Update 2019-02-26: Please note that the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) American Express Card Canada is no longer available. It has been replaced by the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card. Get the details here!
JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room Introduction
When planning my first class trip to Beijing I had originally considered staying in one of the many luxury hotels available through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. Luxury hotels in Asia are so much cheaper than North America and Europe, and having stayed at the Fairmont Peace Hotel and Four Seasons Pudong in Shanghai, I expected the various properties in Beijing to really deliver. However, Beijing also has some very generously priced points redemptions, and I opted to go with the JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level room instead. Having lounge access for my 3-night stay (compliments of my American Express Platinum Card) was incredibly valuable, since it includes breakfast and evening snacks, and saved me a considerable amount of money compared to other luxury hotels where just breakfast would be included through FHR.
The JW Marriott Beijing is now a category 5 hotel, requiring 20,000-25,000 Marriott Reward points per night, however, on my stay it was still a category 4, and I was able to get my three-night stay at the reduced rate of 15,000 points per night, which was a bargain considering it included executive level club access.
My flight from Tokyo on ANA in business class was schedule to arrive shortly before 10pm, and I knew I would be exhausted after a very long day of travel, so I opted to book the hotel car, which came with a meet and greet service at the airport (also my first time at Beijing airport). The hotel provided a BMW 5-series sedan and charged approximately $160CAD for the service, which is expensive considering taxi prices, but well worth it for a seamless arrival.
I had talked to the concierge about arranging a private car for a trip to The Great Wall during my stay, but wasn’t sure about weather and asked if I could choose the date on arrival. He promised to meet me during check-in with an updated forecast, which he did, despite me getting to the hotel after 11pm. Talk about great service. The hotel exterior was grey and bland, and somewhat reminded me of the JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity.
At 10 years old, the hotel was starting to feel a bit dated, but still felt luxurious and well maintained. The lobby was decked out for the holidays with a large Christmas tree in the centre opposite the check-in desks.
There was no wait to check-in, and the friendly associate said I had been upgraded to the more premier ‘Garden View’ room with executive club access due to my Marriott Gold status.
JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room
I’ll be honest, there was nothing terribly exciting about this room. I wasn’t crazy about the colours, the bathroom felt a little bit bland, and the view was nothing special (I do wonder what the other less premium view offered). That said, there was nothing wrong with the room either. Although it was starting to feel dated, the carpet, furniture, etc were showing no visible signs of age.
The room was a standard layout, with a large king bed in the centre opposite a television and dresser, with an office desk in one corner near the window and a small sitting area beside the bed. The bathroom was just inside the entrance, along with a closet, which featured a nice amount of storage options.
There was a nice welcome amenity of fruit and cookies on my arrival, which was replenished each night during turndown.
The closet featured an in-room safe, drawers, and plenty of space to hang clothes.
The bathroom featured a separate soaking tub and walk-in shower, though I found the exposed toilet too close to the shower. There was also a vanity with a single sink and plenty of shelf space for personal storage. Amenities were by Aromatherapy and very nice quality.
Housekeeping was done twice daily, and they did a really good job throughout my stay. Evening turndown service includes a light refresh, along with slippers, water, and laundry request forms being placed by the bed.
JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room Dining
One highlight of this hotel was definitely the breakfast, which is complimentary for Gold and Platinum Marriott elites. Guests have the choice between eating in the executive level club, or buffet breakfast in the lobby. I tried both during my stay, with the buffet offering one of the most extensive selections I’ve ever seen, and the lounge offering a limited selection with more personalized service.
The club lounge offered daily breakfast and a selection of appetizers and cocktails in the evening. Like most Marriott properties, the food was high quality, though the lounge was very busy during meal times. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Evening appetizers consisted of a selection of hot and cold items, along with complimentary wine, beer and cocktails. The lounge was absolutely packed during evening service, though I did stop in for a beer and a few snacks on a couple of the evenings, while I opted for room service on my last night, which was delicious and not terribly priced.
The buffet breakfast in the lobby was simply incredible, with a selection of western and Asian breakfast options, a salad bar, fresh juices and smoothies, and some lunch-type items. There was also a noodle bar and egg station, and service was impeccable, despite the restaurant being almost full.
JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room Amenities And Service
While there wasn’t a lot of ‘wow’ factor in the room, the service blew me away. All pre-arrival communication was answered quickly and thoroughly, including requests for airport transfer and a tour of the Great Wall. All staff I interacted with, from housekeeping to concierge, were friendly and professional, and clearly took a lot of pride in their jobs.
I was able to arrange a tour of the Great Wall through the hotel with an English speaking driver, and the cost for 8-hours was approximately $160 dollars, which I considered good value.
When I returned from my day trip I was surprised to find a framed picture with a hand-written note from the concierge, which was one of the nicest gestures I’ve ever received from a hotel (the driver took my picture at the entrance and must have sent to the hotel).
The hotel features a decent gym with modern equipment and a nice indoor pool. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get many pictures as the area was always full of people, and I feel weird photographing public spaces with people in them, especially in fitness centres and at the pool.
JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room Bottom Line
I really enjoyed my time in the JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room. While the hotel is starting to feel a bit dated, especially when compared to some of the newer Marriott properties in Asia (check out a review of the Marriott Hotel Nanshan in Shenzhen here), it was still a very nice luxury hotel. Furthermore, the service was on par, if not better, than my stays at the ultra-luxury Four Seasons Pudong and Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai.
Using points at this hotel is very good value and will cost just 20,000-25,000 Marriott Reward points per night. If you’re considering a stay at this hotel or any other Marriott property, I would consider getting one of the American Express Platinum cards for instant SPG and Marriott Gold status, which comes with room upgrades, late check-out, and guaranteed lounge access at participating properties.Apply for The American Express Platinum Card and earn a 50,000 Membership Reward Welcome Bonus. Apply for The American Express Business Platinum Card and earn 40,000 Membership Reward points.
If you’re looking for a way to stay at this hotel on points, consider applying for either of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards in Canada to earn enough points through the welcome bonus for a few free nights (American Express points transfer to Marriott at a 1 to 1.2 ratio). Both American Express cards are offering 50,000 American Express points for new cardmembers, which would be enough for a 3-night stay. Apply for both and earn enough points for an entire week (Marriott offers 5th night free on points redemptions)
Apply for the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card here. Update 2019-02-26: Please note that the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) American Express Card Canada is no longer available. It has been replaced by the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card. Get the details here!
Apply for the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card here. Update 2019-02-26: Please note that the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) American Express Card Canada is no longer available. It has been replaced by the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card. Get the details here!
I would definitely stay at this property the next time I’m in Beijing, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury hotel stay using points!
What’s your favourite luxury hotel in Beijing? Let us know in the comment section below!