From one of the best dining experiences in China, to exploring the Great Wall with no other tourists the Four Seasons Beijing gave us an incredible experience.
When you visit Beijing, it’s complete chaos. Cars whiz by, people yell, the weather is temperamental, yet somehow everything seems to flow in a harmonious trance. The traffic lights and honks blur into a symphony and what was once annoying traffic, has somehow transformed into an art show of neon lights and sounds. Untouched beauty calmly exists amongst the fumes and hustle and this is exactly why I love Beijing - the perfect juxtaposition between old and new!
For 5 days, we called the Four Seasons Beijing home and spent our time discovering the quizzical beauty of Beijing in style. We were able to see the cultural highlights, dine at some of the most amazing restaurants and all while keeping an easygoing pace, so that we could really take everything in.
Fresh flowers adorn the lobby and the bright chandeliers against the tall ceilings, makes everything feel regal. Dark wood and hints of red and gold make up the color palette.You’ll find elaborate sculptures, chandeliers and ornate art pieces throughout the property, that is a mix between gaudy and fabulous.
Although the style of the hotel is very elegant, the team at the Four Seasons Beijing does an incredible job at making everyone feel welcome and comfortable. It’s definitely a place where you can wrap up in a fur coat, or lounge in the lobby in your sneakers and jeans. With 313 guest rooms, the hotel is fairly large, but the attention to detail and outstanding customer service, makes you feel like you’re all that matters!
Staying in the Ambassador Suite
Keeping the same elegant Chinese theme, the rooms carry the same design as the common areas, yet with a more comfortable classic feeling. We were staying in a Corner Ambassador Suites, located on a top floor looking over the city! At 785 sq.ft. our room was very large, came with a full bathroom, a powder room and a separate living room. Although we spent most of our days, exploring Beijing, it was so nice and relaxing to come to home to a well-designed room, which felt more like an apartment, rather than a hotel room.
Every night, the team came into our room, while we are at dinner and gave us a turndown service including their Quiescence Sleep program. Our room was sprayed with a delightful fragrance, our bath was drawn and adorned with fresh flowers and hot tea and healthy biscuits were waiting for us. We were also able to choose our pillow from a variety of options all in an effort to give us the best nights sleep we could possibly have...we definitely appreciated these special touches, especially after long days walking around the city.
During our stay at the Four Seasons Beijing we had access to the Executive Club located on the 26th floor. The space was a private area, which boasted some of the best views of the city. The views were impressive, but it was the complimentary snacks and happy hour that made this truly worth it. They serve a light buffet breakfast in the morning and continue on with plenty of snacks through dinner time. At dinner time, they have a light dinner buffet and of course cocktails, beer and wine.
If you’re staying in the city for a long time, or need a private space to get some work done, I definitely recommend getting access to the Executive Club. It’s quiet, spacious and food is always served. Extra perks also include complimentary pressing or laundry, use of a private meeting room and personalized check-in and check- out.
Visiting the Great Wall of China
It had been a dream of mine to visit the Great Wall of China ever since I saw a picture of it in elementary school. I was amazed that it could be seen from space and that it spanned over 5,500 miles. So when the Four Seasons told us they had a way for us to experience the wall, completely private and with a bit of adventure we knew we were in for a once in a lifetime experience!
After a two hour drive to a remote village, we had arrived at the start of our hike. For four hours, our amazing guide Katrina navigated us through a secluded part of the wall where no other tourists were. We climbed up and down the hills of the wall, just basking in this untouched part of history. The hike was a bit grueling ( but if you’re the athletic type you’ll be fine) and completely worth the sore feet and achy muscles. If you’re looking for a unique experience and the opportunity to be alone with a famous landmark, you must make arrangements to have this tour!
Dining at Four Seasons Beijing
If you’re a foodie and heading to Beijing, you have to visit the Four Seasons at least once, to try their extraordinary restaurants. Sure they have room service and light options served in the lobby, but it’s their Chinese restaurant Cai Yi Xuan, their modern Italian restaurant Mio and their Sunday brunch that make this hotel a piece of foodie heaven.
Cai Yi Xuan - Gourmet Chinese
We were running a bit short on free dinner times, so we decided to partake in a tasting menu at Cai Yi Xuan and it was undoubtedly one of the best gourmet experiences we’ve had. The interior will capture your attention first, with intricate carved walls and mirrored light fixtures hanging above, yet it’s the food will captivate you.
Dishes like BBQ suckling pig, steamed Shanghainese pork dumplings with hairy crab meat and double-boiled turnip soup with snow lotus seed and figs are just a few of the options you might be served. The food is classic Chinese, yet presented in a creative and very modern way. Fair warning though - you’ll never be able to have have “regular” Chinese food again :)
Mio - Modern Italian
As I set here and type this, I am salivating just thinking about our dinner at Mio. The lasagna served raviolo style, the veal with seaweed and truffles and the chef's surprise of little plump tortellinis stuffed with crab meat and ginger, was just the start of this fantastic meal. Classically Italian yet infused with the know-how and expertise of a gourmet chef is how I can define Mio.
The dishes have the familiar flavors of Italy, yet the combinations of ingredients and produce is what sets this restaurant apart and will keep me coming back to Beijing. The chef doesn't alter his menu to satisfy different palates, he does exactly what he wants, giving diners an expressive menu full of flavor and mouth-watering dishes.
Sunday Brunch at Opus Lounge
If you happen to be in Beijing on a Sunday, it is definitely worth it to visit the Four Seasons for their gourmet brunch at Opus Lounge. The brunch is a massive buffet, featuring international cuisine with a heavy focus on fresh seafood. The entire lounge is transformed into a market hall of sorts, with each table offering something different. Our favorites were the Mexican station (the tacos were legit!) the Japanese station, where the chefs were preparing fresh nigiri and sashimi and of course the bloody mary bar!
Hiking the Great Wall of China through snow, uneven terrain and up and down hills is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. So we made sure to book a massage for two back at the hotel to ease our sore muscles….and wow were we happy we did! Completely exhausted after our 4 hour hike, we gladly gave ourselves over to our massage therapists and the team at the Four Seasons Spa. For over an hour, we were both massaged, stretched and kneaded as we worked our way into total relaxation.
After our massage I was given a consultation for my skin, where I was introduced to the skincare line Biologique Recherché, a French company whose focus is to understand your skin first and then create a unique concoction for you. If you’re looking for something unique and effective, definitely make sure to spend some time at the beauty counter and let the ladies guide you.
Aside from massages and beauty regimes, the spa has a large fitness facility and indoor pool on site. Chris and I would get up every morning and do a quick workout before the start of our day. One of the mornings, I did a private yoga class and it was just what my body needed. My teacher customized the class to my fitness level and patiently helped me get into each pose, the correct way. If yoga isn't your thing, they have other classes to choose from and personal trainers available.
So Would We Come Back?
Absolutely of course, without a doubt! What I love most about the Four Seasons brand is their commitment to consistency, the ability to immerse their guests into local culture and all while providing the best (unpretentious) service. The FS Beijing is no different and gave us a first class experience in Beijing. So whether you’re quickly passing through, visiting on business, or really looking to explore Beijing, the Four Seasons has you covered!
For more information about the Four Seasons Beijing, make sure to visit their website: