasn’t enough, its also a mouthwatering melting pot of cuisines. The best way to absorb Beijing, China is by staying at its best hotels. Not surprisingly, the sprawling city has no shortage of luxury hotels. What’s more, it’s not all flashy five-stars either. Beijing’s ancient alleyways also have restored, tranquil boutique boltholes fit for royalty.
Beijing’s massive size means that you have a laundry list of choices when it comes to staying in the city. Whether you want a city-center sanctuary or a chic stay in a trendy neighborhood, this list has you covered. So, here are 11 best hotels in Beijing, China.
Where to Stay in Beijing
Beijing is one of the 10 largest cities in the world. So, it’s very important to choose your neighborhood carefully. If you’re interested in exploration, the best places to stay lie around the Forbidden City. These include the vibrant Qianmen Street and Wangfujing. Chaoyang Park and the areas around Beijing Railway Station are perfect if you’re traveling on a budget. Night owls and party monsters will love the vibe of Sanlitun. One unique facet of Beijing is the presence of Hutongs. They’re large, lush residential neighborhoods spread throughout the city. If you like such areas, then Zhongguancun, Beijing Olympic Park, and Houhai will appeal to your sensibilities.
Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel
One hotel which features on many best hotels lists in Beijing, China is Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel. It lies on the western banks of the Houhai River in the lush neighborhood of the same name. Moreover, it’s a 15-20-minute subway ride from the Forbidden City and Palace Museum.
Despite being a budget bolthole, it stays true to Chinese culture. Rooms lie around a central covered courtyard, and faux eaves add to the historic effect. But, what makes the place special is an unending daily roster of activities. These include shadow puppet performances, painting, and craft classes. Aside from dumpling-making classes, the place also serves a hearty Western-Chinese breakfast. You’ll even find small nibbles and bites at the adjoining bar. Additionally, the staff speaks excellent unlike, unlike many hotels in the neighborhood.
Although rooms are compact, they’re airy and immaculate. If you want more space, then upgrade to the Premier room.
If you don’t mind a bit of a hike to Beijing’s attractions, then East Beijing makes for a very interesting stay. The hotel lies on the banks of the Bahe River in the Chaoyang arts district. That said, the hotel lies right outside the Jingtai subway station. So, it’s a 30-35-minute ride to city center attractions.
Part of the swanky Swire Hotels group, East Beijing doesn’t have to try to be cool. It walks the line between minimalist and modern while possessing all amenities of a business hotel. For instance, the excellent gym and fitness studio ‘Beast’ also offers yoga and pilates and classes. What’s more, the hotel does away with a stuffy business center. Instead, it introduces the ‘Domain,’ a spacious co-working, and coffee space. What’s more, it even has a spa and sauna. Two restaurants and a bar serve continental breakfasts, Japanese delights, and cocktails. The cherry on top is the heavenly pool.
Rooms, albeit a bit compact, feature floor-to-ceiling windows with great views. If you want to indulge, go for the corner rooms or the East Studio.
The Orchid is perfect for those wanderlusters who seek bygone Beijing with a serving of cool. The chic hotel lies in Gulou Hutong, which is one of Beijing’s most walkable, most buzzing regions. Also, the city’s historic attractions are a 20-minute walk or subway ride away.
What’s cool about the hotel is that it lies in a refurbished “siheyuan.” It’s a quadrangle courtyard home that is typical of the region. Today, the white-walled boutique haven is all about its stunning outdoor space. Original structures blend with gardens and modern living spaces thanks to clever designs. Additionally, the two-storied, canopied sun-kissed terraces offer picturesque views of the neighborhood. Here, group fun is the main focus. So, you can engage in noodles and dumpling-making, accompanied by wine of course. If you’re a solo scout, the hotel’s local map is an excellent pathfinder. Finally, three restaurants serve everything from breakfast to dim-sum dinners.
The hotel is a cluster of spread-out structures. So, you could either stay in the main hotel or on one of the larger rooms spread across the alleyways. You’ll love even the entry-level ‘Courtyard’ rooms, which lie in Qing Dynasty-style structures. Still, all have plush beds and mod-cons like smartphones loaded with useful numbers.
Peking Station Hostel
In spite of being of Beijing’s pricier hostels, the Peking Station Hostel is perennially overflowing with patrons. And why not? This boutique-style hostel packs in dollops of charm and is serene and stylish at the same time. Above all, its location near the Dongdan Metro Station is an added bonus.
Lying in a renovated Hutong structure, fresh flowers everywhere perk up this place. Even the reception is like a florist shop from the Ming Dynasty era! Imagine drinking your morning coffee in the courtyard of the quaint lobby bar, which has an ancient wall dating back to the Ming period! All-in-all, it’s hard to believe you’re in the city center of Beijing. The bar area doubles as a lounge room during the day. It’s packed with board games and books and has an excellent selection of snacks, coffee, and beer. Moreover, it also offers a simple breakfast in the morning. To top it all, the staff goes out of their way to make sure that your every need is taken care of.
By way of rooms, there are two gender-separate shared dorms and six private rooms. As a result, the hostel boasts a rare intimate atmosphere that is hard to find in central Beijing.
Kerry Hotel, Beijing
The glamorous Kerry Hotel in Beijing’s Chaoyang district has something for everyone. Apart from being connected to two luxury malls, it also possesses the best pool and sports facilities in the city! To top that, the subway nearby takes you to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in a matter of minutes.
The hotel mixes business with beauty. Think bejeweled chandeliers and plush carpets in the lobby and sleek art-deco motifs in the rooms. Even though it’s a huge hotel, it manages to stay cool and confident, thanks to its driven staff. Yet, its crown jewel is its amenities. The swimming pool is the longest in any of Beijing’s hotels, and the city has a lot of hotels! Its 24-hour fitness studio and gym is a dream for fitness fanatics. In addition, Kerry Hotel’s food and beverage offerings are second to none. The lobby bar, for instance, has a weekly cheese and wine party, which is a rarity for Beijing. Also, its hotel bar is the liveliest in the city and has a secondary happy hour beginning at midnight. Finally, its restaurant offering Southeast Asian fare is to die for.
The rooms, although a bit compact, are perfect. They feature comfy beds, hi-tech mod-cons, and a complimentary minibar bursting with snacks and drinks.
Beijing Hotel NUO Wangfujing
The Beijing Hotel NUO Wangfujing is a threadbare charm in a splendid, 100-year-old building. The hotel lies on Beijing’s most famous boulevard, Chang’an Avenue. For right down the street from the hotel lie both Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. This makes it the perfect base to explore the Top 10 Things To Do In Beijing, China.
The hotel started out as the Grand Hotel de Pekin. Naturally, it’s adorned in period French style with flowing drapes and lofty French windows. Gym rats will love the upgraded fitness center. Plus, the indoor swimming pool with a hot tub and lashings of sunlight is ideal for a laidback afternoon. That said, it’s the Drawing Room and the enchanting Writer’s Bar where you’ll love spending time. In fact, the Writer’s Bar is one of the most atmospheric places in Beijing for afternoon tea. Finally, the on-site restaurant serves superb French and Mediterranean fare.
You can either opt for smaller rooms in the heritage building or spacious modern rooms in the new wing. Finally, it boils down to the kind of ambiance that you’re looking for. The best regular rooms are the Heritage Studios that have views of Tiananmen Square.
Vue Hotel Houhai Beijing
The boutique Vue Hotel Houhai Beijing is refreshingly out of the way. This private, luxurious haven lies on the willow-lined shores of Houhai Lake. Moreover, it’s a 10-minute subway ride into Beijing’s historic heart. Plus, Houhai’s alleyways and gardens make walking down a tempting proposition.
In an earlier life, Vue used to be a government building from the ’50s. It’s astonishing what a shard motif and a monochrome palette can do to transform it into a beguiling hotel. The landscaped gardens are what set it apart from most others in Beijing. That, coupled with the lakeside location, makes it feel like a world away from Beijing. That said, Vue’s restaurants are the exact opposite of its boutique vibe. For instance, the lakeside rooftop Moon Bar, which also has the hotel’s pool, is live-music central. The main restaurant boasts an industrial-chic scheme, while the cafe serves the finest French pastries!
Many of Vue’s rooms have windows looking out to the neighboring square, allowing you to watch local life go by. Rooms also have trendy flourishes and open-plan bathrooms. If you have the urge to splurge, the fancy suites have lake-view terraces with sun loungers.
China World Hotel, Beijing
In a city filled with luxury hotels, the China World Hotel Beijing is the grande dame and oldest of them all. It lies on Chang’an Avenue right atop a subway station, making it a 10-minute ride to Forbidden City. The terrific shopping and dining options of the China World Mall are also right beneath.
Staff donning Qing-inspired attire welcome you into the grand lobby of the hotel. It depicts legendary Chinese sceneries on rich vermilion pillars. If you’re in this Beijing hotel on Sunday, don’t miss the afternoon tea under the chandeliers, which is a China World custom. The indoor pool is an ideal place for a swim, while a visit to the swish spa is a must-do. Finally, the hotel even has two restaurants and a bar, a beauty salon, and squash and tennis courts.
Like other Shangri-la hotels, rooms here are compact but feature lavish furnishings. Think all-marble bathrooms with bathtubs with modern amenities. For the best views, ask for west-facing rooms.
If your ultimate aim is to eat, drink, and make merry in Beijing, then look no further then the CHAO Hotel. The stylish hotel in party-central Sanlitun is great for experiencing the city’s lifestyle.
CHAO’s public spaces make use of all the space very well. Contrasting textures and clean lines feel both period-era classic and minimalist futuristic. The interesting wall art and intriguing ceiling designs will catch your eye. The tiny but charming outdoor pool is a fantastic place for you to unwind, day or night. The main restaurant and bar serve a delicious fusion menu as well as brunch and cocktails. It even has a stage for occasional live music performances. If you want to work off all those extra calories, you can hit the state-of-the-art fitness studio.
The best part about CHAO is that its rooms appeal to solo travelers as well, which is a rarity anywhere. Notwithstanding the size, they’re all feature a grey palette and handcrafted Japanese furnishings. Plush beds and free minibars are the icings on the cake.
Hotel Coté Cour
If you want to get a sense of what China might have looked like 100 years ago, then the Hotel Coté Cour in Beijing is the perfect example. Located close to the Forbidden City in the narrow hutongs of old Beijing, the hotel harks back to ancient China.
The hotel lies in a “siheyuan,” which is charming one-story structures arranged around a quadrangle courtyard home. These homes are typically what you’d find in China 100 years ago. The discreet hotel is tucked away in a lush courtyard with a goldfish-filled pond for good fortune. Parasols with chairs, little trees, and red lanterns are sprinkled all around, making for a very pretty picture. The roof terrace with wicker loungers is the perfect place to sip your morning coffee while taking in views of the verdant surroundings. The hotel stays true to its serene personality and features very little by way of modern amenities. However, given the ambiance, it’s more a welcome than an inconvenience. Moreover, the place even serves a homemade breakfast in the lounge. It’s a chill place to read books left behind by former guests.
Rooms arranged around the courtyard might be small, but are huge on the character. Think patterned porcelain basins, silk lampshades, and carved wooden beds. In spite of its laidback nature, the hotel has 21st-century creature comforts like Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.
The Opposite House
Avant-garde minimalist is how we’d describe The Opposite House, one of the edgiest hotels in Beijing, China. The hotel sits right in the heart of Sanlitun and is a mere 20-minute walk to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
If you like everything minimal and unfussy, then you’ll love this place. This gorgeous, glass box of a boutique hotel is a design addict’s dream. In fact, it wears the crown for being Beijing’s original design-driven hotel. The lobby is akin to an art gallery with statement fixtures like the 20-foot-high wall comprising nearly 6,000 Chinese apothecary drawers! They’re complemented by metallic textiles that sweep down from the ceiling. There’s no reception desk; instead, the staff moves with iPads in hand. The indoor swimming pool looks ethereal, given the dim lighting and the metallic fixtures suspended above. Right next to it, you’ll find a well-equipped gym. However, it’s food that’s the highlight here. In fact, the hotel came up with Beijing’s first food truck, BAO House, which is parked right outside. On the inside, two restaurants serve delicious Cantonese cuisine.
If you’re impressed by the public spaces, you haven’t seen the rooms yet. They channel a Scandi-Asian chic vibe with lots of wood, white linen, and light everywhere. High-tech mod-cons are heaven for the tech-savvy traveler.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars / Food Tours in Beijing:
- Qing-Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop: Since 1948, thus stuffed bun shop has been wowing patrons with its steamed dumplings. If you’re looking for an offbeat breakfast place, then this would be it.
- Beijing: Evening Foodie Tour by Tuk-Tuk: Food is a religion in the capital city of China, and rightly so. This evening food tour takes you to hidden food gems in the city.