Serviced apartments are a popular option for relocating singles or families who need something temporary while they get settled, providing most of the comforts of home while offering convenience and flexibility. Extended stays in hotels can become stale and tiring, and it’s difficult to negotiate a short-term lease in Beijing as agents are encouraged by landlords to sign renters on for a one-year minimum. Serviced apartments are available daily, weekly or monthly, and the rate averages out cheaper than a hotel. They normally come fully furnished – down to dishtowels – with adequate kitchens and extensive facilities, including swimming pools, gyms and restaurants. Many serviced apartments are a wing or addition of a large international hotel. There are serviced apartments throughout the city, though the highest concentration is in Chaoyang, near the embassies and in the CBD. Overall, not much sets one serviced apartment apart from another, since most are new and conform to the same international standards. One-bedroom apartments begin at around RMB18,000 per month. As with any housing in Beijing, prices are negotiable depending on the season and length of stay. Phone ahead or book online for the best deal. All the places below come recommended by expats, have English-speaking staff and offer all the services of an international hotel.
The Ascott Beijing
The Ascott Beijing, a member of CapitaLand, is in the heart of the CBD, near the China World Trade Center. Each serviced one- to three-bedroom apartment has a dining area, fully equipped kitchen, laundry service, home entertainment system and modern furnishings. Suites include wireless Internet and satellite television. There are childcare services, an indoor play area, fitness centre and spa and a swimming pool. The Ascott is in the busy CBD, near the subway. For newcomers interested in seeing the sights, it’s only a short trip to the city centre and the Forbidden City.
108B Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District
This has been a very popular option for expat singles and families since it opened in 2008. In the heart of Sanlitun, it’s near embassies, international schools, historic downtown, the subway and a wide range of restaurants and bars. Season’s Park caters a bit more to singles and couples, though there are larger suites for families. It’s a large complex with lots of amenities and activities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a gym, a tennis court and its own laundry and dry cleaning service. The grounds are gated and safe, tucked away behind the busy boulevards.
B36 Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District
Part of the landmark 5-star Kempinski Hotel in the Lufthansa Center in Chaoyang, the Kempinski Residences are luxurious one- to four-bedroom apartments, each with European kitchens, broadband Internet and full entertainment centres. You’ll get full housekeeping service and all of the amenities of the Keminski Hotel, including a rather lavish health club, indoor swimming pool and squash and tennis courts. Being part of the massive Lufthansa Center provides access to an international clinic, travel agencies, an international supermarket and at least a dozen international restaurants. The location is convenient – about 20 minutes to the airport and the same to downtown.
50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District
The Kerry Residence Serviced Apartment
Part of the landmark Kerry Centre in the CBD, the Kerry Residences have the same high standards. Temporary residents can rent a one- to four-bedroom spacious apartment with modern gadgets and appliances. The amazing health club separates the Kerry Centre from the other 5-star options. There’s a jogging track, squash and tennis courts, as well as an outstanding swimming pool. There are play areas and child-care facilities, and since there are only four units per floor, it’s easy to get to know your neighbours.
1 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District
Somerset Grand Fortune Garden
This Ascott property is north of Chaoyang Park near the airport expressway, convenient for expats with business at the US embassy or looking for housing in Chaoyang Park or Shunyi. Each serviced one- to three-bedroom apartment has a separate dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, laundry service, new home entertainment system and modern furnishings. The suites include wireless Internet and satellite television. There are childcare services, an indoor play area, fitness centre and spa and a decent-sized swimming pool.
46 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District