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The Hilton Beijing was a welcome sight after the long flight from Seattle on a Delta 767 (SEE: Delta 767 Economy Class Review: Seattle to Beijing). There are a few Hilton-brand hotels in Beijing, including one at the airport and another in Wangfujing. I’d originally hoped to book the one at the airport, but Hilton wanted over 80,000 Honors points for a room that would accommodate three people. Savages.
This is over twice the 40,000 points I used to book one night at the Hilton Beijing for our first night in the Chinese capital. I’d hoped to avoid the late-night train, subway, and/or taxi ride after a long flight, but hey, I’m saving 40,000 points. We’d brave the train and subway.
Hilton Beijing prices
Cash rates at the Hilton Beijing generally aren’t bad. Looking ahead over the winter months, prices seems to hang in the $125 to $145 for pre-paid nights, and ~$165 for flexible rate. Rates climb into the low $200s over some weeks in April. You can generally find an award night around 40,000 points (this seems to be the cap), and when rates are over $200, this is decent value for your Honors points.
The flexible rate for our night was around $180, so we were getting 0.45 cents per point, a bit below par, in my estimation, but hey, it was free.
Arrival and check-in at the Hilton Beijing
The Hilton Beijing is in the Chaoyang District, not far from the Sanyuanqiao airport express station. I opted to take the airport express train, transfer to the subway, and then walk ~500 feet from the subway to the Hilton Beijing. I’d read that Beijing is a very safe city, and even though we arrived at the hotel around 9:30 p.m., I didn’t feel unsafe with the kids at all. The hotel is right along Beijing’s busy third ring road.
We were greeted warmly at the door, and the doorman asked to take all our bags. I usually refuse, since we generally don’t have a large amount of luggage, and the kids bags are small and manageable. But he was very insistent and I decided it would be nice for him to cart them up this time.
Check-in was fine, but less than smooth. I had a bit of trouble understanding the lady at the front desk. Her English was thickly accented, and I had to have her repeat more than one statement. I’ll surmise that the issue was primarily my exhaustion after the long flight and that I was unable to process what she was saying, not that she didn’t have a solid enough command of English. She seemed a bit a embarrassed that I was having trouble understanding her. But I eventually understood the details about breakfast and the hotel and we headed up to our room.
One note on staying in China: hotels automatically register you with the Chinese authorities, which is required by law when visiting the country. If you ever visit China and do not plan to stay at a hotel or hostel that will register you, you must register with the local police within your first 24 hours.
Hilton Beijing Review – Executive Room
The Hilton Beijing upgraded us to a room in their executive tower. The main tower in undergoing renovation, and I was actually hoping that they would place us in the executive tower instead. No suite upgrade, but the move was welcomed. I’ve held Hilton Gold status for a while but was recently upgraded to Diamond by upgrading my Hilton American Express card to the Aspire version. I’ve made a point of not asking for anything special at the front desk, unless we need a change in bed type. So far Hilton has been pretty hit or miss with upgrades as Diamond.
A king executive room obviously features a king bed, but also has a sofa. Which was a lifesaver for us.
The reality of traveling with two kids is that one of them routinely ends up on a sofa or even on the floor. I try to book a king + sofa bed or a queen-queen room, so my daughter gets an actual bed. I almost always share a bed with my son. But sharing a double bed is nearly impossible (he will prevent me from sleeping). I requested an extra duvet so that my daughter could sleep on the sofa. It was just large enough to accommodate her.
The desk is in the opposite corner of the room. This is the one place I noticed some significant wear on the side table, very obviously caused by the chair.
The Hilton Beijing Executive Room had an interesting coffee maker, a style I’d never seen before. You had to insert these very tiny pods into it, much smaller than the typical Keurig K-cup. There was also a minibar below. The kids quickly learned that this the minibar is not fair game, and they don’t even ask anymore. No way I’m paying $3 for a can of soda.
The room is a modest size, but very well appointed and comfortable. Overall, a fine place to stay. But the bathroom makes it excellent.
The bathroom is large, with two sinks, a large tub, a separate shower and a separate room with the toilet.
I appreciated the shower greatly, while my daughter was glad to have the tub. The shower is a rain shower style with a large shower head directly over you. The water was hot and glorious. I’m 5’10”, and the shower head was plenty far above my head. I would imagine that you might have an issue if you are over 6’3″ or so, though.
My only comment is about the toilet, since the seat was of a different style. I mean…in no way a deal breaker. It’s a toilet and serves its function. It just had an odd square seat that wasn’t exactly comfortable. Thought I’d mention it.
In the morning we were greeted with a view of Chaoyang. At least…a small part of it.
Hilton Beijing Review – Breakfast in the Executive Lounge
Due to my Hilton status, we were all able to enjoy breakfast in the lounge. The published benefits include breakfast for one guest registered to the same room as the member, and also lounge access. I’m not sure if lounge access means you can bring as many people in as you want (I’m sure it doesn’t), but I’ve yet to have issue with taking two kids into either a Hilton lounge or restaurant. I’ve yet to have a hotel charge us for the additional child.
The Hilton Beijing Executive lounge in very nice. It is on the third floor, at the bottom of the large atrium in the middle of the executive tower. I’ve always liked hotels of this design. The Holiday Inn Old Sydney had a similar atrium (SEE: Holiday Inn Old Sydney Review).
The seating consisted of two-person tables along the inside and four-person tables and large booth-things on the outside. We were seated in one of the booths where you had to each pull your section of the “table” to yourself to eat.
The breakfast is arranged in the middle, and there is a delightful array of options. It was the best lounge breakfast I’d had (until we got to the Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing, our next hotel).
The kids enjoyed the Hilton Beijing breakfast, too!
Most of the food was very good. I tried dragonfruit for the first time, and also steamed buns. The latter weren’t all that good compared to others we tried in later on during our time in Beijing. The Hilton Beijing executive lounge breakfast does offer a decent mix of both western and Chinese options.
I wish we would have arrived early enough to enjoy the lounge in the evening as well. Given the nice breakfast, I’m sure they have a decent dinner spread.
Morning in Chaoyang
My Hilton Beijing Review wouldn’t be complete without a rundown of the local area, something I think needs to be part of every hotel rundown. We had most of the day to explore before moving on. I thought about asking the hotel if they would accommodate a late check-out, but we found it easier to simply pack up our bags and drop them with the concierge before heading out for the day. Was less stress this way.
The morning started off with a bit of fun in the hotel itself, as the window washers paid us a visit. The kids thought it was the coolest thing! I do have to say the windows were very clean already, but I guess a wash doesn’t hurt. Many hotels I’ve visited don’t have anywhere near this sort of care.
Our day in Chaoyang was fun. We spent most of our time at Chaoyang Park, enjoying the playgrounds, green-spaces, and a boat outing on the water. It was cold, but still enjoyable. Chaoyang Park is the biggest park in the city, and it can keep you entertained for hours. Definitely recommend a visit if you are traveling with kids.
Lunch was at the Bao Yuan Dumpling Shop, which is a highly rated restaurant in the area. The dumplings were excellent and the prices very reasonable. It was the perfect introduction to some truly authentic Chinese food. I could eat these dumplings all day. They are that good.
Our final stop was the Chinese Central Television building, just because of its unique architecture. I’d planned to hopefully wander a bit more of Chaoyang, but with two kids in tow who were getting very cold by this point, we called it a day. You can read about our first day’s adventures in more detail, if you’d like.
I wouldn’t call Chaoyang especially convenient for touring the historic sites of Beijing, but if you want a fairly convenient park and/or don’t mind taking public transportation a bit more than you otherwise would, the location of the hotel can work just fine.
Hilton Beijing Review in a nutshell
We concluded our day out an about around 3:30 and made out way back to the hotel to pick up our bags. I asked the concierge to call us a cab to take us to the Renaissance. Kinda tacky, in my opinion, since we were switching hotels, but I had the rest of our time in Beijing booked there since five nights for a mere 70,000 Marriott points is an excellent value.
I would happily stay at the Hilton Beijing again, though. The subway access is fairly convenient, and the hotel service and amenities on the whole are excellent. We had a very nice first night in the Chinese capital. Chaoyang Park is also a great place to spend a day with kids. The one thing the hotel doesn’t have going for it is convenient access to many of the main tourist sights in Beijing, but you can get around that well enough, as most subway itineraries will only have one transfer, as it’s on a loop route. My guess is that it is sees mostly business travelers since it is located in closer proximity to the business district. But besides that, the Hilton Beijing is an excellent pick.