My wife and I will be ending a river boat cruise in Beijing. With a good many Marriotts in the city, we're wondering which one might be best to explore the city's cultural sights but also mingling with the residents and their communities for 4-5 days. We're both in our early 80's, still quite active, walk unassisted, yet have found that 4-5 hours of sightseeing is sufficient. Your experience and recommendations are appreciated.
Recognize that the Forbidden City, which is next to the Tienanmen Square, is in the center of the city.
The Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall is the most centrally located Marriott hotel. It's walking distance from the main railway station and its adjoining subway stop. It's also within walking distance to tourist attractions like the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, and Wangfujin. However, being that it's next to the train station, expect to hear the train and expect the streets to be very very crowded.
A The Renaissance Beijing Capital hotel is further out towards the East. It's about 30 minutes' subway ride from the center. And Beijing subway, especially line 1, is very crowded during the week. However, this hotel is situated in a more residential area so the streets are less crowded. It's right next to a major shopping mall where you can find lots of clean places to eat. And since it's in a residential area, you'll find many local street side eateries as well if you want to adventure.
I usually stay at the Renaissance because it's far enough from the train station mess but close enough on subway to everything.
Oh... mingling with the residents... go to the Xicheng district just Northwest of the Forbidden city. The area east and west of subway line 4 North of subway line 1 and south of subway line 2 still has a lot of functioning hutongs that have not been commercialized.
For sightseeing, subway line 2 is your friend. It travels in a loop and makes stops along many tourist attractions int the center part of the city.
I just got back from Beijing. I stayed at the JW and really liked it. As a platinum, I had acess to the executive lounge which was very nice and I could just get breakfast in the resturant if I wanted. There was a high end shopping center across the street. To get to the Forbidden City you could take the metro for pennies. There is a Marriott by the city wall and if I returned, I would stay there.