Thursday, June 01, 2006

Grand Hyatt Beijng and Shanghai

Past few trips to Beijing and Shanghai, I have stayed in the some pretty crappy hotels. The Grand View Hotel in Beijing was suppoed to be a 4 star hotel, but I would rate it around .75 of a star. The roach motel I stayed in New Orleans for Mardi Gras was much better.

But not this time around. My room in Beijing is exquisite. Located next to Wanfujin and about 1 miles from Tiananmen Square, this is one of Beijing's best hotels.

My room has a king size bed. The bathroom is all marble. I have a kitchen, a dining area, and a living area. The work desk is all glass. Oh I I have two TV's with HBO.

The view extends into the back of the Wanfujin shopping area. There is a restaurant below, and everyday around 5PM, all the workers come outside and they do a dance show. I get free access to the executive lounge, which equates to free continental breakfast, free midafternoon tea, and complimentary evenin cocktails from 5PM~8PM.

A man can get used to accomodations like this. Too bad the smog and air quality is so bad that the visibility at time is less than 2 kilometers.

Onward to Shanghai.

I was to stay at the Grand Hyatt in Shanghai, in the Jin Mao building. This is the one of the tallest buildings in the world, and is currently the tallest hotel in the work. The lobby is at the 54th floor, and rooms go up into the upper 70's, with a restaurant and bar topping off the 83rd floor.

So where was I? On the 68th. The view from a top isn't too bad. The first day there was actually clear enough that I can get a good look of how big Shanghai really is. Damn the city is comparable to Manhattan. Looking down and around is almost like looking down from the Empires State Building. Hmmm... I'll have to dig up those photo's and do a side by side comparison.

The room is smaller than that of the Beijing Hyatt. But because of its design, every room has a view. The core of the hotel is hollow, so once I get out of the room I can see the all the floors. At the very bottom is a lounge bar. Juvenile thoughts of spitting down occured frequently, but a measure of control took over. I only managed to flick my gum wrapper over the railing.

The beds in China are hard as the marble slate they use in the bathrooms. Maybe that's why I started getting a back ache halfway through this trip.

There is a sign telling the hotel guests to keep the shades drawn because of frequent window washing. Don't want patrons to be caught in compromising positions. I kept my curtains open the entire time hoping to catch workers in action. Sure enough, they came by. I think they were amuzed by the fact that I was pointed out spots where they have missed from the inside.

Only one TV here. But I get HBO and Cinemax.
The view of Shanghai, when visible, is always breathtaking. From my room I can see the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and much of the PuXi area.

But I think I'm getting tired of Beijing and Shanghai. I've been in both cities weeks at a time, 3 times in the past 18 months. It's time to explore the rest of China.


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