The Peninsula Beijing, already well-known for its adjacent luxury fashion and lifestyle stores, award-winning restaurants, and high-end accommodations in the heart of historical shopping and business district Wangfujing, unveiled renovations last week that were six months in the making. The revamped facilities introduce additional dimensions of experiential hospitality increasingly important to Chinese travelers, including a technological face-lift, additional dining spaces, an artist-in-residence studio, an art gallery, and more.
Upgraded rooms now give entry-level guests access to some of the largest accommodations in Beijing. The Peninsula's original 525 rooms have been reduced to 230 in order to make even the basic rooms more spacious—at 65 square meters, they're basically suites themselves. The 17 "Beijing Suites," meanwhile, are 165 square meters and each one includes its own cinema. All high-tech rooms now offer a separate bedroom and living space in addition to a dressing room that features its own nail dryer, and a bathroom with spa-style settings that allow guests to dim the lights and turn on music from the tub. Guests are now also able to access to their rooms by a check-in sans reception desk. Instead of the long lines at a counter, a concierge on duty in the lobby simply pulls up the reservation on a tablet, no paper necessary.
All of it is introduced via a grand entryway, featuring a marble staircase and columns that breathe fresh air into the lobby and replace the former dark granite spiral walkway. Artwork by renowned Chinese contemporary artists Qin Feng and Zhang Du decorate the lobby and the rooms thanks to a partnership with Beijing's Museum of Contemporary Art. The hotel has offered an artist-in-residence program since 2013, but now boasts a studio that's open to guests so they can see see the artists at work, as well as a small contemporary art gallery located off the spa on the third floor.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, the company that manages The Peninsula Beijing, poured in 890 million RMB ($123 million) into the renovations, and completed phase one this month. Phase two, which includes the remainder of the guest rooms, is set to be completed by August. The entire project aims to put The Peninsula Beijing on par with its 10 other sister hotels around the world, including one in Shanghai which was named best hotel in China by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards last year. Managing director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited Clement Kwok said at the launch event that The Peninsula Beijing's goal is to not only bring in foreign guests, but to attract mainland inbound travelers from a pool of 269 million domestic visitors to Beijing each year.
“This very big market of course provides a lot of opportunities for the hotel industry, although this is a highly competitive market,” Kwok said. “So at Peninsula, we are always looking for ways to serve our customers better and to create unique experiences for our guests.”
“It's a philosophy of ours that our hotels can not only cater to the foreign guests, but can cater to the local residents,” he added.
By simply walking in, local residents have access to a shopping area boasting 40 luxury fashion and lifestyle stores, as well as afternoon tea in the lobby and in a courtyard cafe next to The Peninsula's award-winning Huang Ting restaurant (the hotel features four revamped dining spaces and a banquet hall). Shoppers that spend more than 5,000 RMB ($760) can also take advantage of The Peninsula's bespoke electric bike delivery service, while adventurous travelers can explore the city or embark on an art tour in one of the hotel's customized Rolls Royces or BMWs. It's truly a one-stop-shop for those hoping to get a taste of art, culture, and luxury in one go.