China World Hotel by Shangri-la, hotel stay, Club Lounge - Beijing, China

China World Hotel, a Shangri-la property, is part of an impressive Shangri-la group of hotels in downtown Beijing, making up a complex of 4 hotels all within walking distance, with China World Mall at the epicentre. This ensures a fantastic location in every sense of the word. 

The Lobby

Very impressive. It is as palatial as it is classical Chinese, with ample space. It is one of those lobbies you simply want to stop, stare and stare some more, and is proof that you do not need a high ceiling-ed lobby for it to be visually arresting. By the way, Club room guests have a separate entrance, but unless you are arriving by car from the airport and have arranged a hotel pick up, or you are able to explain to your taxi driver about this entrance, it is more practical to use the general entrance and make your way to the 3rd floor Club lounge where you can check in.

The Room

The club rooms have a dedicated space in the hotel, from floors 18-20. They have recently been renovated - December 2019,  I am told. My 40SQM room is very soothing, with calm and warm beige tones permeating the room. In typical Shangri-la style, there is nothing jarring in the room, ensuring a  tranquil haven for one's stay. In the bathroom, a smart toilet is as much a highlights as is the deep soaking tub. Do take note, though, that not all rooms have a bath tub, so if like me, you need a bath tub as much as champagne needs bubbles, ask when making your booking. 

The Club Lounge

Absolutely gorgeous. From the elevator you get a sense of  a lounge that is likely to be special and on entering the lounge, that is confirmed. Traditional Chinese music, accentuated by erhu and guzheng sounds continue that wave of China and its culture that would have washed over you on entering the hotel. The lounge, has been recently added, replacing the smaller lounge that occupied the 20th floor. It has abundant seating, with a dining and lounging area giving the guest seating options. Large end to end and floor to ceiling windows allow for a lot of natural light to enter the lounge. In fact, at breakfast, I was able to enjoy the view of snow falling! Finally,  a selection of international newspapers, including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and South China Morning Post will allow you to while away the time as you sip on tea or coffee. 

The Food and drinks


A mini buffet featuring all your Chinese  and Cantonese favourites as well as your standard Western fare, would in fact be adequate in most club lounges. However, an a la carte menu ensures that breakfast is a feast. Anyone new to China, should definitely try the Chinese set breakfast and also look at some of the traditional offerings available. If you have not tried it, yotaio, similar to a churro in some ways, with soy milk, is a must. I, on the other hand, opted for 2 menu items - the laksa and the pancakes. In both cases, I was not disappointed. 


Coffee served in Narumi china. 
All-day refreshments and Afternoon Tea

An "Afternoon Tea' spread is served from 11am until 5pm. If you consider that breakfast ends around 10.30am and evening canapes and cocktails start at 5.30pm, this is great for the guest but not so great for the waist line! The stand out for me is undoubtedly the scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam - the latter is made in-house: well done Chef! A fine selection of tea, courtesy of Dilmah, and coffee are served, as requested. 

Evening canapes and cocktails

Happy Hour is indeed something not to be missed. A generous selection of drinks, including Prosecco and spirits make for the perfect way to start the evening.  Incidentally, there is something, how shall I say, almost decadent, having your drinks served in crystal glassware in a club lounge! 

As wide a selection as the drinks are, the canapes are equally if not more impressive. The Club lounge, which showcases dishes by the hotel's restaurants, actually ensures that you may not want to go for dinner afterwards. I especially loved the pumpkin soup, smooth and creamy. Secondly, I have to mention the chili - I ended up going for a second serving. Finally, vegetarians need not worry - the quiche was superb - just one of many vegetarian options. 

On the night I have the good fortune of meeting Kate, one of two lounge attendants on the night. She mixed me an amazing whisky sour. I was really impressed because staff in lounges are given simple training on making drinks and no more. However, she probably created the best cocktail I have had in a  club lounge. She paid so much attention to the ratio, the ice and glass - fabulous!

Kate's Whisky sour


Ah, if the signature Shangri-la element in any hotel stay is without doubt, the service. You know the cliche that a team is only as good as its leader? Well, that is in evidence here. Nancy, the Club Lounge manager, has assembled a small but super effective team whose mantra is simple -  'Service from the heart'. She is ably supported by Tony, the Guest History Manager, who also leads by example. On this visit, I had the pleasure of being waited on by Kate, of course, Amy and Susan - they are the reason why people, I would imagine, would keep coming back. The product is good, yes, but the hands and hearts that deliver the product are even better. 


Value for money. Luxurious. Sincere service. These three aspects are what Shangri-la should be about and they are realized at this property.  Enough said. 


China World Hotel - a Shangri-la property
1 Jianguomemnt Outer Street,
86 (10) 65052266

Line10/1, Guomao station, Exit A

Brandon Stoltenkamp