InterContinental Beijing Financial Street impresses one with its straightforward attitude. Acknowledging the strong points of its two neighbors on the same street, such as Westin's Heavenly Bed and Ritz-Carlton's elegance and meticulous attention to detail, the five-star hotel knows where its niche lies.
"For people who want to be in the know, InterContinental is the brand that goes out of its way to deliver authentic and enriching experiences that make their world feel bigger." Citing the hotel's motto, Cecilia Ning, the marketing communications manager, says their strength is "efficiency".
Take the convention facilities, for example. The hotel's grand ballroom is the smallest (384 sq m) among the three. Yet, together with five additional meeting rooms on the same floor, it has managed to meet the needs of pragmatic clients. On a recent weekend, a small exhibition was being set up in the ballroom while the meeting rooms were being used for an economic forum.
Last year, the hotel hosted NBA superstars of the USA Men's Basketball "Dream Team" during the Beijing Olympics, proof of the hotel's hospitality in many different ways.
The hotel's Steak Exchange Restaurant &Bar was a favorite with team members. The spacious and stylish restaurant features an open grill kitchen where imported Australian Angus beef is grilled over burning charcoal. And the meat, renowned for its tenderness and juiciness, is said to come from 200-day grain-fed Australian cows. The menu goes from a 250-g Filet Mignon all the way up to a 600-g T-bone steak.
One can well imagine the hustle and bustle in the kitchen when the NBA stars walked in. The chefs count serving the Dream Team members, undoubtedly experienced meat eaters, as one of their memorable experiences and say their recognition was no less valuable than that of the Michelin inspectors.
Besides the meat courses, the chefs also came up with innovative ideas for desserts, such as the "Truffle Surprise", targeted specially at lovers.