While its exterior reflects a boxy latticework that has been made to age gracefully, the interior portrays real elegance and grandeur
What looks like a copper-bronze jewel box shines on Beijing’s Jinbao Jie in Wangfujing, and that is what is slated to be China’s most luxurious hotel till date. The understated luxury as opposed to the gaudy and gleaming gold attracts every global traveller’s attention. The massive 500kg cooper doors welcome you sans any usual paraphernalia of sweeping lobbies or crystal chandeliers. The nondescript reception hidden in a corner is just another formality, as most of the check-ins and checkouts will be done in-room to save you the plight of standing in a queue (a way-too-common phenomenon in China).
The newest member of the Waldorf Astoria club is quite the head-turner-the grand dame at New York’s fifth avenue hosted the likes of Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. While its exterior is more of a boxy latticework that has been made to age gracefully, the interior portrays real elegance and boutique style. With 176 well-appointed guest rooms including 38 suites, the epitome of luxury is the Waldorf Hutong Villa that offers unparalleled privacy right across its 6,092 sq ft area.
Gold-flecked Italian marble makes the staircases. Embroidered Suzhou silk lines the walls. Artwork made of chopsticks, hand painted flowers on its walls and Chinese elements in its furniture accentuate the grandeur. Designed by Toronto-based firm Yabu Pushelburg, nothing but cosy-and-discrete describes the subdued yet extensive fusion of old-world charm and contemporary magnificence.
We suggest you skip the breakfast in bed and head to Brasserie 1893, which is classier than any five star international
“History is integral to the Waldorf Astoria brand,” says Waldorf Astoria Beijing’s General Manager Marlene Poynder. “While most of the Waldorf Astoria hotels around the world are set in historical buildings such as the one on The Bund in Shanghai, this one in Beijing is set in a historical area within a new building that I believe will become an icon in its own right.”
The famous ‘Peacock Alley’ that connects the Waldorf to the Astoria in New York houses a huge circular canvas of an androgynous face by Shandong artist Ling Jian. We suggest you skip the breakfast in bed and head to Brasserie 1893, which is classier than any five star international all-day restaurants. Zijin Mansion is the other fine dining in-house Chinese restaurant that has a nifty wine-pairing concept.
A cluster of renovated ‘siheyuan’ courtyards house the Waldorf Hutong Villa, a palatial suite with private swimming pool, underground cinema, and a dining room for 12 guests.
The rooms and suites on the upper floors get sweeping views of the Wangfujing Cathedral and pavilions atop Jingshan Park. A stylish balance between contemporary design and hi-tech luxury comes naturally to the Waldorf club. With Apple TVs, Bose sound systems, Nespresso machines, Japanese toilets, heated bathroom floors and Salvatore Ferragamo amenities—you can’t feel lonely even for a second in your room that costs you at least $360. If you thought this was grand, there’s more to indulge in. A cluster of renovated ‘siheyuan’ courtyards house the Waldorf Hutong Villa, a palatial suite with private swimming pool, underground cinema, and a dining room for 12 guests. The Waldorf Astoria Beijing is a world of dichotomies—understated yet stylish, Grand Dame-ish yet with all the hi-tech frills—and most importantly, whispers softly instead of giving a shout-out to look at it.