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“Real Beijing life!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Flowering House Courtyard Hotel

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Flowering House Courtyard Hotel
No.23 Huageng Hutong, Jiao Dao Kou, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100007, China (Beijing Workers' Sports Complex)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 548 Beijing B&B and Inns
Rome, Italy
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Real Beijing life!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

I spent nine nights in this hostel in April 2012, when I was in Beijing to do some research. I had first booked only three nights there, then I moved to a more expensive hutong hotel near the forbidden city. After only one night in that anonymous place I hurried back to the Flowering house hostel, where I felt as if I was at home. The little courtyard is quiet and sunny, an ideal place to rest after a day walking in Beijing, the rooms are spacious (I tried two kinds of room) and clean. The hostel is managed by a family and once there you have the feeling of being one of them, even though you don't speak Chinese (some of the staff speak English quite fluently). I read quite negative comments on the kitchen: the kitchen is used daily by the owners of the hostel that live in one of the small buildings nearby, it might look poor and unsufficiently clean and bright for western standards (no windows), but this is how it works in the hutong! Anyway, it takes a minute to turn the corner and buy some delicious mantou (steam buns) for a few yuan! Another thing to mention: it's very near to a metro stop, which is something rare and precious! This place has preserved the flavour of Beijing as it was some decades ago, with old people meeting on the narrow lanes to play mahjong and kids running around among bicycles and cats! If you are looking for a 4 star hotel with any comfort, then don't go there. But if you want to experience real Beijing life, with all its taste and flavour, this is the place! A hint to help you finding the place: take note of their telephone number and ask the taxi driver to call them once you are in Beijing, this is common practice as Hutongs are still a labyrinth to anyone!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
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Da Nang
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

The Flowering House Hostel is close to a strip of restuaurants that come to life at night and the metro line 5 is a short walk away. That said, I doubt there are many places in inner city Beijing that are not surrounded by public transport and places to eat, so there is nothing overly special about that. I'm not sure when the pictures were taken for this hostel, but they look very little like the room I stayed in, particularly the bathroom which resembles a far more 'genuine' experience you find in many hostels in Thailand. Food is edible, the kitchen is disgusting, the mosquitoes kept me awake, seems to be an issue in this little village area in summer. When you arrive, you will need to walk down an alley, past a corner shop and a public toilet on the left. Signage on the street corner would help those silly westerners find the place.

Room Tip: Avoid the shared bathroom if you can.
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Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed here last year and I have been meaning to write a review all this time. The Flowering House Hostel was an absolutely lovely hostel - by far our best stay in China - and the staff were so friendly and welcoming. The manager, Benson, really went out of his way for us, actually booking all of our train travel before our arrival in Beijing, which we wouldn't have been able to do otherwise except through expensive travel agencies.

The hostel itself has real character. It is an authentic Chinese courtyard-centered house and, as other reviewers have pointed out, it is in a really traditional Hutong neighborhood. You can stroll through the maze of tiny streets, going through markets and past tiny shops. The hutong streets are really bustling and you are truly immersed in the traditional Beijing life, a way of life that has become obsolete in many parts of the city (as you walk around Beijing you will see Hutong neighborhoods being torn down, replaced with modern high-rise apartments and shopping centers).

A lot of Beijing hostels are in a trendy area not too far from The Flowering House; I think this area is called Hua Hai, around a lake. This area is really touristy. I remember looking at a couple of hostels/guest houses in this area that looked really neat, but I am very glad that we didn't stay in one of them because we would not of been able to experience the real Beijing.

The Flowering House has comfortable, clean and charming rooms, and the place really has a lot of character. It was a very memorable part of our trip.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

The hotel is located in one of Beijing's Hutongs, and pleasantly enough not one that has been made touristy, but is actually still a place where people live. There is a metro station not far away, and many restaurants in the area (the meat pancake place around the corner is great, the staff will recommend if you ask them). The rooms are designed well, and comfortable. The bathroom is a wet room with a western toilet and quite small, but this is more or less the norm in the Hutongs. The staff have quite good English and always try hard to please. The rooms are clean, and there is a small seating area in the courtyard. Decent place, worth a stay if you want to sleep in old style Beijing accomodation.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

My husband and I stayed here based on a friends recommendatory and were pleasantly surprised. The hostel itself has a pretty laid back atmosphere with an open courtyard for lounging around, and wireless access for planning trips around Beijing. Aside from the hotel itself, the location was great. Touristy Beijing gets old pretty quick, so it was refreshing to stay in a more or less normal neighbourhood. In addition, a 10 minute walk brought us to an entire street with most any kind of food you could ever want, and at great prices (beer & lamb chuan'r for 1 kuai each. Hard to find that these days).

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012 via mobile

This wasn't a pleasant experience at all and here is the account of it.
I am not rating the place ( which looks nice btw) as we didn't have the pleasure of staying, I am only rating the management of it.
We are a family of 4, travelling with 2 small children of 5 and 3 yrs old. We booked a family room there 10 days before arriving and received a booking reservation. Having problems downloading the pdf sheet with our crédit card details, we gave the details by email, and again received confirmation that a room was kept for us. So we turned up at 23:30 on the date ( after a long 8 hours trip) and found out that no room was kept for us. As the form was not sent, they cancelled our booking without telling us!! Not a word.
Once there, they suggested waiting till 03:00am because a room would free up ( remember we have 2 exhausted kids?!?), apologised To us but no real effort were made to find a reasonnable solution.
We found another place ( thanks To internet and GPS), but no taxi would take us there as it was only 700m away, So we found ourselves at 01:00am on foot with 2 backpacks and 2 sleeping kids on the street of unknown Beijing.
Needless to say, it isn't a great experience and it cast big doubts on how the place is managed. Definitely a lack of communication (the basic respect/professionalism would have been let us know the room hasn't been kept).
I hope this review will help them not to make that mistake again. Also, if you intend to stay there, make sure you have fill the pdf form and faxed it ( the same info not on the form is invalid or So it seems), and if you arrive late, have a backup plan. That is my advice

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BensonCai, Owner at Flowering House Courtyard Hotel, responded to this review, May 28, 2012
Dear Nelson,
I am Flowering House Hostel's owner.

However, what happened in that day bring you a terrible experience, I must say "I am really sorry for your family".

I can understand what your feeling is as your shoes. In deep night, you and your family took tired body to arrive in hostel, but no room is available for you. Even though our staff did all what we can do, for example book other hostel, wait for free up room and so on, but you were still both unacceptable and wrathful.

As owner, I am willing to bear this responsibility for the accident. If I can do something to make you forget the terrible experience, I would like to do it.

In fact, you really send invalid credit card information by mail, so that we cannot get your credit card AUTH, so that we cannot keep room for you until you check in according to our sale policy. We have indicated before the reservation, that your reservation is successfully accepted by our mail confirming, after we get your Credit Card Authorization. You should know it.

Although the staff sent a warning mail before 7 days, but you cannot give us any feedback. You only saw “I’ll keep room for you.”, but you never pay attention to “But I'm afraid we really need your authorization. So could you please just try again?”

Of course, I am sure that our staff passed both incorrect and unclear information so as to get a wrong understand. I think it is reason for the accident.

But all in all, It is our responsibility, that we should server our guest and make them happy, that we should provide good service to make guest enjoy a good experience.

By the way, I want to say,If you are willing to stay our hostel again, We can provide one free night in the future as compensation.

I am really sorry again. Please forget the terrible experience.

Everyone all make mistakes. Once make a mistake always bad management???



Best regards,
Yours Benson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

Stayed here with my boyfriend for 4 nights in February. I booked with this hostel because I wanted to show him 'Hutong' and courtyard, the traditional living environment of local people in Beijing. Not sure how much he's taken from it though, he he.

Overall we had a great time in Beijing and had a nice stay here. Reception/common area is decorated very Chinese with Beijing tourism info on the wall. Two mega cute kitty cats are living here too :) The staff was very friendly and always ready to help. The kitchen is quite small but I can see it's not used much by the guests probably because there are plenty cheap and yummy eateries out there! It was a bit too cold to sit in the garden in Feb, but in the summer it will be a great place to have a drink and chiilax, spacious too,

Our room was a cozy double facing the garden and reception room. It was a nice room with tea set, hair dryer, telly, tower and everything. We even had an extra heater, so the room heated up quickly. The only downside was that the en suit toilet/wet room was almost leveled with the room floor, so our room got a bit flooded every time we had a shower. It shouldn't be a big problem in summer though, as the shower will be much quicker..

Location was one of the best among all the Hutong hostels I looked into. Relatively easy to find, close to tube stop and a few attractions like Lama Temple and the famous Gui Jie - best place to eat in Beijing if you are a foodie like me ;)

Value wise, we paid about £40 per night for both of us, double en suit, cheap for western standard, not so cheap for Chinese standard even for 'off-season' price, but considering the room, the location and all the conveniences it brings, good value for money.

Room Tip: Apparently the cheaper double/twin rooms are in another shabby courtyard. I'd recommend paying a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Flowering House Courtyard Hotel

Address: No.23 Huageng Hutong, Jiao Dao Kou, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100007, China
Location: China > Beijing > Beijing Workers' Sports Complex
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 548 B&Bs / Inns in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located a 5-minute walk to subway,a 15-minute walk from Nan Luo Gu Xiang, the charming Flowering House Hostel features beautifully designed rooms with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen cable TV. The hostel has a reading corner and provides car rental and laundry services. Hostel Flowering House is a 15-minute walk from Yong Ong He Gong Lama Temple. It is approximately 25-minute drive from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Beijing International Airport is a 30-minute drive away. Flowering House’s air-conditioned rooms feature traditional Chinese décor. An electric kettle, a hairdryer and a work desk are available. The hotel’s 24-hour front desk provides luggage storage, while a tour desk arranges for sightseeing tours. A snack bar is available. ... more   less 
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