In the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities, a calming sanctuary of refinement, style and genuine service is about to open its doors. For the first time in China’s capital, the world’s leading luxury hotel brand is set to open Four Seasons Hotel Beijing this fall.
“Today’s traveller has high expectations, and we’re here to exceed them with a real passion for personalized service that only Four Seasons can deliver,” says General Manager Sanjiv Hulugalle. “When I moved to Beijing with my family, we were struck by the warmth of the people and the pride they have in their city. At Four Seasons Hotel Beijing, our team of more than 600 carefully selected staff aims to offer the same sense of welcome and belonging to our guests, and to do whatever we can to make their experience in the city as fulfilling as it can be.
Located in the Liangmahe area of the Central Business District and close to the Third Diplomatic Precinct in northeastern Chaoyang – beating to the pulse of the city’s business and entertainment area –Four Seasons Hotel Beijing is easily accessible to both the international airport and the Great Wall. Amid the excitement, five-star savvy travellers and the city’s elite will find a refuge and place to call home, as well as a stylish meeting place for business and pleasure.
The experience begins the moment guests first approach Four Seasons Hotel Beijing. Drawing on principles of traditional Chinese architecture, the main hotel entry impresses with its wide façade, reminiscent of the city’s Imperial Palaces. Inside, the lobby welcomes with energizing colours, textures and familiar motifs, such as a hint of a dragon’s image in the carpet, bringing good fortune to all who enter, or the ceiling panels in gold leaf and yellow, a distinctive Imperial colour.
Overall, the look of Four Seasons Hotel Beijing is a dramatic combination of traditional themes in complete harmony with contemporary tastes for gracious simplicity and elegance. Surrounding a sky-lit atrium, the Hotel’s 313 well-appointed guest rooms become personal sanctuaries for business travellers and those coming to the city to explore its cultural richness. Each accommodation includes a generous living area for relaxing or doing business; thoughtful touches such as plush robes, iPod docking station and espresso machine; twice daily housekeeping, express pressing and shoeshine services; and the signature Four Seasonsbed.
Sixty-six suites include oversize Ambassador Suites, Beijing Suites with large walk-in closets, and Chairman Suites that can be expanded to accommodate families. Crowning Four Seasons Hotel Beijing on the top floor is the sumptuous Imperial Suite. At 730 square metres (7860 square feet) plus a 250 square metre (2690 square foot) balcony, the sprawling layout includes a master bedroom suite with its own living area and exercise room, two additional bedrooms, a library study, media room, staff kitchen and outdoor living space with fire pit and plunge pool. Reached by direct elevator to either the common area or the bedroom area, it may very well be the most coveted accommodation in Beijing.
See and Be Seen: Dining at Four Seasons
Leading an internationally-trained culinary team of 130, Executive Chef Martin Knaubert oversees the kitchens at the Hotel’s two restaurants and three lounges, as well as banqueting and in-room dining.
Just inside the Hotel, the city’s elite will mingle with guests from afar in a grand two-story lounge that is inspired by a natural aesthetic, and yet envisions the future with a fantastical landscape scaling one wall and luxurious textures of mohair, high gloss woods, rich jewel tones forming a backdrop for striking sculptures and bright modern artworks.
Those with a taste for the finer things in life will feel at home in the nearby bar. Refined indulgence including premium liquors, Champagne and cigars await in a setting reminiscent of an old-time private club, with a dark colour palette highlighted by blue leathers and a bar of tinted smoked glass and metal accents. Each Sunday, the bar will host Afternoon Tea.
Upstairs at Cai Yi Xuan, the glamorous Chinese restaurant with dramatic décor featuring up-lit floors and high gloss black zebrano wood offers visual harmony in several enclosed art gardens. The sunlit formal dining room overlooks the street from the second floor, while eight very exclusive private dining rooms – including two with secluded VIP seating areas and one presided over by the restaurant’s chef – are a prestigious setting for business meetings, celebration dinners and discreet socializing.
At Italian restaurant Mio, the energy is turned up with an open, sunlit floor plan that features a bar and corners set with sofas and low tables in addition to a private dining room. In the open show kitchens, guests can see chefs in action at the grill and pizza oven, preparing regional Italian dishes from fresh imported produce.
In contrast, the sixth floor tea garden is the Hotel’s intimate inner sanctum – cozy tables set among leafy foliage and timeless tradition, showcasing the world’s best and rarest teas from China and beyond.
Doing Business in Beijing
Well-travelled executives, government officials and dignitaries the world over have chosen Four Seasons for more than 50 years, knowing that wherever they travel, up-to-the-minute business facilities and services are offered, and guests can expect the highest level of personalized service and discretion.
In addition to well-appointed guest rooms and abundant opportunities to entertain colleagues, meet over drinks or a meal and celebrate success, Four Seasons Hotel Beijing boasts one of the city’s largest selections of event space, with 3,250 square metres (35,000 square feet). Whether an important meeting for just the key players or a lavish event designed to impress, expert Four Seasons staff help plan and execute flawless events. The stunning Imperial Ballroom ,with nearly 900 square metres (9,700 square feet) lit by fabulous chandeliers, is pillarless and can accommodate more than 600 people for business events as well as glittering society weddings and social galas. An additional ballroom and ten breakout rooms are also available.
Business travellers will also appreciate the 24-hour business centre on the third floor with its boardroom, and the 26th floor Executive Club Lounge with its own meeting facilities with privileged access to additional services.
The Spa at Four Seasons
Inspired by the architecture of traditional Chinese tea gardens and courtyards, the Spa at Four Seasons is an oasis of pampering for the most discerning travellers and Beijing residents. The approach of seamlessly blending tradition and modernity continues here, with a confident layering of Chinese architectural and design details against airy materials and colours, creating a tranquil environment in which to relax. A combination of traditional Chinese and rejuvenating treatments focused on total wellness are performed in 11 treatment pavilions.
A sun-lit pool with whirlpool plus a 24-hour gym helps guests stay fit while they travel, and carefully mapped jogging routes and also be recommended.
Whether coming to the city for business or pleasure, Four Seasons Hotel Beijing is at the heart of this ancient capital currently experiencing an era of modernization. Culturally rich and steeped in traditional values, it is also home to China’s central government, the Zhongnanhai, as well as the headquarters of most of the country’s state-owned companies. Hundreds of multi-national companies and foreign embassies are located in Beijing, and international luxury brands are well represented in the city’s shops, alongside the traditional Chinese arts that continue to thrive.
In addition to most famous sites such as the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, Ming Dynasty Tombs, Summer Palace and the Great Wall, Beijing is also home to modern diversions including contemporary art galleries and gourmet dining. Shopping bags can fill quickly at designer shops and large markets including Panjiayuan Antiques Market, Silk Market, Pearl Market and Sanlitun. Tourists also come to meet the artisans who practice paper cutting and kite making as well as create shadow puppets, zongren bristle dolls, carved lacquerware, clay figurines and other traditional arts.
Must-do experiences recommended by Four Seasons multi-lingual concierge team include taking a rickshaw ride and visiting some of the city’s remaining hutongs – the old neighbourhoods of ancient alleys and courtyards that are now being lovingly preserved for future generations.
Living at Four Seasons
For a select few, Four Seasons will also be a permanent address – a private home, setting a new standard of living in Four Seasons style. Just 210 fully-appointed Four Seasons Private Apartments will have full access to Hotel facilities and services, as well as a residents-only indoor swimming pool and ultra-luxurious fitness centre, a dedicated 24-hour doorman and concierge, private boardrooms and children’s activity room, and much more.
Four Seasons in China
Opening in fall 2012, Four Seasons Hotel Beijing will be the third Four Seasons hotel to open in China this year, following the summer openings of Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou and Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai. The brand’s growing portfolio in the country already includes Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Four Seasons Hotel Macao Cotai Strip, and Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake, with a dozen additional projects in advanced stages of development.