The Swire Hotels group has infused the business hotel concept with a jolt of hipness. East is located in the Lido neighborhood on the fringe of northeast 4th Ring Road, removed from some of the hustle and bustle of Beijing’s center. In spite of this setting, the location is nonetheless convenient; the hotel is just a short taxi ride from the airport, and the adjacent Indigo mall offers most amenities a traveler could want. A recently opened subway stop just outside of East facilitates trips to the city center. The 798 Art District, a five-minute cab ride away, provides a sprawling maze of cafés, galleries, and avant-garde installations.
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The Lido is one of the original areas designated for expatriates after China was opened to foreign businesses in 1978, and the neighborhood has since developed under a wide variety of foreign and local influences. Indigo, one of Beijing’s best new shopping malls, is connected to the hotel, offering convenient access to more than 200 shops and a wealth of Chinese and foreign food options. The 798 Art District, featuring dozens of galleries spread throughout a former factory complex, is just a short cab ride from the hotel.
Need to Know
Rooms: 346 rooms, 23 suites. From $143. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:Feast is an upscale café on the second floor that serves eclectic fare, with pavlova and the house seafood bowl ranking among its most popular offerings. The hotel also has an intimate sushi restaurant, Hagaki, with surprisingly reasonable prices. Xian provides cocktails and a selection of 130 whiskeys in a swank yet relaxed atmosphere. Spa and gym details: There is no spa, but there is a fitness center and swimming pool open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Who's it for: Business travelers or tourists looking for a convenient perch outside the center city. Our favorite rooms: The Park Studio suites have striking views and some welcome extra space. Business and drinks: The hotel's business center café-lounge, Domain, is outfitted with computer workstations and a bar.