Posts in New at Crowne Plaza

Go Local in Beijing with Crowne Plaza

November 20th, 2019 Posted by New at Crowne Plaza, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Go Local in Beijing with Crowne Plaza”

With more than 3,000 years of history and several separate stints as China’s capital, Beijing is the embodiment of the phrase “more than meets the eye.” That makes it the perfect place for business travelers to weave surprise and delight into their trip, for a getaway that’s just as much leisure as it is productivity. Here’s how to explore the soul of Beijing, with expert input from local staff at Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido.

1. Start somewhere unexpected

Beijing boasts some of the most iconic attractions in Asia, from the Great Wall to Forbidden City, but it’s the spots you might otherwise overlook that will capture your imagination. Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido’s Rooms Division Manager Rock Huang recommends that guests take a short, 10-minute taxi ride to Lama Temple, whose physical majesty is matched only by its unique backstory.

“The temple houses a 70-foot-tall Maitreya Buddha image carved from a single Sandalwood tree,” he explains. “But although monks from Mongolia and Tibet have lived here for almost 300 years, it was originally built as a royal residence during the Qing Dynasty.” For more less famous but fascinating Beijing attractions, check in with your well-informed concierge, who will be full of insider ideas.

2. But don’t count out the classics—dining included

There are a few classic tourist activities that are essential for connecting with local Beijing life—like a glimpse into its past. Although currently home to a dizzying array of sleek skyscrapers and upmarket shopping malls, Beijing was historically a city of simple water houses. And while more tourists than ever have discovered the charm of the Hutongs, a tour of the Shichahai district around Houhai Lake is worthy outing. The tour provides a window into the way Beijingers have been living since before most of today’s visitors were born.

Likewise, while Beijing has gained fame in recent years as one of the most innovative food cities in China, classic dishes like jiǎo zi dumplings and Běi jīng kǎo yā (Peking duck) are world-renowned classics for a reason. Huang speaks highly of Quanjude Peking Roast Duck, which is just a few minutes from Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido by car.

3. Explore the art of modern Beijing

Temples and palaces are great, but they define Beijing’s artistic past. Modern Beijing has an array of contemporary art to discover as well. Guests at Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido can see an excellent example of this concept just steps from the hotel at 798 Art Zone, a multimedia arts space that was once a radio equipment factory.

“There are art galleries, craft studios, and even shops in this space today, which represents not only the cycle of re-birth that has come to define modern Beijing, but the fascinating picture (literally, in some cases) the current generation has painted of the city,” Huang explains.

4. Walk up for some perspective

Beijing may have a reputation for being fast-paced, but it also offers visitors an opportunity to rise above it all—literally. When you make the 15-minute walk from the north exit of the Forbidden City up to Jingshan Park, you won’t simply enjoy a priceless panorama of Beijing’s ever-growing skyline rising above historical Hutongs, you’ll also be in good, local company. Many older Chinese people walk up to Jingshan’s summit every day for exercise, and, luckily for English-speaking visitors, are often looking to practice their English skills, and to tell their truly fascinating stories.

5. Get away for a breath of fresh air

With a little more time at your disposal, you can discover an even more pastoral side of Beijing. If you have six to eight hours to spare, ride the Beijing Metro or get a taxi to the sprawling Summer Palace, a lush wonderland of pagodas, weeping willows, and expansive ponds and lakes where Empress Dowager Cixi escaped the heat of Beijing summers during the Qing dynasty. Closer to the city center, Beihai Park has been in existence for a thousand years—and has at least as many trees.

6. Let the season guide you

Beijing has four well-defined seasons, unlike many places in Asia—and each offers travelers a window into the authentic soul of the city. While every season holds special appeal, Huang details the glory of Beijing’s beautiful autumn season, which spans between mid-October to mid-November. If you have flexibility in your travel, this is the season he most recommends.

“The blue sky is clear and crisp, and contrasts beautifully with the scarlet leaves that blanket spots like the Fragrant Hills and Xiangshan, or Elephant Mountain,” he says. “This is the best time to see Chinese families out enjoying nature together, and to feel part of their happiness.”

7. Take a linguist adventure with Zhōngwén

Like most luxury hotels in Beijing, Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido provides guests with convenient cards that display the hotel’s name and address in Chinese, so you never have to worry about not being able to find your way back. However, Huang suggests being slightly more outgoing.

“We print pamphlets with simple Chinese phrases for our guests, and we encourage them to practice with locals,” he says. “You might not be perfect, but you’re sure to impress Beijing residents with your effort.”

Indeed, at the end of the day, the only way to appreciate Beijing from a local’s perspective is put to yourself out there like one—and speaking Chinese is the perfect way to do it.

Go local with Crowne Plaza

All that local Beijing adventure will likely lead to the need for some good rest. With work-life blend amenities, like the Sleep Advantage program, Crowne Plaza is the ideal home-base for work and leisure in this impressive city. Whether it’s a quick video call with your family, inside tips on where locals go out for the evening, or a night of sweet, rejuvenating sleep, staying at Crowne Plaza can help you stay connected, get immersed and make the most of going local during your stay.

How Entrepreneur Katie Treggiden Blends a Jet-setting Job with Daily Life

September 26th, 2019 Posted by New at Crowne Plaza, Uncategorized 0 comments on “How Entrepreneur Katie Treggiden Blends a Jet-setting Job with Daily Life”

Three years ago, London-based design journalist, author, and commentator Katie Treggiden stepped off a sleepless red-eye flight to Tokyo for a one-day photo shoot and realized something had to change.

“I was in the air for longer than I was in Japan,” she laughs. “I was beyond tired, but I was never going to turn down such an exciting travel opportunity, or the chance to work on such a great story. The idea of a work-life balance – sensible hours, weekends off or leaving your phone in your desk drawer – just doesn’t suit my job, or my personality.”

Treggiden now adopts a work-life blend instead, which enables her to work effectively and enjoy her life at the same time — no matter where in the world she happens to be. Here’s how Crowne Plaza® Hotels helps her do it.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2018, Desso, Tarkett

Prioritizing rest

In any given week of the year, there is a design fair happening somewhere in the world — and, as a design journalist, Treggiden has been known to travel to as many as three fairs in three different countries in a fortnight.

And every one is a dizzying affair. There are more than 400 events at London Design Festival, over 3,000 exhibitors at Maison et Objet in Paris, and 210,000 square meters to walk at Milan’s Salone del Mobile — all of which provide the inspiration for the stories Treggiden writes for the rest of the year. And that’s just during the day—when there is a design fair in town, the after-hours activities keep participants up late into the night.

“I love my job, but nothing is fun when you’re dog-tired,” says Treggiden. “I realized that
if I wanted to be on good form, I would have to prioritize sleep. I use the bedtime functionality on my iPhone’s clock to make sure I’m in bed for at least eight hours, and I am a big fan of Crowne Plaza’s aromatherapy kits to make sure that eight hours is spent fast asleep. After a day of being bombarded by color, form, and ideas, they are the perfect way to quiet a racing mind.”

In addition to aromatherapy, the Sleep Advantage initiative at Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts emphasizes premium bedding, quiet zones with housekeeping and engineering activities kept to an absolute minimum between 9:00 pm and 10:00 am, and guaranteed wake-up calls for peace of mind.

Sticking to a morning routine

After a good night’s sleep, no matter where Treggiden wakes up in the world, her morning starts the same way — yoga, meditation, and a healthy breakfast.

“I have been known to do yoga on a narrow boat,” she says. “It is tricky, but not impossible.” She even listens to the same digital radio station — thanks to Crowne Plaza’s fast and reliable WiFi.

‘Those things set me up for the day, no matter where I am. When I started traveling for business, I would act as if I was on holiday — sleeping for as long as possible and then bolting down a three-course breakfast. That’s not good when you travel as much as I do.’

Now Crowne Plaza’s food and beverage options have been developed with travellers like Treggiden in mind, tailored for those power-up moments that boost energy and productivity, as well as the power-down times that allow guests to unwind, play and relax. This reflects what she might eat at home and gives her enough energy for the day ahead.

Making work time productive

Like many modern entrepreneurs, Treggiden has several strings to her bow — writing books about craft and design, working as a journalist for print and online titles, copywriting for design brands, and giving talks at design conferences all over the world.

“I try not to write when I’m traveling, because I can do that at home,” she says. “But shifting deadlines mean that approach doesn’t always work. Having written my first article for The Telegraph Magazine sitting on a plant pot in Milan airport, I’m always very grateful for a quiet — and comfortable — place to work. The more productive I can be, the sooner I can get back out there and carry on exploring.”

The Plaza Workspace at Crowne Plaza hotels features a comfortable chair and footstool, complete with ergonomic work surface, all cocooned within a private pod, which is perfect for working smart and fast.

Living like a local

After that whirlwind visit to Japan, Treggiden now factors “life” time into every work trip. “I’ve never enjoyed tick-box tourism – I’d rather explore a city as if I lived there,” she says. ‘I love Crowne Plaza’s ‘run like a local’ idea, and I often pack my trainers so I can explore a city while getting some exercise.”

Treggiden asks for insider recommendations from the local Crowne Plaza concierge or via Instagram before a trip, and a local designer will often get in touch with an offer to show her around. “I’m very lucky — the design community is so friendly,” she says. “Designer Aljoud Lootah spent a day showing me the sights of Dubai, president of design PR firm DNA Alex Polier took me to the Blue Note jazz club in New York, and I can’t visit Stockholm without grabbing a drink with design duo Färg & Blanche.” She also encourages her husband to tag along whenever possible so they can combine a business trip with a weekend break.

Treggiden’s is a demanding job that could take its toll, but a work-life blend makes it sustainable. “I love my job, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see so much of the world,” she says. “But next time I’m invited to Japan for a shoot, I’ll bring my husband and stay for at least a week.”

How Crowne Plaza’s Innovative New Menus Are Energizing Business Travelers

April 17th, 2019 Posted by New at Crowne Plaza 0 comments on “How Crowne Plaza’s Innovative New Menus Are Energizing Business Travelers”

Today’s business travelers aren’t just attending meetings and going to their hotel room to sleep. They are making the most of their trips – sightseeing, meeting up with friends and relatives, and immersing themselves in the local culture.

Recognizing the importance of inspiration and restoration for these travelers, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts has launched a new food & beverage solution across 79 U.S. hotels. The program includes new menus for lunch, dinner, bar and in-room dining, designed with today’s business traveler in mind.

Since its launch, hotel operators have seen improvements in guest satisfaction scores and revenue. Now in its second phase, the program is building on signature items from 2018 with new offerings. Key elements of the program include:

Elevated Culinary Options

Whether they’re dining in the bar, restaurant, or in the comfort of their room, guests will enjoy a high-quality meal. The new core menu offers contemporary American cuisine with innovative entrees and salads, as well as shareable plates designed to enhance the bar experience. A few standout dishes include the BBQ Bacon Jack Burger and the savory Cuban sandwich.

A Happier Happy Hour

Sometimes the mojito is as important as the meeting. Guests can discover a new local beer during their team brainstorm. Or they can raise a signature cocktail, such as the Crowned Jewel Moscow Mule, to the close of a successful deal.

“New Modern” Menu Design

To ensure Crowne Plaza guests have a consistently superior experience no matter which hotel they visit, the program includes one required “core menu,” accompanied by customizable templates for each location. Options include a Chef’s Favorite menu to highlight up to five local items, a dessert menu, a Late Night Room Service menu and a Kids’ menu.

Exceptional Training & Support

The key to a positive experience lies in extraordinary service. Crowne Plaza employees are trained to think about and treat our guests differently, getting to know them on a genuine, personal level and offering differentiated service.

At Crowne Plaza, food is more than just fuel – it’s a source of inspiration and relaxation, done on guests’ terms.