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All People > painedplatinum > Travel Report from Near and Far > 2013 > May
2013

I'll start this blog entry with a few more nice words about the Marriott Northeast. The staff in the CL somehow found out it was my birthday on Tuesday. They surprised me with a wonderful cake prepared by the Chef. That was one good cake! The ladies working in the CL are true professionals. The managers, Sohee Kim and Julia, along with the supervisor Crystal, are outstanding. All the agents Amy, Ann, Kelly, Summer, Ada, Karen, Hanna, and Cherry are great.  This team takes the time to get to know the guest and their preferences. As soon as I walk in, someone is preparing an Earl Grey Tea before I'm two steps in the door.... If this site is cooperating with me, I'll include a few hotel pictures.

 

I did my first full day of exploring yesterday. I jumped on the subway....just a 5 minute walk from the hotel. The system is clean and easy to use. It's made up of 15 basic lines. You purchase tickets for each ride. One ticket will allow for unlimited transfers within the system. Once you leave the subway, you insert your ticket in the exit turnstile. Each ticket is just 2 CNY or about  $0.35.  Although the subway is easy...it can get sardine can crowded. No one seems to mind the tight quarters, that's a good thing. The ride from the Marriott Northeast via the Liangmaqiao stop on Line 10, was only a few minutes to Tiananmen Square on Line 1.

 

I stopped a few subway points along the way to Tiananmen at The Temple of Heaven garden..built in 1420. This is a huge park with many folks grouping for exercise sessions, music playing, game playing, and general good times. Inside the walls of the park sits The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. It's a magnificent structure that was built without a single nail. There should be some pictures attached below. I'm partial to the folks playing music and games. These are not spring chickens. Besides the rhythmic exercising, people were playing a hacky sack type game with an oversized badminton birdie. Man, were they good!! They were kicking up their heels and launching this birdie in the air to the next person.

 

I'll add details of Tiananmen in the next blog entry.

 

Beijing Marriott NE.JPGBeijing Marriott Rm 1908.JPG

Beijing Marriott LR.JPGBeijing Marriott BR.JPG

Beijing Marriott Bath.JPGBeijing BDay Cake.JPG

Beijing Exer 1.JPGBeijing Exer 4.JPG

Beijing Exer P-Bars.JPGBeijing Hacky Sack.JPG

Beijing T of H Music 1.JPGBeijing T of H Music 2.JPG

Beijing T of H Music 4.JPGBeijing T of H Grass.JPG

Beijing T of H Pavillion 2.JPGBeijing T of H Pavillion.JPG

Beijing T of H Temple 4.JPGBeijing T of H Temple Close up.JPG

Beijing T of H Temple 3.JPGBeijing T of H Sign Map.JPG

I arrived in the Capital city of Beijing, China at 2 PM. The United Airlines flights from PHL to IAD and then on to PEK were smooth in the air. The connection in IAD was frantic. The commuter jet that goes back and forth between PHL and IAD was late taking off by over an hour. I don't have a lot of experience with United, but was a bit disappointed in their lack of concern for this traveler's plight. My bad luck was landing at IAD at the end of "A" Terminal and having to sprint to "C" terminal for the next leg. I was huffing and puffing....also, I was in the last 10 people to board, whew!!

 

The experience at the airport, PEK, was outstanding. These folks have their act together. Knowledgeable, caring, helpful people were at every turn. Going through customs and immigration was a snap. NO LINES!! There were no lines because all booths were manned. The airport itself was spotlessly clean. The Marriott Hotel Northeast had a greeter waiting for me. The ride from the airport to the Marriott was through congested traffic, but less than 30 minutes. The one thing that certainly stands out is the cleanliness of everything. The highway, the landscaping, city streets...everything is neat and orderly. The air pollution that I was worried so much about is not nearly the "cloud of choking junk" that I anticipated. In fact, it is actually not bad at all.

 

This Beijing Marriott Hotel Northeast is great. If they keep up the phenomenal service throughout my stay, they're in for a HUGE positive review. I was greeted by a wonderful frontdesk staff. They upgraded me to a Junior Suite...sweet! The room is beautiful, modern, well kept, etc. The added amenities that I asked for were all in place. The Concierge Lounge is fully staffed with very professional people. It's hard not to smile with everyone being so nice at every turn. The CL had a very nice buffet spread for evening cocktails last night. I don't drink (at least not much), but the lineup was top shelf and fully complimentary. This morning, the breakfast spread was outstanding. If I didn't want to get out and explore, the quality of the food and offerings would satisfy my needs and then some.

 

I'm meeting my associate later today to discuss my work assignment. I'm hoping to get out and start picture taking soon.......