The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing could not have been a more perfect choice for our recent trip. We traveled to China’s vibrant and busy city with another family so that our daughters could attend a Mandarin language camp in China Central Place.
For this trip, I performed significantly more research on luxury hotels in Beijing than is normal for me. I was bit nervous as to how the kids would like school and wanted the ability to walk them there to avoid rush hour traffic and summer heat. A pool and nearby conveniences were also high on the list.
In the end, while I knew The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing was close to school, it was actually right across the street. Club Level rooms proved their weight in gold and the staff provided some of the best service I’ve experienced in a hotel. Not only that but I couldn’t believe how much there was to do within walking distance in a city that is famous for being spread out.
I love Beijing. This wasn’t my first and certainly won’t be my last trip. I’m also sure that we’ll be repeat guests of this hotel.
China Central Place Location
China Central Place feels like its own mini-city within Beijing’s Central Business District. It’s a mix of residential apartments, offices, Shin Kong Place (the glorious luxury mall also referred to as simply SKP) and two major hotels. Not only this, but conveniences like Starbucks, 7-11, Costa Coffee, Muji, the famous Dadong Roast Duck restaurant, banks and many other restaurants (including a long list of hot pot restaurants) are sprinkled throughout this enormous lifestyle complex. It’s awesome and easy no matter what type of traveler you are.
Unlike many similar lifestyle and business complexes in Hong Kong, for example, the buildings in China Central Place are not connected (which gives it the mini-city feel I mention above). You do walk outside to get from say the hotel to SKP mall. It’s nice to feel daylight even for just a few minutes and to see some green along the way versus walking between buildings in an enclosed walkway. The skies in Beijing were blue during our visit though an umbrella was necessary on a few rainy days.
In addition, the subway station is about a 5-minute walk away from The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing. The Beijing subway is clean and very easy to use so take advantage of it. The ticket machines have an English option.
But, then again, The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing conveniently has a house car to take you within a short radius of the hotel on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Stellar Concierge Team
I traded emails with Johnny and Sybil at the concierge desk before my stay to ask questions about things to do in Beijing, airport transfers and more. I always received much-appreciated prompt replies.
What I liked most about the concierge team at The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is how accessible they are. They come out from behind the desk to talk to guests one-on-one about their itineraries, make sure transfers are executed as they’ve planned, and greet guests as they enter and exit the hotel. Both Johnny and Sybil made sure we were settled in the dumpling making class while Sybil stayed to translate what they chefs were saying into English. This is service that is over and beyond what I was expecting at even a Ritz-Carlton property.
Johnny also arranged our private sightseeing tour to the Forbidden City and Panjiangyan Market (itineraries can be customized based on interest) with our guide, Linda (who was excellent), in addition to our Chaoyang acrobats seats and transfers, and more. They are genuinely invested in making sure your stay is memorable.
Ritz Kids Programming
The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is a very family-friendly luxury hotel. In fact, they have a Ritz Kids Night Safari Package families can book that includes special amenities and an hour-long dim sum cooking class (more on this below) if the stay overlaps a weekend.
Kids have their own check-in desk with steps so they can reach the counter where they fill out a short survey with questions such as where they like to travel and favorite colors. After completion, kids are issued a Ritz Kids wristband.
And why do they need a wristband? Well, it’s their ticket to complimentary ice cream. Needless to say, we paid the hotel’s ice cream cart multiple visits after school.
Club Level Executive Suite
Due to flight delays, we arrived rather late to the hotel but, as is standard practice for us, a jet lag busting room service order arrived in about 20 minutes. I was impressed by the speedy delivery (I adore Hainanese chicken rice which is impossible to find in San Diego) and my daughter loved the in-room treat waiting for her.
Ten days is long for us to stay in one spot so I was glad to have booked a Club Executive Suite.
It felt bigger actually than 775-square-feet perhaps due to its high ceilings and layout. The bedroom completely closed off to the living room by a door. My suggestion is that if you request a living room rollaway bed, note that there are no blackout shades here.
In the living room is also a sizable desk, sofa, and chair, TV. Because of the European-style decor and trimmings, it felt more like a home than a hotel room. I will say if you’re used to the likes of a sleek, modern hotel this style is probably not for you. But for kids who are tired at the end of a school day and want to collapse into a sofa (while the moms sip bubbles), it’s perfect.
The suite has a large bathroom with double sinks, large bathtub, robes and Asprey bath amenities. A walk-in closet housed our clothes and then some in addition to plenty of drawer space in the sizable bedroom which had two seating areas and a TV. A Nespresso coffee maker, tea and bottled water are refilled daily, as was our suite’s fruit bowl.
The walls of the hotel must be thick because we didn’t hear our neighbors or any outside activity at all.
The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing Club Lounge
Devotees of Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts look forward to the five food presentations per day in the Club Lounge. This foodie heaven is paired with all-day coffee and drinks, a dedicated concierge service, a lovely place to work and more (offerings to vary by hotel a little bit). Throughout our stay, we experienced all five food presentations and do believe that Club Lounge benefits greatly enhanced our stay.
To give you an idea, breakfast includes fresh bread, muffins, pastries, cereals, fruit, a selection of gourmet cheese yogurts, congee, dumplings, salad and a variety of warm dishes like sautéed mushrooms, bacon, sausage and more. In addition, made-to-order pancakes, eggs, French toast, oatmeal can be requested from a menu at the table.
Lunch offers a salad bar, fresh breads, fruit, cheese and charcuterie, desserts as well as other hot and cold dishes.
Afternoon tea was by far my favorite with sweet and savory desserts and sandwiches served on a traditional three-tiered tray. The beauty of Club Level is that if the kids wanted another scone or two, we’d simply ask for it.
Some of the same lunch favorites carry over to evening cocktails and appetizers such as the salad bar, cheese, charcuterie, and desserts. But there is also usually a soup, sushi, and much more.
Let’s just say the chocolate fondue bar was a hit for dessert. And, if you didn’t feel like fondue, plenty of other cakes and treats are available. At the time of our stay, complimentary alcoholic beverages were available from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Staff members here were also excellent when it came to replacing room keys, handling requests and giggles from chatty tweens, and remembering our drink orders. Everyone here is so very kind. Club Level rooms also have a private check-in and check-out service, business center service and much more to add value to a stay.
Six Dining Options
In addition to the Club Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing is home to six other restaurants and lounges covering a wide variety of tastes. The Lounge is designed like an English country home and serves as a light all-day menu in addition to afternoon tea. Those who adore large, international hotel buffets should plan to dine at Aroma. And, yes, it’s possible to take an Italian culinary journey while in Beijing at Barolo.
Yu, the signature Chinese restaurant, has seven private dining rooms and a tea master. It’s also where the girls took a dumpling making class where Yu chefs taught them various folds and techniques. We’ve never rolled our own dumpling wrapper so it was a treat to learn and take a peek inside the restaurant kitchen where the action happens.
And, during our stay, a lovely outdoor Moà«t & Chandon lounge proved to be the perfect place to wait for the kids to get out of class (bubbles in-hand)
A Beijing Indoor Pool and Spa
When it’s hot outside, an indoor pool is definitely in order. It’s located on the top floor of the hotel next to the spa and fitness center. While people tend to swim laps here, kids can definitely enjoy it.
I’ve always felt that you can tell a lot about a hotel by experiencing its spa so I did book in for a much-needed Deep Muscle Massage to heal my post-airplane muscles. I called up and they were able to take me within the hour. I have had plenty of good massages in hotels around the world, but this one was quite extraordinary. I could tell some traditional Chinese massage techniques were incorporated as the therapist added very pointed pressure to the places I needed it most.
The spa also has a lovely relaxation room and lounge facilities that include a whirlpool, sauna, steam room and changing facilities. It’s stocked with amenities even down to the hair ties you may have forgotten. If you are not staying in the hotel, of course, it’s still possible to spa here and you’ll be able to use the indoor pool and lounge facilities.
Good to Know About The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing
When searching for a luxury hotel in Beijing, note that there are two Ritz-Carltons in the city. The other Ritz-Carlton is located on Financial Street. It is easy to confuse them when researching if you don’t know that there are two.
Language is not an issue here as most staff members speak excellent English.
Despite spending ten days in Beijing, we ran out of time to see and do all of the things. It is easy to get comfortable in the hotel and skip sightseeing. Beijing is such a great city so try not to run out of time!
During our summer stay, we saw a mix of guests ranging from families to business to other leisure travelers. I think the hotel suits all categories of luxury traveler because of its location and amenities.
It is likely that my daughter will attend the same Mandarin camp in the near future. When she does, we’ll stay here again.
Be a VIP Guest
As a Ritz-Carlton STARS agent, guests who book into any Ritz-Carlton property around the world through me receive an exclusive level of service and value-added amenities. These amenities can include room upgrades, recognition by top management, complimentary breakfast, hotel credits and more. Please send me your details so that I can see what is available during your travel dates.
Have you stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing? I’m also happy to answer questions if you’re considering a stay there.
The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing
83A Jian Guo Road
China Central Place
Beijing, 100025 China