At a favourite of high-flying business travellers zipping in and out of Beijing, smartly dressed bellhops greet arriving guests at the marble-lined ground level reception, before escorting them to high speed elevators, which sprint up to the 80th floor and an opulent reception. This lavish executive lounge is complete with plush armchairs, polished coffee tables, complimentary snacks, and staggering city views best seen through brass telescopes (when Beijing's pollution levels are playing ball). The lounge doesn't feel like a reception at all; check in formalities are actually completed in-room.
Sitting atop the 330-metre-high China World Centre Tower 3, the crown in the China World Trade Centre development of hotels, apartments and shopping malls, the hotel is close to major attractions in Beijing, including the Hutong neighbourhoods, the Forbidden City, the China World Exhibition Centre and the entertainment districts around Wangfujing Street. The hotel is a 45-minute drive (traffic dependent) from Beijing's international airport, and can also be accessed by subway.
Ideally suited for travelling executives, the CWSW boasts an intimacy that you wouldn't expect from a hotel that has 278 rooms. It also has a comprehensive fitness centre and some of the best meeting spaces in Beijing.
Guest rooms and suites continue the decor theme of dark earth tones and rich fabrics. The king-size bed of my Grand Premier room is a slab of white in a room of toffee, coffee and caramel colours. Behind the bed is a traditional painting of mist-covered mountains, and to one side a spacious work desk that parts with feng shui formalities and leaves guests gazing out of floor-to-ceiling windows at the city far below. A spacious bathroom features double vanities, an oversized rain shower, a mirror television, L'Occitane bath amenities, and a deep soak tub positioned windowside.
Like most five-star hotels in the capital, the service is crisp and professional - and ample. There are always three or four people to do any job, whether it's for a drink in the Atmosphere bar or greet guests at CHI, The Spa. The hotel also benefited from being able to tap into a large and well-trained China workforce when it opened in 2010.
Food is a big part of Beijing culture. China World Summit Wing has everything from the city's largest selection of noodles at the Noodle Bar, to Cantonese fine dining at Fook Lam Moon, and Japanese teppanyaki and kaiseki dishes at Nadaman. At Grill 79, American chef Ryan Sablan Dadufalza serves up the capital's best international fine dining. Be sure to try the likes of the Scottish oysters from Loch Fyne (Dh52 each), Australian Wagyu T-bone (Dh1,078), and braised short rib with grilled shallot and mushrooms (Dh188).
The decor is warm and sophisticated and lulls guests as soon as they arrive. Rooms are well thought out and amply spaced, and the sense of intimacy makes you feel like you're checking into a hidden boutique boudoir rather than a big international hotel.
In Atmosphere, a cloud of cigarette and cigar smoke hung above the entire space and seeped into clothing and hair.
The China World Summit Wing is stunningly luxurious and heralds the future of hotels in Beijing.
The bottom line
Executive rooms start from 1,900 Chinese yuan renminbi (Dh1,137) and Grand Premier rooms from RMB2,700 (Dh1,616), twin share, room only. No 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing, China (0086 10 6505 2299; www.shangri-la.com).
Follow us @TravelNational
Follow us on Facebook for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.