Locating a wheelchair accessible hotel in Beijing, China is difficult, as the country has no clear standard for accessible design. While no hotel offers perfect accessibility, a few stand out above the rest. The Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel is one such hotel and its high level of wheelchair accessibility has made it my number one choice when visiting Beijing. Just this year, I have completed two separate stays and was impressed both times.
Opened in 2008, the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel includes 522 rooms and suites spread across 25 floors. The hotel is located in the city’s Chaoyang central business district and is just a short walk from an accessible shopping center, as well as a subway station. If you’re looking for wheelchair accessible accommodation in Beijing, the Renaissance hotel is worth considering.
Reservation & Check-in
Making an accessible room reservation at the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel requires two steps. First, make a reservation via the Marriott Hotels website. Then, call the hotel at +86 10 5863 8888 or Marriott’s toll-free number at +1 888 236-2427 to request an accessible room with a roll-in shower. Don’t worry, the hotel has a number of accessible rooms and I’ve never had an issue with availability.
Room rates typically fall in the range of $125 to $175 per night, inclusive of tax. Prices may be higher or lower depending on the day of the week, month, level of demand and events in the city. I searched a date six months into the future and found a rate of 903 CNY (~$131 USD), which is about $150 USD after taxes. If your travel dates are flexible, it should be easier to find lower than average rates.
Checking-in takes only a few minutes, and staff will lead you up to your room. The accessible rooms with roll-in showers are numbered ending in 24, and I have stayed in rooms 724 and 1024.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room
The door to my deluxe hotel room, number 724, was unlocked with the tap of a keycard. The room was spacious, making it easy to move around in my wheelchair. While the area surrounding the bed was carpeted, the rest of the room had hardwood floors.
The king size bed stood 26 inches high and the mattress was on a platform. With a plush comforter, soft sheets and six total pillows, it was a true oasis for sleeping. Make sure to set multiple wake-up alarms for the morning!
The room featured large floor to ceiling windows, which provided a nice view of the surrounding urban area.
The design of the closet made it a bit difficult to access, and the doors opened outward into a small corridor. It was easier to access by opening the doors one at a time. Inside the closet was a small safe, bath robes, slippers and other accessories. The clothes hanging rod was lowered for wheelchair users.
Opposite the bed was a chest of drawers, desk, and a space to store luggage. The wheeled desk chair was easy to roll out of the way given the hardwood flooring. A flat panel television was installed here, and seemed to be an appropriate size for the room.
I was provided with a welcome amenity consisting of an orange, chocolates and a macaron. A very nice treat to kick-start my stay!
The room’s lightning features could be controlled right at the bed, using a series of buttons installed above the nightstand. I used the built-in power outlet to charge my wheelchair.
Electricity in China is delivered at 220 volts. Travelers from the United States/North America will need to use a step-down power transformer to charge wheelchairs that use the 120V standard. The photo above shows my power transformer and wheelchair charger connected to the bedside power outlet. Please see the FAQ on charging a power wheelchair abroad for more information and tips.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
Roll-in showers are extremely difficult to find in Beijing, but the Renaissance Capital Hotel has a good one.
The roll-in shower is behind a glass door, which opens fully outward and towards the bathroom vanity. In the photo above, the glass door has been opened. A portable shower chair is provided and grab bars are affixed to the walls. The handheld shower head delivers water at high pressure, which I love. It is the most accessible roll-in shower I have found in Beijing.
Grab bars at the sink are a bit odd and could limit access for some. The sink is raised above the counter, but level with the grab bars. It’s definitely not an ideal arrangement.
The toilet is the least accessible feature of the bathroom, as it is located between two walls. There is no space to park a wheelchair alongside the toilet, making transfers difficult and potentially unsafe. There are grab bars, however.
Location & Transportation
The Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel has a great location, not because it is close to tourist attractions, but because the surrounding area is accessible and public transit is nearby.
Sidewalks (and skywalks!) around the hotel are wheelchair accessible and feature curb cuts at intersections. An accessible shopping mall with popular stores and restaurants is located right next to the hotel.
Less than a half-mile away, you’ll find Shuangjing subway station, a stop on Line 10 of the Beijing Subway. Line 10 circles Beijing between the city’s 3rd and 4th Ring Roads, and connects directly to almost all of the other lines. Line 10 is modern and wheelchair accessible.
There is one major issue with the Shuangjing station, though. The elevator from street level down into the station is locked behind a gate. Obviously, it’s easy to find a staff member to let you out of the station, but impossible to get back in unless you have a companion who can go to ask for assistance. You could use Google Translate to ask strangers for help, or roll to another station on the line (the road and sidewalks are accessible in this area of the city).
If you’d like to ride the city bus, you can! And increasing number of Beijing city buses are wheelchair accessible with a ramp at the rear door, and many routes stop just outside the hotel.
My number one consideration in selecting an accessible hotel is the availability of a roll-in shower. That is why I will continue to stay at the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel. There is no doubt that I would prefer greater accessibility with respect to the toilet and sink, and I recognize that these may be deal-breakers for some. The purpose of this review is not to recommend, but to share what I have seen so that you can make an educated decision about where to stay when visiting Beijing, China.
Looking beyond its physical design, the hotel’s “soft product” — the attention to detail, the kindness of staff, etc., make it truly appealing. Throw in the relatively affordable cost and great location, and it’s no wonder why this is one of my favorite places to stay in Beijing.