Sunday, November 25, 2012

Summer of Travel 2012: China (Part 5 - JW Marriott Beijing)

(Don't forget to check out Part 1, United BusinessFirst JFK-SFO-PVG here, Part 2, Westin Bund Center Shanghai here, Part 3, Shanghai to Beijing here, and Part 4, St. Regis Beijing here)

Though I'm a pretty devoted Starwood fan, I was traveling with a colleague on my trip to China, and Marriott was his program of choice. If this had been a short trip of only a few days I probably would've pulled rank, but given that we were spending over a week in China (and across two cities), I thought it was only fair to throw a few Marriott nights into the mix. Hence my last stop, the JW Marriott Beijing.

I'd never stayed in a JW before, so I was excited to check it out.

Beijing is enormous. So despite the fact that it looked to be pretty close to the St. Regis on the map, it ended up being about a 10 minute taxi ride. My first impression was quite favorable, as the lobby area was very nice:

Lobby area at the JW Marriott Beijing

After checking in, I was escorted up to my room and got settled in.

The room had a very professional, modern feel to it - exactly what I like when I'm traveling for work.

My room at the JW Marriott Beijing

Alternate view of my room at the JW Marriott Beijing

The work area was great also - comfortable chair, fast internet, plenty of power outlets - so I was able to get a lot of work done while in the room. I've stayed at plenty of hotels that don't get these basic things right, but one of the things I do love about Marriott is that they really do seem to get them right with regularity.

One other thing I really liked about my room setup was the adjustable "window" between the bathroom and the bedroom. It's always nice to have some natural light in the bathroom, and I haven't stayed in many that have a floor plan or a feature that allows for it.

Gotta love natural light in the bathroom

Overall, I really liked the hotel. In addition to the room itself, the breakfast at the lounge was good, and the location was walking distance from where I needed to be for work.

One other thing that didn't really factor into this trip, but certainly would if I ever visit Beijing again, is the fact that this hotel is only a category 4 in Marriott's award chart. That's a mid-level redemption for those of you who are unfamiliar with Marriott's program - and to put it in perspective, there are no category 4 properties in all of Manhattan. I don't even think there are any category 5 properties in all of Manhattan for that matter. In other words, it takes substantially fewer points to book a room at a high-end hotel like the JW in Beijing than it does to book a room at any Marriott hotel in all of Manhattan (and there are some less-than-impressive looking Marriott hotels in Manhattan).

For those of you who have been to Beijing before, where do you generally prefer to stay?

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