After deplaning in Beijing, a quick pass through customs and passport control, I jumped a train into Beijing. Catching one of the last subway trains to my hotel, I arrived a little after 10pm at the subway station. The W Beijing Chang'an is a very short walk from the north east exit of the subway station.
Arriving to the W hotel at night is quite a sight to see. The side of he building is lit up with a huge W covering almost half of the 23 story building. It leaves one impressed no matter what. Then entering the lobby you can immediately tell that W hotels take design as the most serious part of the hotel. From the front desk to the elevators to the room, the design aesthetic is impressive and beautiful in a Hollywood, night club sort of way.
Checking in required a few minutes and a verification of my identity and even my visa. My gold status earned me an upgrade to a better room. Upgrading was fantastic since this was the room I had wanted to stay in, but couldn't justify the additional expense. Once again, i can't say enough about how much i really like the Starwood brand.
After checking in, I made my way to the elevators where an attendant called for the elevators to come get me. Even the lighting showing which elevator is coming to get you is impressive. After boarding the elevator, once again the design forward approach showed in the floor selection buttons which were long thing lighted areas through frosted glass, and angled at 45 degrees, gorgeous. Up to the 15th floor went the elevator and quickly the room was in front of me.
Entering the room is an impressive reveal. Everything in the room is automated and controlled from switch panels at various locations around the room. This is a techies dream, and boy am I ever a techie. As soon as you scan in for the first time, the lights activate coming into the room, the window curtains automatically draw back and a warm red glow fills the room from the accent lighting panels on opposite walls.
In the middle of the room is a huge tub that takes roughly 30 minutes to approach full, but is a nice relaxing environment. While the placement of the tub is definitely a hit or miss with people, I rather likes the look of the tub. It may have been different, but I'm a fan of different and unique. Over he tub is a mirror surrounded by florescent lighting, and just under it is a sink/bathroom amenities attached to the back of the tub. The sink area acts as a bathroom vanity area that is completely integrated with the rest of the room seamlessly, an open concept if you will.
Next to the door is the toilet and shower both in their own separated small glass enclosed rooms. The toilet is pretty standard with an industrial strength suction system... don't sit on this and flush, you might lose a butt cheek. Next door is the shower stall with both a shower wand and a larg overhead rain shower type head. It really is a unique but amazing shower room. Inside the shower are the shampoo, and other soaps. These soaps have to be some of the best I've ever used, a mint and citrus blend.
Exiting back into the main room, the bed if flanked on both sides by controls that manage the lighting and curtains int eh entire room. One nightstand had my complimentary waters, always love that perk. Behind the bed is the lighted panel, and the opposite wall has accent lighting in a range of colors. Across from the bed and next to the temperature controls is the lighting control for the accents. This panel allows you to choose almost any color that you want. I like purple and chose that for most of the time.
Over in the back corner of the room is a big spotlight, a bit of a signature item at W hotels. The spotlight can actually be turned on with a foot switch on the floor. It shines a light onto the ceiling that has the W hotel symbol in it, almost like a bat signal in your room. A totally unnecessary, but still cool feature.
Also included in my room was a welcome amenity, most likely for being a Gold member. It was a silver box and inside was a few fresh pieces of fruit. The granny smith apple was awesome, and the kiwi might have been awesome had I any knife to cut it with.
One oddity is that all W hotels participate in the SPG Keyless program, meaning you are able to use your phone to unlock your door. Unfortunately with the Great Firewall Of China blocking many website, SPG Keyless never worked at all for me, couldn't even connect the app despit my repeated attempts.
If you haven't been able to tell by now, this was one of my favorite hotel stays of all time. Te staff was great, design aesthetics really fit with me and my likes. At the end of the day, Beijing has a ton of Starwood properties to choose from, but I'm not sue I'd want to try another hotel. W Beijing Chang'an really blew me away and provided a place i was ecstatic to stay at, and I highly suggest that you give it a try if you ever get the chance.