The Sheraton Grand Dongcheng has become one of my favorite hotels because of a combination of luxury, value, facilities, and Starwood (now Marriott) frequent guest benefits. The best features are the executive lounge and a fantastic fitness center that actually makes me want to workout. This Sheraton is a far cry from the typical Sheraton hotel in the United States.
Here, the brand has lost much of its reputation as a premium brand. To correct this, Marriott and owners of one fourth of the Sheratons in the U. S. plan to invest more than $500 million in these hotels to make them more appealing. In the rest of the world, particularly Asia, the Sheraton brand remains strong.
The Sheraton Grand Dongcheng is a modern, moderately priced 4.5 to 5 star hotel located on the Third Ring Road East in Beijing’s Dongcheng District. There are 439 guest rooms including 70 suites. The hotel has four restaurants on site serving international, Japanese, Italian and Chinese fare. Services and amenities include great fitness center and spa, pool, ATM, concierge, complimentary on-site parking, on-site laundry, high-speed internet, free bicycle rental and trail maps, executive lounge, business center, and a beauty/barber shop. Staff speak excellent English, and probably other languages, too.
The Marriott Bonvoy (such a foolish name IMHO) frequent guest program has eight categories. This hotel is falls in the middle of the pack at Category 4. Currently, it takes 25,000 points to book a standard night there. Soon Marriott will introduce peak and off-peak awards in addition to standard awards. Those awards will require 5,000 more or less points than a standard night award.
Marriott categories are based on average room rates not the quality of the property. I paid for my stays, just over $100/night on average. I think that was a great value considering the suites i was upgraded to and the other facilities at this hotel.
While not in the center of Beijing, the hotel is within a five minute walk of a metro station. From there, it is only 20-minute one-transfer ride to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The cost is less than $1. The metro also connects to the airport express train to Beijing Capital Airport about 45 minutes away.
This post primarily covers the suites, executive lounge and fitness center.
This hotel has two types of suites, Superior suites and Executive suites. I’ve stayed in both. Superior Suites are about 43 square meters in size. The suite includes separate living room and bedroom and one and one-half bathrooms. A half bath is located off the entrance hall. And unlike my “suite” at the Westin Grand Berlin, the master bath for this suite is directly accessible from the bedroom.
The hall leads to the suite’s living room and work area.
A king-sized bed dominates the bedroom.
The bedroom also has a 42 inch TV, desk and sofa.
The master bath is just off the bedroom. It has dual vanities and separate tub and shower.
The superior suite meets all of the criteria of a first class suite. I had no complaints about this room but was even happier with the the room I was assigned on my next stay.
Executive suites are even larger than Superior suites – up to 240 square meters in size. I was upgraded to an Executive suite with a dining room and wet bar in addition to living room, bedroom, and bathroom and a half.
The half bath is situated on the entry hall.
Floor-to-ceiling windows afford the L-shaped sitting area with excellent views (smog notwithstanding) of the Beijing skyline.
There is plenty of space to work on the glass-topped desk.
The dining room seats four comfortably and is a great spot for entertaining with a large bar with sink and minibar.
The bedroom and master bath are to the left of the living room.
The bath is well appointed with dual vanities, soaking tub, shower and walk-in closet.
Both suites had oodles of electrical outlets, and they were in all of the places you’d want them to be. I needed no adapters to use the outlets. another plus about these suites is that the lighting, mood and otherwise, is easy to operate. I’ve been in some hotel rooms where it takes concerted effort just figure out what switch controls which light.
I always bring workout clothes whenever I travel and ensure that the hotels I stay at have fitness centers. However I’m sorry to say that it is rare that I actually use the fitness facilities. That is not the case here. This fitness center/spa is so amazing it actually makes me want to workout.
Like many luxury hotels, the Sheraton Grand turns its spa and fitness center into a health club that is marketed to locals. I would pay to use the facilities at the Sheraton Grand. As a guest, they are free. When I stay at this hotel and don’t workout I feel like I am losing money. The facilities are that nice.
This fitness center distinguishes itself with the amenities it offers above and beyond the standard weights and workout machines. Facilities include luxurious locker rooms, sauna, hot tub, personal trainers (for a fee), yoga room, and pool not to mention all of the services at the spa which I did not try.
Near the hot tub and sauna is a “fountain” that dispenses crushed ice. Ice works wonders when applied to warm muscles. You won’t even find that at many health clubs.
I like to use a hard, or not so hard, workout as a prelude to visiting the lounge. That way I don’t feel guilty about having an extra beer or glass of wine
The executive lounge is located on the 25th floor. It is open all day offering buffets for breakfast and diner. Access is available to those staying on a club level floor, in one of the suites, or having Bonvoy Platinum status or above. The lounge has a business center, conference room, comfortable seating and the services of two representatives who can help with just about any request.
Guests can eat in the dining area or any of the other areas with western seating and Beijing views.
Guest can reserve the conference room at no charge.
Beer wine and spirits are available in the evening. Wine is dispensed from a machine.
I’m not rich. I certainly cannot say I’m poor either (been there). But staying at the Sheraton Grand Dongcheng makes me feel wealthy and the staff here makes guests feel like they are important. Any hotel or frequent guest program that can pull that off is hitting a homerun. I recommend this hotel.