There is an experience you have once and awhile where you feel truly important. A friendly face at a restaurant that sneaks you in past the other guests. Getting introduced to new business partners by a colleague who treats you as an expert, the person to know. This is the standard for most western chains in Asia when you have status, but at the Park Hyatt Beijing, our treatment was exceptional.
Feeling Like a Celebrity
We were greeted at the gate upon arriving from Dallas by a personal escort sent from the hotel. They brought us past the throngs of people to the APEC line at immigration, despite our lack of an APEC card. Once we gathered our bags (we waited more than an hour) our patient escort swept us to a side elevator and downstairs to a waiting BMW equipped with a car seat for our daughter and bottles of water. We are diamond members and through frequent visits to several Hyatt hotels in Asia, our reputation may have proceeded us.
The drive was slow through the city, it was 3pm and already the traffic was at a near standstill. Upon arriving at the property, the bell staff took us up to our confirmed Diamond Suite upgraded room where we checked in.
Often, at Park Hyatt properties, the concierge will send an email asking about any preferences you might have in advance. We had requested a crib for our daughter (thus they knew to have a car seat for the ride in) and they asked about anything we might like to do in Beijing during our stay. I mentioned that we love xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) and asked for a recommendation. To our surprise, waiting for us in our room was an order of the dumplings and a table set for two. I mentioned to the gracious staff that I wasn’t asking for them to bring us dumplings, just for the best place to have them in Beijing.
“Sir, our restaurant is the best in the city for xiaolongbao. It would be a disservice to recommend anywhere else.”
You don’t have to tell me twice. My wife and I sat down with our daughter, our bags had barely left our hands before we each had a dumpling between our chopsticks. The hotel staff that had checked us in quietly slipped away but not before showing us a guide to Beijing, introducing us to our butler and leaving a box of chocolates I would have to wrestle away from our child on more than one occasion.
We looked around the suite and went to bed though it was far too early. We had simply had enough and it was easier to sleep a little longer than to stay awake. The desk was sufficient for dual laptop work which I utilized during our stay.
The bathroom was, frankly, larger than my bedroom at home – by a lot. A full wardrobe for two with closets, drawers, shoe and jewelry cases, it was plenty of room to get ready for the day. There was also a long double vanity, a three or four person shower (we didn’t test how many adults we could fit, but it was spacious), and a jacuzzi tub that was so large you could nearly swim laps. The staff placed a baby tub to help with our daughter’s bath time and the largest bottle of Honest brand baby wash we had ever seen. Anywhere. After we left we wondered where they even bought such a large bottle. We may or may not have adopted it. A full Asian toilet was in the back in addition to the guest toilet in-car the front door.
I cannot stress the advantages of being a Diamond member at this property and using one of your four diamond suite upgrades (DSU in Flyertalk, DIAX internally at Hyatt). However, if you are not a Diamond member (soon to be Globalist or whatever…) this is still an excellent value for money property. While prices are subject to availability, I have consistently found this property priced in the low $200 USD/night, or 20,000 points (10,000 + $125 if you prefer). The location is in the heart of Beijing, well-connected and near a metro station (Guomao) less than 2km from the embassy district and just over 5km to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden city. The room was also equipped to a high standard.
At breakfast (again, it’s good to be a Diamond here), the spread was impressive. There were plenty of Asian dishes and western options, but we enjoyed ordering off the menu. It is always made just for you of course, and allows some additional options. I shared a story about the Park Hyatt Beijing breakfast once before in this post about the Hyatt Regency Aruba (we stayed there after Beijing) but it bears repeating. The waitress came by for our drink order in Beijing and asked what we would like to drink.
Our daughter knew this question well and responded as she would have at home saying, “apple juice”. I explained that they didn’t have apple juice here (I had already surveyed the menu and the buffet) and ordered her a water. A few minutes later, the waitress returned with a glass of fresh, green Granny Smith apple juice. She heard what our daughter wanted, grabbed apples off the buffet, took it to the back and made it from scratch for her. That is the level of service that the Park Hyatt Beijing delivers. If you are paying for your breakfast on your own dime, it is well worth $39 USD/person.
Luxury is Personal
When returning from breakfast, we were greeted by a new butler for the day, who asked how breakfast was. We answered, then she introduced herself and her position. What was bizarre is that we had not yet met her. I queried some staff members and they mentioned that the staff tries to become as familiar as possible with their guests. I couldn’t ascertain whether that meant there were pictures up of us back of house with our names, or there was some other reason they knew who we were (our daughter is probably a more likely reason) – but I have heard stories. Regardless, it was impressive.
They say that luxury is defined as knowing what the guest needs before they ask for it. The Park Hyatt Beijing completely understands that, in fact, they believe that Luxury is Personal. From anticipating diapers and wipes (though we brought our own and didn’t require it) to providing dumplings in our room, a highlight of our trip. It’s the little ways that the hotel finds a way to stand out. Concierge staff helped us arrange our day, but then wrote each place we want to go down on a hotel guide to Beijing in both Mandarin and English so we knew where we wanted to go and so did cab drivers. Other hotels have written down destinations for us before, and while it’s appreciated, it’s perhaps not unique. But this property has a handy guide made up because they anticipate this for their guests and want to reduce their guests stress at every turn.
We can’t wait to get back to the property, though they will be held to their own very high standard.