Home away from home
You can wear slippers at home, but your home is probably thousands of miles from that crucial meeting that will help you clinch the business deal. Ascott (6567-8100) is not a home or a resort hotel, but you may encounter executive types sauntering in the lobby, wearing shorts and slippers and with an ayi, or domestic helper, pushing a baby cart. It is arguably the closest to a home environment.
The serviced residence, located on the southeast side of the Guomao Overpass, is a world in itself. It strives to be the best of both worlds: home and hotel. The living room has all the nice touches of a normal household, with an open kitchen that allows seamless interaction between those who prepare salad in the kitchen and the family members or guests kicking back on the sofa. Both the one-bedroom and two-bedroom units are closer to residence in layout and facilities, such as wireless Internet access.
Ascott is best for extended stays. Most guests live here for six months or longer. But you can stay just one night, like in a regular hotel. The current promotion of three nights for the price of two has been extended to the end of March.
Guests, or should they be residents, can customize the frequency of housekeeping service to their own specific needs. Besides gym and pool, Ascott provides a children's playroom, a reading room and a recreation room where people can play ping-pong and learn dancing. It's almost like you pay for a hotel and get a community in return, with all the niceties of smiling neighbors.
One thing a regular home may not have is video-conferencing capability, which Ascott provides in two rooms. Restaurants on levels one through three offer cuisine of all kinds, with special menus for business meetings.
Home is the best place for comfort while a high-end hotel offers an abundance of luxury. Somehow, Ascott Beijing has merged them into one great experience of a home away from home.