If you need to stay near Beijing’s Airport, the Crowne Plaza is a good choice. It’s not as expensive as the Hyatt and offers a free shuttle outside gate 5, which leaves ever 30 minutes. I checked out the Ibis Hotel, but the photos shown online posted by guests indicated that the rooms had a lot of wear and tear.
I knew I’d be exhausted and wanted a clean, quiet, comfortable room. I got that at a good price, since I used my affinity club points ($40). All the non-smoking rooms were booked. I naively thought nowadays a smoking room wouldn’t smell. Wrong. The first room I was taken to had a cigarette stench. Yuck. I told the bell boy this was more than I could handle and I wouldn’t be able to sleep. A few minutes after talking to the front desk, I was in a bigger, more fresh smelling suite. I was delighted by their prompt service and ability to make sure I was happy and able to sleep well.
As a Priority Club member, I was entitled to a free welcome drink. Here’s a tip. Remember that China’s wine isn’t the greatest. Don’t order it as it just won’t match what a Westerner is used to. Get a beer or soft drink. It’s not the hotel’s fault, they aren’t in the wine business. Since I was leaving the next day for Jinan, the airport hotel made sense.
If you’re staying to sightsee, go into the city, the closer to Tianamen Square the better.
Note: A problem arose when the hotel charged me $200+ saying that I hadn’t booked with points. I tried to explain, but it seemed that the staff’s English wasn’t advanced enough to resolve the issue. I tried to work this out but never got the hotel to pay with points. I find trouble with Chinese hotels and companies. They don’t want to take anything but cash.