I would describe this hotel to be very cosy and homely - I would love to have my home decorated in this way, lots of wooden surfaces and quirky furnishings and decor. We travelled as two couples and opted for the Garden rooms each and we did not regret it. It was relatively spacious compared to some hotels I've stayed in large dense cities like Paris and Hong Kong. The rooms were cleaned every day and replaced the complimentary fruit even if we had not touched it. They have a small bar/lounge/library/games room/lobby area where you can do all those things, visitors liked to hang out here with the staff as they were so friendly. We had a chat with the owners and it felt like talking to old friends. Now and then you would see their two laid back cats lounging about, it really felt like a home.
In terms of location, it was right in the hutong area so there's little eateries, people on their bikes, close to the Drum Towers, walkable to a subway (about 10 or so minutes), a straight bus down to The Forbidden City and across the road from Mr Shi's Dumplings, one of "legends" in Beijing dumplings - best of all you can order it from the hotel and get it delivered. The staff are great as they would offer to plate it up for you so you can have it in your room or in their breakfast parlour. Speaking of breakfast, you get a great menu, I would highly recommend the one with the szechuan bacon, if you're more of a sweet tooth person the pancakes are great too.
One thing we realised Beijing was its sheer scale, it takes time to get from place to place. Furthermore taxis were impossible to get unless they were ripping us off six-fold, to save time and pain I would recommend planning your days by working around locations according to the subway or hire a private driver from the hotel. If you are travelling in a group this works out even better as it is charged by car not per person.
One last tip is that when you first get to the hotel for the first time you won't see The Orchid anywhere as it is hidden in a tiny alley (Don't worry it really is a hidden gem) so tell the driver to find Mr Shi's Dumplings and it is really across the road in a tiny alley and at the end of it you will see sign "The Orchid" on a white board - and yes, you can see it from the main street so don't walk down some weird alleyway if you don't see the sign at the end of it. Alternatively you can call the staff and ask them to come out to the main road to greet you which is what they did for us.
If you're looking for 5 star hotel facilities you're not going to get it here, but if you want honest hospitality and a place that feels more like a home rather than some generic hotel chain this is definitely it. We loved our stay here!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Orchid is a Beijing hotel experience. It is happily not a big box 5-star hotel, nor is it a hostel. Our reviewers here on Tripadvisor have collectively described the wonderful spirit of what it means to make The Orchid your home in Beijing. Expect: Easy communication, friendly and REAL people acting as staff, real actual expertise in Beijing and the surrounding areas, great and comfortable hotel amenities, a big and well-put-together breakfast, a local mobile phone when you check in, excellent detailed maps to guide the way with all our favourite spots... and yes, one of the best locations in the heart of Beijing. Booking is easily done on our website linked above - See you soon! ... more less
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