Introduction: A Weekend In Mongolia
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Review: Hilton Beijing Airport
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My flight from San Francisco was scheduled to land at 5:55PM, and my connection the next morning to Ulaanbaatar was at 8:35AM. As a result, staying at an airport hotel was the obvious choice. I decided to book the Hilton Beijing Capital Airport, which I had heard good things about. It has a free airport shuttle, and as an Honors Gold member I’d receive free breakfast, a room upgrade, etc.
Beijing Airport is massive, so despite there not being much of a queue at immigration, it took me almost 40 minutes to get to the arrivals hall.
The hotel operates a 24-hour shuttle that runs roughly every 20 minutes from Terminal 3, where I arrived. The shuttle picks up from the ground floor at gate #5, and you have to walk out to the second roadway.
I was confused at first about the location of the bus stop. I saw bus stop #5 and thought that’s where the hotel picks up, but it doesn’t. Instead walk straight outside until you see the door with #5 on it.
The hotel shares a shuttle with the Langham, so it stops at the Langham first and then the Hilton. Despite that, the shuttle took under 10 minutes door-to-door.
For an airport hotel, the Hilton had a stunning lobby.
Inside the lobby and to the right was the reception desk, where there was one person ahead of me. The associate checking me in was friendly, and informed me that I had been upgraded to a suite and also had access to the club lounge. For what it’s worth, I booked a standard king room for ~$180.
It was a bit of a walk from reception to the elevators, as they were on the opposite side of the lobby. I took the elevator up to the third floor, and then turned left to walk towards my room.
I was assigned room 3084.
As you can see below, the hotel is in an “L” shape, so it’s quite a ways from one end of the hotel to the other.
The suite I was upgraded to was beautiful. Inside the entrance was the living room.
Right by the entrance was a desk with an office chair, which had conveniently placed outlets.
Next to the desk was a half bath.
Then the living room featured a couch and daybed, which faced the bedroom and wall-mounted TV.
Underneath the TV was a Nespresso coffee machine and the minibar.
On the living room table was a welcome amenity with bottled water and fresh fruit.
Then there were two sliding doors leading into the bedroom, which had a king size bed and a daybed.
There was a glass window between the bedroom and bathroom, though there were blinds that could be drawn for privacy.
The bathroom featured a sink, tub, partitioned off toilet, and walk-in shower.
As usual at Hiltons, toiletries were from Peter Thomas Roth.
The room didn’t have much in the way of views. As an avgeek I would have loved an airport view room, but I’m not sure this hotel has any, especially given that it isn’t a high rise.
Overall the room was fantastic, and getting a suite upgrade as a Gold member was a nice treat.
Wifi in the room was reasonably fast, though was subjected to the “Great Firewall,” and I couldn’t get around it with a VPN either. So I used my T-Mobile phone for Gmail, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and was able to get everything else done on my laptop.
As a Gold member I had access to the hotel’s executive lounge, located on the second floor. The lounge is open daily from 6AM until 11PM, and has the following service hours:
- Breakfast — 6:30AM-10:00AM (11:00AM on weekends)
- Afternoon tea — 3:00PM-6:00PM
- Happy hour: 6:00PM-8:30PM
Unfortunately I arrived shortly after the evening service was done, though I still decided to check out the lounge.
The lounge is a good size, and has nice decor. I could help myself to soft drinks, coffee, etc. I decided to sit there for a couple of hours working, as I always find I’m more efficient that way — when I’m exhausted and in my hotel room I try to work from bed, and then five minutes later I’m asleep.
In terms of the hotel’s other features, the gym, pool, and spa are on the sixth floor.
The gym was open 24/7, and was one long and narrow room.
There was also a nice indoor pool, open from 6AM until 11PM daily.
As a Gold member I could have breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, located on the ground floor. The main advantage of this was that breakfast started at 5:30AM, meaning I could eat before going to the airport. So I was there just as the restaurant opened.
The buffet was impressive — I found all the food to be great quality, which doesn’t match my experience at many other hotels in Beijing. I’ll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves.
At 5:55AM I took the shuttle back to the airport.
The ride took just five minutes, and by 6AM I was back at Terminal 3.
Hilton Beijing Airport bottom line
This hotel greatly exceeded my expectations. It has a convenient location for a quick overnight, but more than that, the service was friendly, the property itself beautiful, and elite recognition excellent. As a Gold member, getting a suite upgrade, and also having lounge access plus restaurant breakfast is a generous policy (often you only get restaurant breakfast or club lounge access, and not both).
I’d return to this hotel in a heartbeat under similar circumstances.