For anyone wanting a truly Chinese bedroom feel, or what a Westerner always imagined a rich Chinese bedroom to feel like, nothing beats suite 1956, the Imperial Suite, in The Regent Beijing. This is the luxury hotel that rises above the Rolls-Royce showroom at the junction of Jinbao and Chioyangmen streets. The Rolls-Royce dealership, for this area at least, is held by the owner of this hotel, plus the adjacent franchised Park Plaza, and a neighbouring apartment block and, I gather, most of the street outside. Come in to the hotel’s vast airy lobby and you look through an arch to the garden, a rarity in central Beijing.
Up on the 19th floor, the suite is pretty much lined in heavy, and elaborately-carved, woodwork, and you have your own arch, too. See the video, below, for a tour of the suite, but the gal can testify that you have everything you might want. The enormous bathroom, with a tub big enough for four, right by the window, has its own sauna and steam rooms. Leading off it is the private gym, with a Technogym runner, and lots of weights. I love the Chinese boxes for toiletries, and the tissue cover. The bedroom has a significant four-poster bed, set high enough so you can easily see two tiny ceramic pots underneath, presumably only for show.
There is another miniature chamber pot under the high-set sitting platform at the foot of the bed, where perhaps one’s maid might have sat, in days gone by? I wish I knew more imperial history. Continuing through the suite, I pass my formal sitting room, and the dining room where a European politician held an important meeting a few days ago. I also have a kitchen, but instead of having anything special brought up I can snack off the charming display of mango desserts prepared by the chef, with a welcome sign. I head to the 17th floor club for breakfast – it is welcoming to be greeted by a working fire, and charming staff.
This is a club lounge for peace and quiet; interestingly, Nick Emery, the GM who knows Beijing from an earlier stint here when he opened the pink palace that is Fairmont Bejing, says many prefer the noise and bustle of a ‘main’ breakfast room. Once again, I found it fascinating, down in the Café, watching people choose from the buffet stations. One plate is carried past, piled high with bread rolls, another is only fruit. The team here is amazing, replenishing serving dishes the moment they begin to look less than 100% full. There seem to be quite a lot of young Americans here today – they come over for month-long overseas exposure as part of their EMBA courses back in the USA (the E for Executive is important as it shows the students have actually worked rather than merely hopped up from undergrad status to studying for a Masters). NOW TAKE A SUITE TOUR, BELOW