Rosewood Beijing in Beijing, China

In Beijing you can find anything from remarkable historical attractions to rare oddities. Yes, Beijing has on offer some truly great finds indeed, but we at Global Yodel chose to find ourselves in the lap of luxury at Rosewood Hotel Beijing – and we loved every minute of it.

It’s impossible to overstate the attention to which every detail is given at the Rosewood Beijing. Opened in 2014, it’s the first of four luxury hotels planned to open in China by the Dallas based Rosewood Hotels Resorts group. The group’s commitment to world-class ultra luxurious hospitality is confirmed. A sharp and attentive service staff, exquisite cuisine, the amenities (oh, the amenities!), chic architecture and decor and a truly exceptional art collection are just some of the things we love about this hotel.

Step onto the landscaped carriageway and you’re transported from the frenzied grind of Beijing’s centrally located Chaoyang District. Inside and out, the whole building artfully constructs an image of mystical ancient China mixed with modern trappings galore. From the exterior, reminiscent of a mountain landscape, to the pavilion-like lobby with soaring ceilings, sharp doormen and subtle modish décor, the effort to combine Chinese traditional and contemporary styles does not go unnoticed. Timelessness and modernity; now what could be more ‘Beijing’ than that?

You’ll find yourself admiring the timeless yet contemporary feel of the corridors that extend to any one of the 283 guest rooms and suites. The apartment style rooms are spacious with floor to ceiling windows, walk-in closets and an expansive bathroom with lavish bespoke toiletries and TV built into the mirror. The furnishings and art accents have a personal touch that is unique and sophisticated, giving you the feel that you’re staying in the apartment of a wealthy collector friend.

You’ll want to spring for the Manor Club access, an executive lounge that is impressive to say the least. The included breakfast is among the best we’ve had at any private club in a luxury resort. Complimentary lunch, afternoon tea and cocktails (not to mention a tremendously satisfactory wine list) are not to be missed. Here you’ll also be treated to the views of the iconic CCTV tower while you sip cocktails and snack from some of the best food presentations imaginable. With Manor Club access also comes butler service, laundry service and in-room check in/out to name but a few from the list of services provided. The impeccably professional yet warm service exceeds expectations not only in the executive lounge but also throughout the entire resort.

Check out the massive indoor swimming pool: a glittering oasis surrounded by flora, making you forget you’re in the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities. But for some proper pampering be sure to book yourself at the Sense Spa. The myriad of massages, facials, and specialty treatments are held in private rooms and tailored to your needs. Not a single detail is missed and you’ll walk out feeling rejuvenated and ready.

Rosewood boasts two bars and four restaurants. We loved Country Kitchen, serving traditional Northern Chinese cuisine a la carte with an open kitchen and lots of action. The dishes are classic favorites expertly done with the best ingredients. The hand cut noodles and Peking Duck are among some of dishes you do not want to miss. There were so many amazing items on the menu that we didn’t get to try everything; so go hungry and be prepared to want to return. It’s lively with a rustic ambiance and again you’ll get that amazing city view with the CCTV tower within sight. If you want traditional Chinese fare without the risk, you’ll love Country Kitchen as much as we did. Amazing, eclectic art; a personalized, residential feel; warm professionalism and impeccable service: that’s Rosewood Beijing. Rosewood knows luxury and by the time you pass through the massive twin dragon sculptures for the last time (as you try to hold back your tears), you’ll know it too.

We sat down with Aaron Juo, concierge extraordinaire to get a local take on Beijing.

Global Yodel: Place you live?

Aaron Jou: I was born in Beijing and have lived here ever since.

GY: What’s your occupation?

AJ: I am the Senior Concierge at Rosewood Beijing.

GY: What’s the best place to eat in Beijing?

AJ: The best cuisine in China would be the Peking Duck. The best in the city is at 1949 Duck De Chine.

GY: Where’s the best place to grab a drink?

AJ: For drinks and atmosphere I would say go to the bar in the Shangri-La China World Hotel on the 18th floor. Not only do they have great drinks, you can get a wonderful view of the whole skyline of Beijing. Another I would recommend is in the Sanlitun area called Janes and Hooch.

GY: Where’s the best place to shop?

AJ: The best place to shop really depends on what kind of stuff you’re looking for. If you were looking for the luxury brands like Gucci and Armani, I would say Shin Kong Place (SKP). It’s a big shopping mall about 10-15mins by car from the hotel. To shop where local people go, check out the New World Shopping Mall or even the Oriental Plaza.

GY: If you were advising a friend who was in town for one day only, what would you tell them they must do?

AJ: Definitely I would say they have to go to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China for a cultural and historical view of the city. Those two shouldn’t be missed.

GY: What is a delicacy or favorite dish unique to Beijing?

AJ: Everyone should try the Peking Duck. Also, try the noodles and dumplings. We’re famous for those dishes and you can find them easily at any local restaurant.

GY: If someone wanted a modern experience in Beijing, where would you tell them to go?

AJ: Go to the Sanlitun area. It’s the most modern and fashionable place for young people in Beijing. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, small cafes and bars there.

GY: What about for a more traditional experience?

AJ: Go to the Hutong area. It’s a long alley behind the Forbidden City that’s five or six hundred years old. You can take a tour and ride in a rickshaw and even go to visit a traditional Chinese family. In the past, people would all congregate in the courtyard, a traditional common place, and it’s the same now. Also you can see the bell and drum towers.

GY: Can you give us a local tip?

AJ: There are lots of taxis and I would remind foreigners to ask for the receipt and be careful when you receive your change because you can get fake money back. It happens a lot. Also, don’t take the subway during rush-hour. You might be able to get on but you’ll never get off. You should avoid the subway in the morning from 7:30 until 9:30 and in the afternoon from 5:30 until 7 or 8. When you’re shopping in the markets, all the items they sell are low quality so you should bargain at least 50 or 60 percent down. If you don’t agree with the price, just walk away. They will chase you and agree on a price. And they will always speak your language no matter if you’re from Japan, Korea, or Australia, they will speak your language.