We spent a few nights in Beijing during one of our recent Hainan Airlines mileage runs, and had a chance to check out The Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel. The Renaissance Wangfujing is a Marriott Category 4 property located in the heart of Beijing, just a few blocks from The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
Booking the Renaissance WFJ
Outside of a fairly large snafu in service on day of check-in, we found the Renaissance Wangfujing to be a great value. Prices at the property typically run between $130-$160/night, though we caught it at a rate of $105 for two nights.
As is often the case in China, hotels are so cheap that they typically don’t provide great redemption value. With the introduction of the new peak award pricing structure — the latest in Marriott’s continued loyalty program devaluation — a Category 4 hotel costs 20,000 to 30,000 points per night.
As I had an expiring 25,000 point certificate, I used it for the first night of our stay. I put the rest of our stay on my Bonvoy Brilliant card, which was covered in full thanks to the $300 Marriott Bonvoy Statement Credit.
The Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing is one of our favorite Marriott properties in Beijing primarily due to the location. The Wangfujing mall is within a quick 10 minute walk, and the Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square only slightly further. The property has 313 guest rooms and just 16 suites, with beautiful views overlooking the Forbidden City from higher floors and the Club Lounge. Prior to arrival, I was able to confirm a complementary suite upgrade with my Marriott Platinum status, which we were really looking forward to.
After arriving into Beijing Capital Airport at 11:30am, we were whisked away in our limo, courtesy of Hainan Airlines, and arrived at the hotel after a 45 minute journey into the heart of the city.
Past the revolving door is a beautifully designed hotel lobby.
At check-in, we were offered welcome drinks, but notified that our suite would not be available for another hour or two. Fortunately we were traveling with a small group and had a second room reserved, which we checked in to so we could shower and leave our bags while we spent the afternoon exploring town.
We eventually headed back to the hotel at about 5pm, and learned our suite was still not ready. It was at this point that I wasn’t sure whether to be appreciative or disappointed in the upgrade — I’ve never had an issue checking in to a hotel this late in the afternoon. But we didn’t want to be pushy, so we decided to go for dinner.
When we returned at 7pm, there was no change in status. And at some point, the staff eventually forgot to notify us when the room was ready to be checked in to. I sat in the Club Lounge for a few of hours to get some work done and nibble on the dinner offerings.
While waiting, I overheard a couple who were also waiting for their room to be prepared. They eventually received a sincere apology and a gift basket, as well as a complementary suite upgrade, which I thought was a nice gesture.
I continued to check in periodically but was eventually told that someone would let me know when the room was prepared. 3 hours passed, and at 10pm, I decided to check in again. Unbelievably, I learned that the room had been ready for a while, but that the Club Lounge staff had forgotten to notify me. No gift basket.
Given that we didn’t get to check in until after dark, most of our suite photos upon arrival were taken in low light, so excuse the lighting.
While we loved the space of the suite, we much preferred King room layout. This particular suite had the bath and shower crammed into a small space attached to the master, and the toilet was orphaned in the middle of the hallway between the living space and the bedroom.
Despite the day of check-in, the rest of our stay went very smoothly. We slept great and appreciated the view from every room of the suite — though most of the windows were quite dirty, making good day-time photos a little tough.
If you’re like us, the Elite breakfast benefit is a major consideration when booking hotels. For Marriott Platinum Elites, breakfast is included in either the Club Lounge or in the restaurant downstairs, and comes with quite a good spread for a sub-$150 Category 4 hotel. Chinese and Western options are both available. Notable offerings are fresh squeezed juices, fresh fruit, made-to-order eggs and custom noodle soups.
As is often the case with Western options outside of the US, the pancakes would get cold and hard from sitting out too long. I’d stay away from their version of dim sum as well. The custom noodle soups were the highlight of breakfast, and were delicious.
Despite the awkward check-in day, we really enjoyed our stay at the Renaissance Wangfujing and would definitely consider staying there again in the future. We really enjoyed the breakfast spread and while we didn’t spend much time in the lounge outside of waiting for check-in, it had great views of the city, comfortable seating areas, and a great open bar at dinner time. The fitness center and pool also looked extremely well maintained, though we were forbidden to photograph either by hotel staff, so they’ve been left out of this review.
If you’re planning on taking advantage of Hainan’s excellent business class fares, we’d definitely suggest giving this property a look. Especially if you have Marriott Platinum Elite Status.