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.


Beijing Airport exterior

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport lobby


Hilton Beijing Airport 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.


Hilton Beijing Airport reception

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport hallway

I was assigned room 3084.


Hilton Beijing Airport room exterior

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport flooplan

The suite I was upgraded to was beautiful. Inside the entrance was the living room.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite living room


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite living room

Right by the entrance was a desk with an office chair, which had conveniently placed outlets.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite desk

Next to the desk was a half bath.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite half bathroom

Then the living room featured a couch and daybed, which faced the bedroom and wall-mounted TV.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite living room


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite living room

Underneath the TV was a Nespresso coffee machine and the minibar.


Hilton Beijing Airport in-room Nespresso machine


Hilton Beijing Airport minibar

On the living room table was a welcome amenity with bottled water and fresh fruit.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite welcome amenity

Then there were two sliding doors leading into the bedroom, which had a king size bed and a daybed.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite bedroom

There was a glass window between the bedroom and bathroom, though there were blinds that could be drawn for privacy.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite bedroom

The bathroom featured a sink, tub, partitioned off toilet, and walk-in shower.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite bathroom


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite bathtub


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite toilet


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite shower

As usual at Hiltons, toiletries were from Peter Thomas Roth.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite Peter Thomas Roth toiletries

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport king deluxe suite view

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport executive lounge exterior

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport executive lounge


Hilton Beijing Airport executive lounge


Hilton Beijing Airport executive lounge

In terms of the hotel’s other features, the gym, pool, and spa are on the sixth floor.


Hilton Beijing Airport spa

The gym was open 24/7, and was one long and narrow room.


Hilton Beijing Airport gym


Hilton Beijing Airport gym

There was also a nice indoor pool, open from 6AM until 11PM daily.


Hilton Beijing Airport pool

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport restaurant

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.


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet


Hilton Beijing Airport breakfast buffet

At 5:55AM I took the shuttle back to the airport.


Hilton Beijing Airport exterior

The ride took just five minutes, and by 6AM I was back at Terminal 3.


Hilton Beijing Airport shuttle


Hilton Beijing Airport shuttle

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.

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Comments

  1. Fantastic looking property, especially with the convenience of a free shuttle and nice breakfast. I’ve got an overnight in Beijing coming up next month and again in November. I will definitely be taking a closer look here.

    It’s too bad you didn’t feel like you could take more time for breakfast: in at 5:30am and on the shuttle at 5:55am. Grab a coffee and go! 😉

  2. As a Gold, you only get Executive Lounge benefits if you are on the Executive floors.

    As a Diamond, the last time I was upgraded to a suite was 2012.

  3. I stayed at this property a couple of years ago using a points & cash award as a HH Silver on a one night stay (arrived late in the evening and left early the next morning), and I also was upgraded to a suite like the one above.

  4. An amateur question for you. What do you do about drinking water at these western chains in China, Mongolia, and so forth? You don’t drink from the tap, or do you? If not, the tiny little welcome bottles and minibar bottles don’t seem like they’d last very long – how do you procure more water?

  5. As a Marriott guy, this is an impressive hotel, especially for an airport hotel. In my experience, the Westin, Sheraton and Marriott airport hotels I’ve stayed at have always been kind of older, dumpy hotels.

    Now I find the decor a little too dark and heavy in the earth tones, but otherwise the amenities look quite nice, the room looks well-maintained and spotless, and the service — particularly the upgrade — seems well-executed. The executive lounge actually looks like somewhere you would take an executive for a high-level sales meeting.

  6. I also had the same suite in 2012 on a points & cash award as a Silver.

    I was on my way to London and woke up at 4am to watch the Olympics opening ceremony. My only complaint was that the channels weren’t high def, but hopefully they fixed that in the 5 years since.

  7. I have stayed here a few times. They actually put out a decent amount of food for dinnertime at the lounge. I have always eaten breakfast in the restaurant and they are always very friendly and nice. Once I was asking something about dragon fruit (I think it was my first visit to China and was confirming that what I thought was dragon fruit was) and a few minutes later he came over with a whole fruit cut open and a spoon and showed me how they eat it. Another time there was a special thing they made and brought me, due to being a Diamond member I think. It was really good and I said that, and so they brought me another! They work hard to please.

    The king size beds are huge, bigger than any king size bed I have ever seen. I have always been upgraded to a suite (3 stays here, I think) and I would stay here again anytime I am having a short stay in Beijing and going into the city didn’t make sense.

  8. Wow, looks great for an airport hotel. However, I’m no Beijing expert, but isn’t the rate a bit high for Beijing (considering the location)?

  9. I have always found the rate to be around the same as other Beijing hotels. I always thought it should be a little less, as you are so far out, but never found that. I have used points for most of my stays.

  10. Good review Ben. We have 1 night transit in PEK this coming Dec. We are thinking to stay either here or the Langham. What drove you to pick Hilton as opposed to the Langham?

  11. Lucky, please enlighten me: your site is supposed to be about using (or earning) points & miles for great redemptions. I get it that, sometimes, it makes sense to pay for a room rather than booking it by points, as you usually explain.

    But sometimes it doesn’t seem to make any sense. You’re not a Hilton loyalist. And I assume (perhaps I’m wrong here) that you have some HHonors points. So why paying 180 dollars for a ~16 hour stay?

    Is that really the best value you can get?

    I’m really curious about this, because even if you value points less or more, it seems to be a tremendous amount of cash for such a short stay in a hotel chain you don’t seem to care about that much.

  12. Since Lucky gets the airport shuttle, free breakfast, and suite upgrade it is worth spending $180 for a night in Beijing.

    Otherwise there are many 4-5 star luxury hotels in Beijing for around $75 per night plus a $10 taxi ride each way to the airport.

  13. Just remember to have name and address written down in Chinese letters if ariving to other terminals as no cabdriver understands english! I flew into terminal 2 last year and tried to take a taxi to Hilton. Three different cab drivers and the taxi dispatcher didn’t understand the name Hilton hotel spoken or in writing (or maybe they only wanted to drive into Beijing?)

  14. I’m curious — how is it that your phone was getting around the great firewall? Did you use a vpn on your phone (that worked, whereas wifi was blocking vpn addresses)? In my experience, my phone has full access over wifi for about a day in the mainland before services start getting blocked. So if you weren’t actually using vpn, I’d be careful before giving people false hope that tmo can magically break through.

  15. Andy – my experience with my AT&T phone was that I could access anything normally using a cellular connection during my week in the mainland, but a VPN was necessary when using wifi. Never really looked into it further though.

    I had the same suite for a night as a Diamond last summer, but at the very end of the hall. Nice upgrade and lounge, but nobody mentioned that breakfast in the restaurant was also an option. I was under the impression that breakfast in a restaurant was only an option when a lounge wasn’t available. is this normally the case?

  16. Tmobile roaming routes all data back to the US, so vpns arent required. I would imagine AT&T does the same

  17. I had an unplanned stay there in January after missing a flight to Sydney. I was astonished to be upgraded to a two story, two bedroom, two-and-a-half bath suite and given a 6PM checkout (my flight to Sydney didn’t leave until 11PM the next day). I only have gold status with them and can’t explain how this happened. It was everything you said and I enjoyed it very much, even thought I was supposed to be at the Park Hyatt Sydney. Glad you had a good experience, too.

  18. Thanks for the great review. I’m staying at the hotel now, and have had the same experience — upgraded as a Gold member, enjoyed the executive lounge. I’ve also found the service in the lounge and the restaurant to be very good.

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