Beijing these days, it's all Olympics, all the time. So it comes as
no surprise to Raffles Beijing Hotel manager Peter Wynne that the
2008 International Olympic Committee chose his hotel for delegates
arriving for the Summer Games next August.
Located at one of
Beijing's most distinguished addresses, the hotel is within walking
distance of some of the best of the old and the new the city has to
A half-block away
from the Wangfujing shopping district, often referred to as
Beijing's Rodeo Drive, the Raffles Beijing Hotel is also just a
five-minute walk from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen
In fact, the hotel
itself is a study in the best of history and modern
It opened last
December, after a year of renovations, as a self-contained section
of the historic Beijing Hotel. Raffles renovated rooms in the
original circa-1900 building as well as in a wing of new rooms in
an adjoining building that also houses one of the property's four
restaurants and bars, along with the Amrita fitness center and
boasts a number of modern luxury hotels catering to international
business travelers visiting the Chinese capital, the Raffles
Beijing Hotel stands out because of its history. Its pedigree is
apparent from the moment guests walk through into the grand lobby,
which has high ceilings, polished marble and an eclectic mix of
early 20th century French and Chinese decor.
restaurant Jaan is adjacent to a 1920s dance floor, complete with
its original grand piano. Other eateries and lounges are East 33,
La Vie and the Writers' Bar.
carpeting, hallways are lined with unique rugs. Rooms feature a mix
of 19th century traditional Chinese furniture; black-and-white
historical photos; and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs,
cappuccino machines and whirlpool tubs.
The hotel has 171
rooms, with five Grand Hotel suites and nine Personality Suites,
which have been named after and renovated to reflect the
personalities associated with the hotel back in its original
It also has the
largest suite in Beijing, the 9,515-square-foot Presidential
While most of the
five-star hotels in Beijing have been built to cater to business
travelers, Wynne said Raffles' expansion in China also targets what
he anticipates will be a rise in the number of high-end leisure
"This is where
there is going to be a shift after the Olympics: less corporate
focus and more high-end leisure," he said.
To tap into that
prospective market, Raffles is building hotels in Tianjin and
Shanghai, and is "looking at many other cities [in China], as
well," according to Wynne.
For more on Raffles
Beijing Hotel, visit www.beijing.raffles.com.
contact reporter Jeri Clausing, send e-mail to [email protected].