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CITI PRESENTS

LUXE City Guides

The cult pocket city guides and mobile apps for the busy, sophisticated traveler.

Stay, eat and be entertained in style with 33 city guides created exclusively for Citi Prestige Cardmembers by LUXE City Guides.

Beijing is a capital of extremes, a city filled with both Ming dynasty masterpieces and modern architectural marvels, with a past steeped in rich history and a present that’s all about bigger and better. It’s a striking contrast reflected in the city’s plethora of sights, from the narrow and winding hutong alleyways, ancient Summer Palace and Forbidden City, to the modern day soaring skyscrapers.

The juxtaposition of old and new is also evident in the food, art, shopping and nightlife, and though the Chinese have long seen the city as the centre of the universe, now the rest of the world has finally turned its eye Beijing-ward.

Beijing

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Apothecary

3/F / Nali Patio / 81 Sanlitun Bei Lu / Chaoyang / +86 10 5208 6040

This dimly lit woody saloon serves up artisanal potions made using homemade liquors, bitters and salts alongside a comfort American snack menu. The cocktail list is almost as long as the Great Wall, but you can’t go wrong with their signature Bell Pepper Tequila Sour.

Long Island Spa

B/F / Jiahui Center / 6 Jiqing Li / Chaoyang / +86 10 6551 6112

Getting a foot reflexology treatment is an experience true to Beijing, and nowhere better than at this pristine, low-lit Thai-inspired spa with its simple and effective foot rubs. For the ultimate foot pampering try the Thai High Barrel Foot Spa incorporating heat and herbal oils, or check out the comprehensive Chinese Therapeutic Treatment menu for full body and facial rituals.

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Pollution

We’ve forgotten what a blue sky looks like

Cars

Monstrous traffic, and over 1,000 new cars on the roads every day

The Murse

Beijing man is obsessed with his manbag

Beijing Belly

Beijing man is also obsessed with his summer crop top

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Following centuries of imperial history, the Chinese capital has undergone lightning-speed development and jumped in to join the modern-day business circuit with both feet. Start in the heart of the city’s financial district at modern oriental nest The Ritz-Carlton, conveniently wired to the nines so you can take your first meeting over coffee and breakfast before heading out to your morning appointments.

For the all-important client lunch, your reserved table at Maison Boulud awaits – set in a majestic manor formerly home to the US Embassy, the deco-inspired interiors as well as the Michelin-starred French cuisine are sure to impress. Step back to the office for the afternoon, but steal away before dinner for a trip to the tailors – Cao Selin (see Drab vs Fab) is the go-to for bespoke ladies qipaos by a tailor who’s been hemming since 1938, Dave's (see Drab vs Fab) is a top-notch gent’s tailor with all-in-one bespoke shirt and suit combo, and in frigid winter, be sure to ring Cashmere Duo for the finest fabrics and custom designs you’re like to find in this town.

Maison Boulud
Chi’en Men 23
23 Qianmen Dong Dajie
Dongcheng
Tel: +86 10 6559 9200
11.30am-10.30pm daily
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Cao Senlin
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Dave's
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Cashmere Duo
Call Xiaoyan Hu on
+86 1352 011 4560
No English

Ritz-Carlton
Financial St
1 Jinchengfang Dong Jie
Xicheng
Tel: +86 10 6601 6666

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Stop off at The Peninsula Spa (see LUXE Loves) for a relaxing rub and a few minutes in the thermal room, before suiting up for dinner with clients or guests at Tiandi Yijia, situated on the Eastern edge of the Forbidden City and offering a menu of Chinese classics alongside an extensive wine list

The refined mansion, decorated in traditional imperial style, also boasts a serene courtyard and goldfish ponds, providing a very welcome escape from the city’s bustle. Top off the night with post-dinner drinks at Glen, a business favorite for the dapper, old-world atmosphere, tuxedoed waiters, and immaculate tipples, before making your way back to your suite at the Ritz-Carlton, and take nightcaps at the hotel’s Crystal Bar & Lounge.

The Peninsula Spa
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Tiandi Yijia
140 Nanchizi Dajie
Dongcheng
Tel: +86 10 8511 5556
11am-9pm daily
Glen
203 Taiyue Suites
16 Sanlitun Nan Lu
Sanlitun
Chaoyang
Tel: +86 10 6591 1191

Once the shy Chinese wallflower, Beijing is now in the midst of a full-swing style renaissance, with a unique mix of tradition and label-crazed fashion-forward dress. If you’re in town on the weekend and looking to explore the city’s style scene, set your alarm for sunrise and make your way to Pan Jia Yuan Market (see LUXE Loves), where you’ll find a hubbub of everything from antiques to posters to pins, but it’s all great fun and worth the dig for that mantel-worthy piece.

After your morning spree, recharge for round two with coffee and cakes at Café Zarah , then dart off to spend the rest of the day at fashion and entertainment hub Sanlitun, and make stops at Nicolas Favard for custom-designed or RTW jewels, Palma for unique bags and threads, and Nisiss for locally designed, covetable clothes.

Style

Pan Jia Yuan Market
Panjiayuan Qiao
Chaoyang
Sunrise-3pm Sat-Sun
Café Zarah
42 Gulou Dong Dajie
Dongcheng
Tel: +86 10 8403 9807
10am-midnight daily
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Nicolas Favard
28 Sanlitun Bei Lu
Chaoyang
Tel: +86 10 6413 0818
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Palma
Nali Patio
81 Sanlitun Bei Lu
Chaoyang
Tel: +86 10 5208 6090
Nisiss
NLG-0506
B/1 Sanlitun Village North
Chaoyang
Tel: +86 10 6415 8351

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Carry your bags now to nearby electric factory turned dining hub 1949 Hidden City, and enjoy late lunch at Duck de Chine (see LUXE Loves), situated in a traditional siheyuan courtyard and serving a duck-focused menu, with the capital’s famed Peking Duck alongside less traditional offerings like duck confit and tacos. Next, amble over to The Opposite House and settle in at the Kocoon Spa Lounge, with its top-to-toe pampering as well as yoga and Reiki, in case you’re inclined to work off your lunch.

You’ll emerge pretty and preened, but throw in a quick blowout at next-door C de France if need be, and then it’s cocktail hour at artisanal drink den Apothecary (see LUXE Loves), but after a signature Bell Pepper Tequila Sour or two, you’re off to Sanlitun’s sizzling Sichuan restaurant Transit for palate-tingling seasonal cooking in a dark and sultry atmosphere. Have a drink in the fashionista-frequented lounge afterwards, then move the party to cool, contemporary Mesh bar before finally zipping just up the lift to your Zen den at The Opposite House (see LUXE Loves).

Duck de Chine
1949 Hidden City
98 Jinbao Jie
Dongcheng
Tel: +86 10 6521 2221
Kocoon Spa Lounge
The Opposite House
The Village
11 Sanlitun Bei Lu
Sanlitun
Chaoyang
Tel: +86 10 6410 5016
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Apothecary
See LUXE Loves
Mesh
The Opposite House
The Village
11 Sanlitun Bei Lu
Sanlitun
Chaoyang
Tel: +86 10 6417 6688
Transit
N4-36
Sanlitun Village North
11 Sanlitun Lu
Chaoyang
Tel: +86 10 6417 9090

The Opposite House
See LUXE Loves

Not in Beijing for the skyscrapers? See the heart and soul of the Chinese capital by starting the day with a visit to the city’s hidden hutongs and impressive historic homes with cultural tours led by China Culture Center (see LUXE Loves), where itineraries also include local culinary market tours and Caochangdi Artist Village walks. After you’ve walked the city like a local, eat like one at Haidilao (see LUXE Loves), with its fiery chili dip and hand-pulled noodles, but go before lunch hour when the crowds descend.

If you’re in need of a cool-down after that Sichuan spice, head to Brand New China (BNC) (see LUXE Loves) for a few quality hours spent getting to know the local design names and perusing indie labels from greater China – these wares also make for a unique, one-off gift for your pals back home.

Hansar Hotel
3 Soi Mahadlekluang 2
Rajdamri Rd
Tel: +66 2 209 1234

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Parmar Tailors
25c Street
Al Souq Al Kabeer
near the Astoria Hotel
Tel: 971 4 353 5648

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Continue the shopping spree at happening hutong Nanluoguxiang (see LUXE Loves), full of hip boutiques, cafes and bars, and make stops at Jian Ping for flowy, classical Chinese blouses, Arts Book Store for old China revolutionary music and films, and The Pottery Workshop for ceramics made by artists in Jingdezhen, China’s pottery capital. Later, give your feet a rest at the historic, 60-seat Imperial Granary Peony Pavilion with a classic Kunqu Opera, first written and performed in 1598 but still captivating local audiences today.

Your pre-booked table at Da Dong (see LUXE Loves) awaits, so sit down and enjoy the crispy, world-renowned Peking Duck at this wildly popular restaurant, complete with glass-walled kitchen for you to peek in and watch the chefs at work. Follow dinner with drinks at Contempio, situated in a C.15th temple refurbished as a cosy lounge tucked away in a hutong behind the Drum and Bell towers, before retiring to bed nearby at the chic 10-room hutong hideaway The Orchid.

Jian Ping
#110-2 Nanluoguxiang
Tel: +86 10 6402 4779

Arts Book Store
#98 Nanluoguxiang
Tel: +86 10 8402 4590

The Pottery Workshop
#23 Nanluoguxiang
+86 10 6401 3799

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Peony Pavilion
22 Dongsishitiao
The Imperial Granary
Nanxincang
Chaoyang
+86 10 6401 0843

Contempio
Doufuchi Hutong
Jiugulo Dajie
Xicheng
+86 10 6407 6778

The Orchid
65 Baochao Hutong
Guloudong Jie
Dongcheng
Tel: +868 10 8404 4818

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