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“Charming hostel with very helpful staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Red Lantern House

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Red Lantern House
No.5 Zhengjue Hutong, Xinjie Kou, Xicheng District, Beijing 100035, China (Houhai)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 672 Beijing B&B and Inns
4.0 of 5 stars 230 Reviews
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Charming hostel with very helpful staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

Sorry for the late reply. Got lazy. This review is primarily for the east wing of the hostel.
Checkin- was at the main hall. It was smooth and fast. No hassle. We had to leave our passport for them to take copies. We were asked to pay for the whole stay in advance I do not know if this is a standard among the hostels- to fully pay up. But it was o.k with me since I was going to avail of the free breakfast if we paid for at least 5 days stay. We were going to stay 4 + 4 days.
The staff spoke good english and was very helpful.
We were led to the East Wing about 100 meters away. Our first stay was at the family room for Y450/night. It was a two bedroom affair. Slippers,towels, and tissue paper were supplied. Our second stay coming back from xian was two separate double ensuite rooms. No slippers were provided although you can ask for one.
The rooms were all clean. Except for the family room. The smaller room had a little mold that was covered by the curtain and was not visible the first time.
Bathroom- was the typical all in one chinese bathroom. Note that you have to throw your tissue paper in the wastebasket and not into the toilet. I had to make sure that the waste basket was kept hidden under the water closet when we were taking a bath. The hot water and water pressure was very good.
Room size- the main room had 3 beds and had the AC unit. There was a tv with cable- all chinese.
All the AC work very well. Before I booked, I was worried that the AC would not be able to cool the small family room. I have to keep my door open but it cooled both rooms very well. No problem there.
They had an electric kettle which we used to heat up water for out coffee.
Staff at east wing- They were all very helpful especially Sarah. She was the one who actually made out stay great. Always smiling, eager to help.
You can get some basic supplies like water, soda, beer at the east wing reception hall which doubled as their dining room and front desk.

Red lantern was one of the 3 hostels that I seriously considered. I ended up here in part due to the good reviews here on TA. Their service extended to even before I went to china. They emailed me a booking confirmation complete with their seal so that I can present it to the consulate.

They have an airport pickup or dropoff service. We used the pickup service when we came back from luoyang city. As it was close to midnight, they told us that the price was higher. I complained saying that it was not noted in the website, nor when I booked and I told them that I was arriving close to midnight. They readily adjusted the price. Just be aware of this.

Red lantern was very nice in allowing us to leave the bulk of our luggage with them when we went to xian and luoyang for our terracotta warrior/longmen grottoes tour.
They also have a small restaurant onsite. Looks like that of a private house' kitchen though. But don't be fooled. They cook great food at really reasonable prices. We never paid more that Y80 for dinner for the 4 of us.

Re. the free breakfast. It was served only at the main hall 100 meters away. We had to plan our day such that we did everything we had to do first and walked to the main hall for breakfast and then out for the day. Breakfast was different everyday. Nothing fancy but it was not bad either. We got orange juice with it. Coffee was not free. It was in fact expensive.
They had 2 or 3 computers at the east wings main hall/kitchen/dining room. They worked (free) but quite wonky with the chinese software/ etc. My best bet was to bring my netbook to the place and connect with their free wifi. Wifi did not reach our rooms at all.

They also have a laundry service and the drying time was dependent on the weather. I saw them actually hoist the laundry high up to the ceiling in the main hall (saw this when we were eating breakfast)

Red Lantern is located in a hutong about 100 meters from the main road. When we first arrived there, we felt creeped out but after a few days, it was really safe. Never been intimidated even when we came home once really late. At the corner of the hutong street ending in the main street was a Dairy Queen and an ice cream bar.. We had several dinners here since the kids wanted to eat western.

Around the area: as you exit the hutong street, there is the already mentioned Dairy Queen. This main street is a busy street filled with lots of small and medium sized shops. If you turn cross the main street and turn left and walk maybe 1/2 mile, you will get to a kfc and a basement department store/supermarket. There are several atms along the way.
The closest subway is xinjiekou (if I remember correctly). How to get there. Exit the hutong, cross the main street and turn left. At the first intersection, make a right. You will pass several atms here. I used them and they were all o.k. Maybe a 5 minute walk and you will reach the station. A tip. There are 4 exits from the station. One of them has an escalator if you do not want to walk 61 steps up to the surface.

In my stay, this was the second best of the 3 hostels I stayed in china.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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230 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 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 (19)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
London, UK
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

We stayed here in March 2008 when we travelled through China. We liked this hostel so much that we even cancelled another accommodation we had booked near the Great Wall of China to stay here longer. It is a little tricky to find, but worth the effort! We had a double ensuite room - very clean and spacious. The food served in the restaurant is very nice!

  • Stayed August 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.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

Nice location! I liked the interior of the common area. Public showers and toilets are good and clean. Airco in the room.

I had a single room without shower and toilet, which was not really special. Very small. But none of that matters if you only sleep there. But there are some better rooms if you like to spend some more money.

The courtyard is very nice!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

We stayed in the East section of the House, which is actually a 5min walk from the main house and reception. It is super quiet with the accommodation surrounding a garden like open courtyard, where guests can relax or dine. We stayed in two rooms, both spotlessly clean and cleaned daily. They were nice and bright with plenty of space for our rucksacks and gear. The staff were great, with the younger generation having very good english. The older lady in our wing had little English, but communication was good nevertheless. She really made us feel at home and even gave us a small gift when leaving. The menu and food at the main building are very good. Try the vegetable hotpot, ranked one of the best meals we had in China! The location is great, close walk to the underground making it very easy to get to the airport/main train station. I would definitely recommend.

Room Tip: Ask for the east wing building
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Melbourne, Florida
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

My husband and I stayed in the mid-range section of the accommodation while traveling Asia for a month. The owners were extremely friendly and helpful, the beers in the common areas were cheap, the food in the restaurant/lounge/bar with patio was cheap and excellent traditional Chinese, and the tour we attended (Great Wall) was very well planned and very well priced. Imagine a hostel, but with better amenities and private ensure rooms available. The hotel is in a traditional hutong (Chinese neighborhood), and not in the more touristy area of Beijing, and is a couple of streets from a prime food and people watching street. Buses and subway are close by and ridiculously cheap and easy to navigate, as we found out thanks to the owners. Finally, there is free wifi in all the common areas, essential to travel planning. Great place overall!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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brasov, romania
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

We have spent 6 nights in this guest house that is placed in a quiet area and close to a metro station. It looks very nice, like an old chinese house with a lovely courtyard.
The problem is that rooms are not isolated and you are waked up by the neighbours' alarm in the morning or by other noisy guests having their breakfast, so no more sleep after 7am.
Price was a little bit too high for the tiny room we got but I don't know if you can find better price in Beijing for better conditions.
Staff was friendly.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

Stayed in the very welcoming Houtong Hotel over Chinese Lunar New Year 2012. Arrived on New Year's Eve and was invited to join in a traditional meal with other guests and the owner's family. Overall the hostel was clean, warm (with both heated air-con and a radiator in the room). The staff were very friendly, always keen to give directions and recommend places.

The hostel is located in the middle of a hutong, although difficult to find first time it means that you get a good taste of hutong living. This is ideal for longer staying guests - if just passing through Beijing it might be better to stay more central.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Red Lantern House

Address: No.5 Zhengjue Hutong, Xinjie Kou, Xicheng District, Beijing 100035, China
Location: China > Beijing Region > Beijing > Houhai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 672 B&Bs / Inns in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 65
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Also Known As:
Red Lantern House Hotel Beijing

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