This weeks Fabulous Friday covers the Sheraton Great Wall Beijing, one of the oldest Sheraton hotels in the chain that has recently started to invest money to bring the property up to date – with success.
The hotel for many years had a certain reputation for being absolutely dismal but in the past 18 months owners and management have started to invest in the property again, improving it dramatically.
While the competition between hotels is huge in Beijing location is still one of the most deciding factors when it comes how to choose the hotel in the city as commuting can pretty much destroy your day if you live too far away.
For that reason I choose the Sheraton Great Wall every now and then as it’s really close to where I need to go. The rate usually reflects the age and state of the property (hovers around 500 CNY) which is pretty much half of what other chain properties charge in this area. Convenience and price make me overlook certain deficiencies of a hotel – if a lounge or breakfast isn’t great I just don’t go there and don’t feel anything about it.
For a long time this was actually the case at the Sheraton too but now they really improved the interior as well as the F&B options.
This is their lounge breakfast buffet now:
They also have fresh orange juice – something unheard of in the past (and actually a trend in China wherever you see – there are coin/WeChat Pay operated vending machines everywhere that sell freshly squeezed orange juice now).
One thing they did though is that the service hours have been reduced somewhat and they no longer have an attendant sitting there all night which made absolutely no sense anyway.
Should you plan on visiting sometime in the near future be warned that renovation is currently in progress which also limits suite upgrades.
I’ve visited pretty much all chain hotels in this area by now and can’t help but notice that this lounge at the Sheraton is now one of the nicest and most generous ones around. It’s pretty much a ‘From worst to first’ story especially if you consider the base rate of this Category 2 property.
Are there nicer hotels in Beijing? Sure. Are you going to get a better value for money? Highly unlikely.