Beijing: 5 Places to Stay

The Peninsula

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The opulence that greeted guests when the Pen opened almost two decades ago — the sweeping Busby Berkeley–style marble staircase and luxury boutiques — still exists, but a 2004 renovation brought a sleek modernity to all 525 of its rooms. The spiffed-up guest quarters are now sleekly modern, with cream-upholstered pine and mahogany furnishings, and lots of high-tech extras: 42-inch plasma-screen TV's, Wi-Fi, and touch-screen temperature and lighting controls. The hotel's guests, too, have evolved; alongside the well-heeled foreign guests are an increasing number of stylishly dressed Beijingers who toss their Porsche keys to the doormen before gliding off for cocktails or afternoon tea. The hotel is set right in the luxury-shopping enclave of Wangfujing, with a plethora of treatments at the ESPA spa waiting for you on your return.

Insider Tip: To erase any lingering jet lag, try the ESPA's Freedom of Life–Oriental Life Dance treatment, which includes a fresh ginger foot buff, an Indian scalp massage, and a hot-stone body massage.

Room to Book: Duplexes are rare in Beijing hotels, and the Peninsula's are top-notch. Suite 1448 has especially pretty city views north toward Jingshan Park.

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