Arrival/Check-in: I arrived at the Beijing Airport for the second time in my life and was excited to embark on my business trip in China. I was full of confidence, but did breathe a sigh of relief when I saw a porter from the InterContinental waiting for me, literally as I got off the airplane. She escorted me through customs, to baggage claim and into the hands of the driver and limo service to the hotel, a service I highly recommend.
The check-in staff was awaiting my arrival, thanks to a call from the driver as we approached the city. En route we passed the Forbidden City, and we were less than a 10-minute drive (with no traffic) to the hotel. Check-in was friendly and efficient, and I was in my room in minutes with my luggage following slightly after. (30/30)
Guest Quarters: My room was large, with a flat-screen TV and a bathroom nearly as big as the bedroom. The space was sleek and refreshing. Furnishings were luxurious but not ornate. I appreciated the details, from the paintings to amenities, which reminded me that I was still in China despite my refuge in a Western-branded hotel. An oversized window helped bring natural light into the room (when the sun was out), and a desk offered plenty of workspace and high-speed Internet capabilities. (27/30)
Services/Amenities: Like most business travelers overseas, I have come to rely on the efficiencies of a hotel’s business center as though it were my own office. On my return one evening, I saw an email that needed an answer faxed to the United States immediately.
We all know what it’s like to be on deadline, but add on a time difference, jet lag and language barrier and it could be a recipe for disaster. Even though the business center was closed, the front desk staff made me feel like I was operating out of my own office, offering me the use of a printer and fax that allowed me to finish my project before deadline with no sweat.
The hotel offers four restaurants to suit all occasions. I hosted a business lunch at the Steak Exchange, which had a very professional and attentive staff. I tried breakfast in the main restaurant, Monsoon, but did find it too noisy for my liking, despite a plethora of international food options. I recommend booking a clubroom to have the option to dine throughout the day and, most importantly, for a peaceful breakfast alone or for a meeting. (37/40)
The Experience: I left the hotel feeling like a valued guest. I was greeted by name whenever entering the hotel, and the staff had helpful hints for any of my questions relating to business or leisure. I wanted to explore shopping for some electronics, and the concierge told me where to go and what to look for so I would not get any knock-offs. The location and staff offered a great combination to enhance my business trip.
Total Score: (94/100)
InterContinental Beijing Financial Street
11 Financial St.
Xicheng, Beijing, China 100034
tel 86 10 5852 5888
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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