The Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, 25 Yuanda Road, Haidian District, is surrounded by a neighborhood full of things to explore. Staying in a hotel off the tourist track gives a chance to peek at how people really live.
Walking around this district in Beijing was delightful. I was there in spring: blossoming lilacs lined the streets, filling the air with their fragrance. Close to 70 small restaurants are with one mile of the front door. There’s a typical shopping street nearby with idiosyncratic shops that’s down the road from a mega-mall with stores galore. And, a little bit further on, there’s a Walmart (but, no I did not go there).
Whatever could I possibly need that I couldn’t find at the Golden Resources Shopping Mall, said to be “Asia Pacific’s largest”. It includes more than 1,000 shops, restaurants, bars and movie theaters. Me? I was mesmerized by the Lotus supermarket, filled not only with the usual fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, canned goods, candy, and everything to drink, but tasty items ready-cooked and just waiting to be taken back to my hotel room for a nosh.
The Four Points, just inside the West 4th Ring Road of Beijing, has 320 smoke-free guest rooms and free WiFi. The LCD flat-screen televisions are either 37- or 42-inches huge. There’s an indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, spa, and fitness center, not to mention a currency exchange, an ATM, and a business center that features computer rental should you prefer to work in your room. And, speaking of your room, you can schedule your massage there if you prefer.
The elegantly appointed bathroom has both a rainforest shower and a tub with its own whirlpool jets for luxurious lounging. Bottled water is provided, and there are face cloths.
It’s obvious that this is a popular choice for families, from the stacks of high-chairs in the Eatery (the casual buffet restaurant) to the toddler playground in the lobby.
The hotel is within walking distance of the Changchunqiao stop of the subway’s Line 10 — just beyond the Golden Resources Shopping Mall. I find the rapid transit system in Beijing easy to use (signposted in Chinese and English). Start by looking at the English-language version of the website and plan your route (fast and inexpensive). To get to Tianamen Square, for example, take the 10 and transfer to the 1.
Rooms start around $160 (be sure to look for a package that includes breakfast in the Eatery– pictured from above — at lobby level). You can make reservations for this Starwood property on the hotel’s website or via one of the booking sites such as Hotels.com. Below, one of the paintings in my room.
(Photos by Susan McKee)