Beijing North Garden Hotel is the finest international 4-Star Hotel in Beijing. Beijing North Garden Hotel is located in Wangfujing Business District, and situated in an excellent location for shopping, sightseeing and conducting business. It only takes 20 minutes from the hotel to the Capital International ... More
North Star International Hotel
Beijing North Garden Hotel is the finest international 4-Star Hotel in Beijing. Beijing North Garden Hotel is located in Wangfujing Business District, and situated in an excellent location for shopping, sightseeing and conducting business. It only takes 20 minutes from the hotel to the Capital International Airport by car and 10 minutes to Beijing Railway Station by underground. The hotel has 202 well-appointed rooms, range from standard rooms to presidential suite, of which all are tastefully furnished to provide our guest with privacy and comfort. In-room facilities include internet access, in-house movies, IDD, DDD, center air-conditioning and mini bar. There are 5 conference rooms. Business centre facilities include computers, projectors, paper, pens and white board, audiovisual equipment etc. In addition, there are two restaurants, the Green Wave Chinese Restaurant that serves Shanghai and Cantonese cuisine, the Four Season Western Restaurant offers Chinese and western buffet and a continental cuisine. For recreation, the hotel has a health club, Jacuzzi, massage, sauna and steam room for our guests to use at their convenience.
We stayed here as part of a group of over 100 guests for almost a week. The location is great for reaching major destinations on foot, by metro or taxi cab. The staff is courteous in almost every situation. We had two specific problems that may be issues for travelers attending the 2008 Olympic games.
First, as a westerner I am used to using my credit card to generally cover charges to my room. This does not always work here. The restaurant sometimes allowed us to charge meals to our rooms and sometimes did not. One day laundry was automatically charged to the room, a couple of days later instead of receiving our laundry we received a note asking us to directly pay for the service. I complained and the front desk corrected the problem and the third time worked smoothly like the first. Beware attempting to do laundry on your last day if you have deadline.
I suspect part of the problem is the newness of credit cards in China. Not all of their guests necessarily use them yet. A Japanese restaurant in the nearby mall displays the VISA logo but only allows its used if issued by a Chinese bank. (Not exactly what the VISA ads in America imply.)
Speaking of deadlines, the second issue hit us at check-out time. This may not impact individual travelers, but groups beware. We were able to settle our individual bills the night before checkout, which was welcome convenience. But, to leave on our departure day we had to form a line to hand in our room key cards. One-by-one the front desk notified housekeeping to inspect each room. This was both good and bad. Toward the good a few people had left belongings which the staff brought down to us. But, more often they would find fault with things like a face towel having been used to remove make-up. They would tell us their laundry facility would not be able to clean it so we must pay them 20 yuan per soiled towel to leave.
Now I don't wear make-up but I suspect that in a five or six day stay at a hotel face towels were used to remove make-up by at least one of our guests before the last day there. Housekeeping properly changed towels daily. Apparently they were leaving the soiled face towels in the rooms. We never knew why. We found out on the last day 30 minutes before our group's busses had to depart for the airport. I smell a rat (appropriate for the current year I believe).
All things considered be a squeaky wheel when necessary and plan for extra time at check-in and check-out. Things otherwise were pretty good. But, when they have guests from 20 or 30 countries during the Olympics they will have a chance to either make a positive impression or a negative one. Check-out time is a final and lasting impression. I hope they learn that within the next 30 days.
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