The gleaming Waldorf Astoria Beijing, a newly built bronze jewel box, shines near the high-end Wangfujing shopping district.
Why Go: From Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, Beijing holds some of the world’s most high-profile attractions. The city is also bursting at the seams with hidden gems off of its narrow hutong streets. The 12-story Waldorf Astoria is an attraction in and of itself, with contemporary Chinese–style interiors by Yabu Pushelberg and an extensive collection of contemporary Chinese art displayed throughout. The tower holds 176 rooms (from $354) including 38 suites, two restaurants, and a lounge named Peacock Alley.
What to Expect: Guests check in via an intimate oval-shaped lobby with silk wall coverings or privately in their room or suite. Turquoise silk decorates many guest-room walls and persimmon-colored furnishings stand out among bronze accents and chocolate parquet flooring. Off of the hutong behind the tower, a low-slung courtyard house, or siheyuan, houses five more suites that will open in July, including a two-story presidential suite with an underground swimming pool. In the main tower is the Cantonese restaurant Zijin Mansion and Brasserie 1893, named for the year the Waldorf Astoria opened in Manhattan.
How to Get There: The drive from the airport takes about 50 minutes, depending on traffic. (+86.010.85208989, www.waldorfastoria.com)