Beijing: 5 Places to Stay

St. Regis

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Beijing's toniest hotel became even tonier in 2008, thanks to a $27 million refurbishment. Although the property had already cocooned guests in sumptuous colonial style (with glittering chandeliers, gleaming wood, potted palms, and an army of staffers jumping to attend to every request), the new renovations by New York–based Alexandra Champalimaud & Associates have upped the luxury factor even more. Now many of St.Regis' 156 guest rooms and 102 suites have plush fabrics in tones of copper and gold, lacquered wood cabinetry, large flat-screen TV's (in the marble bathrooms as well as the bedrooms), personal DVD players, and Japanese bidet-style toilets. Little perks like complimentary clothes-pressing upon arrival, fresh flowers in every room, and the signature St. Regis round-the-clock butler service make even standard-room guests feel like VIP's. The hotel's common areas include an immaculate 24-hour fitness center, a stunning glass-enclosed indoor swimming pool, an eight-lane bowling alley, a spa, and even a rooftop putting range for golf-lovers.

Insider Tip: The hotel's myriad dining and drinking options could keep a foodie happy for a week; but Westerners who like brunch should definitely make a point of hitting the Garden Court on Sunday morning.

Room to Book: East-facing rooms have a view toward lovely Ritan Park. Unit 1808, a Diplomat Deluxe guest room, also allows a glimpse of the striking new CCTV Tower.

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