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Sitting on the City Walls (Beijing) Courtyard House
Ranked #7 of 991 Specialty Lodging in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Very happy with my choice to stay here during my couple of days in Beijing.
I got an upgrade to a 2 level small flat very cosy and very comfortable bed upstairs. Nice inner courtyard. Situated in small alley (hutong) good location. Safe to walk around in the night. Would come back and recommend for sure.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Mattse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

I would highly recommend this hostel to anyone wishing to stay in Beijing. As three young British males we arrived slightly out of pocket after being ripped off by a taxi driver who saw us coming, so it was pleasantly surprising to be greeted with a couple of sympathy beers for our misfortune on our arrival. This was just a sample of the excellent service that the host, Rick, provided for us and the rest of the guests in the hostel. His sheet of 'recommended day plans' enabled us to get the most out of our time in Beijing and with the excellent location of the hostel it was easy to get to all the destinations we needed. Even when it came to leaving he was more than happy to book our taxi and make sure we knew how much we should pay to make sure we didn't get ripped off. The beds, room and bathroom themselves were basic but have everything you need, we had no worries over security and for breakfast the food was nice and not too pricey in comparison to other hostels we stayed at. There isn't a lot going on in the hostel in social terms but it has a nice relaxed atmosphere which was ideal for settling us into our travels. Thank you Rick welcoming us into Beijing and setting us up nicely for the rest of our trip!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Carl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013

This is an amazing hostel/ hotel on all accounts. The owners are so nice and incredibly helpful. I was in Beijing for only 2.5 days, but with their assistance I managed to see so much. The facilities are excellent. I stayed in the dorm room, but it was so spacious and on two levels (choose the top if you can). It's located in a hutong, which is so cool and is within walking distance of the Forbidden City and other sites. I would recommend this hostel/ hotel to all travellers.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Tess S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2013

We are two couples in our 60's and 70's and stayed four nights recently. We arrived by Taxi from Beijing station having asked Rick (one of the owners)beforehand to supply us with directions in Chinese so the taxi driver had no problems. As said before there is no access for a car but it is only a very short walk up the alleys to their door and the first alley is easy to find as there is a playground next to it. The people in the alley ways were friendly and interesting for us foreigners. The Courtyard was really good and we enjoyed staying there. It is in a lovely area for walking. It is quite an easy walk to the Bell and Drum Tower and Jingshan Park. Re being near the subway to go to the GW and other attractions, because of our age we elected to have a driver and this turned out to be a good decision for us. The rooms are off the courtyard and ours consisted of a bed, table, hatstand and the washroom. Our menfolk would have liked something to lay the case on instead of the floor but they thoroughly enjoyed each night having a talk and a beer (at very cheap prices) with the other guests. Rick, Rachel and Lucy were excellent hosts and could not have been more helpful. For the price you have to pay, don't expect the Ritz. Its a place to get the feel of the real Beijing and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Thanks to especially Rick and Rachel.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Gariochlass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

I enjoyed my stay and would choose this place for my next stay in Beijing.

It is located in an interesting area amount the hutongs. This means there is no dire t access by car so you will need to carry your luggage through the alleyways. The building is a traditional Chinese courtyard building which has had a transparent roof put over the inner courtyard. This is the reception and communal area. The bedrooms open onto the shared area. You can hear people talking, though I never experienced any problems sleeping.

This is a very small hotel, thus I believe it is unfair to comment negatively that the reaction isn't had a nap during the night as there is probably very little to do. It is fortunate that there is anyone available at all, I have stayed at many small places that have nobody available during the night. Due to flight delays I arrived about 3am and I was very grateful to have someone answer the phone to help direct the taxi and greet me. I was quickly shown to my room to collapse on the bed and was allowed to complete the checking process the following day.

I had booked a single room but was upgraded free of charge to the double. I decided to extend my stay in Beijing but there were no private rooms available for one of the nights so I stayed in the dorm for 1 night before moving to a single for the remainder of my stay. I have therefore experienced 3 types of accommodation. The private rooms are all ensuite with towels provided. The rooms were nicely decorated and spacious enough for 1 or 2 people accordingly. There are no cupboards or drawers, just hooks, so I just lived out of my case. Rooms were serviced each day. Dorm room is advertised for 8 though 2 bunk beds were on he ground floor while a staircase led to an upper level with the other beds so it did not feel crowded. You are provided with a key for a small locker to put your valuables. The room had an ensuite shower room and toilet. There were no other toilets in the building so if you we're desperate for the toilet while someone was showering you would have to go into the treet and use the public toilets - an interesting look at local life. I have never seen so many public toilets in such a concentrated area -they are what the locals living in the hutongs use.

In the communal area there is a book swap area, and 2computers which are free to use (wifi). There is a menu of freshly prepared meals, and it is possible to purchase drinks and snacks. As he rooms open onto the communal area there is a friendly atmosphere and guests chat to each other. This has more of a guesthouse feel rather than a typical hostel, and it is quiet. A young backpacker I met staying in the dorm, even though he liked the place, was planning on moving as he wanted more of the lively backpackers vibe.

I found staff to be very friendly, informative and helpful. The location is excellent; full of character and convenient. I waked almost everywhere. The grand palace, Beihai, Qianhai and Houhai lakes were all close by. Houhai is described as an 'happening place' - it has many bars that face the lake - bars that have live music and comfy sofas to chill out in rather than just loads of drunk people. I would recommend this area if you are staying during Chinese New Year as the lake area becomes a focal point for fireworks.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank bookowl1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

I spent seven nights here in June 2013 whilst backpacking, so hopefully my review can give you an adequate impression of City Walls.

The place itself has numerous advantages but also the odd thing you might want to consider before booking. However, personally, I'd probably choose it again when travelling to Beijing.

UP'S

- beautiful Hutong neighbourhood tucked away from the crowds. The second you walk in you feel like a real Beijinger. Round the corner from an open sport's park with lots of people, old and young, giving each other a good thrashing at ping pong. great sight every time.

- many sights (Drum & Bell Tower, Forbidden City, Beihai Park, Jinshan Park) within in relatively short walking distance (...or bus at your doorstep. try it, it's easy. just flip a yuan note in the box and off you go. 5 stops to tiananmen west)

- the staff is friendly but yes, the latest Lonely Planet is right: at least the ladies could smile more often. Yet, all of them are extremely helpful and willing to supply all guests with Beijing insiders' knowledge. You literally receive a catalogue of useful information the moment you arrive.

- the communal area is decorated truely Chinese and offers a pleasant, warm atmosphere to hang out in.

- from what I've heard, the food is tasty. I still recommend trying as much street food as you can. best value for money.

- tours can be booked here. (I booked mine to Jinshaling here which I can fully recommend).

DOWNS

- unlike the bus, the subway isn't that close. especially if you belong to the people who like coming back midday for a short brake, you might find walking the good 15 minutes each time slightly tiresome. the subway itself is outstanding in Beijing and dirt cheap (2 Yuan). Use it as much as you can.

- I had a single room that looked way (!!!) more spacious on the internet than it actually turned out to be. It was more cell-like so nothing for people with claustrophobia.

- the room - at least that's my impression - doesn't get cleaned particulary thoroughly each day. in fact, sometimes I think it didn't get cleaned at all. no cupboard.

- referring to this, it is definitely overpriced. I was expecting more (honestly, not too much) but it's a basic hostel standard sold almost at a hotel price. at least, concerning the single room rates.

- although the location itself is nice and quiet, other inconsiderate guests underestimated the pitch of their voice in the morning. the place is pretty claireaudient so I got kicked out of bed the odd time.



So as you can see, yes and no fits City Walls quite well. However, the positive aspects dominate.

Enjoy your stay wherever you end up in Beijing!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank Alex C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

We stayed here May26-29,3 nights.Definetely a real Beijing experience.Now I understand why they demolishing the hutongs and believe me this place was one of the best among them.Location wise? Took lots of walking to bus or metro but everywhere was a long walk.The owner was awesome,very helpful.The lady who worked at night wasn't very friendly and we found her sleeping on the sofa most of the time in the common area and we didn't dare to wake her up with any questions. Having Jet lag I believe most of the travelers would like or awake early and go on in the fress air.I know this is a hostel not a hotel but it was no chance to get a coffee or breakfast before 7am .Would be nice to have a coffee maker at the common area for use. The Hostel had good food plus we wanted to support the owner.He arranged us a private car with an English speaker guide who was avery nice man and we visited the Mutanyu great wall.

Room Tip: The better room would the one not open fromthe common area so will be quieter and you also would hav...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kaviana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
beijingcitywalls, Manager at Sitting on the City Walls (Beijing) Courtyard House, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2013

Dear Sir:

Thank you so much for choosing and being with us.

Beijing is a huge city, Please use Google map search “Sitting on the City Walls Courtyard House Beijing”, get our sign and zoom out, you will find we are really located in the most central of this city, that means almost same distance to everywhere of Beijing. We can not understand your review content “Location wise? Took lots of walking to bus or metro but everywhere was a long walk”, and we think Hutong is typical character of Peking along with Forbidden City and Great Wall, we are in the biggest culture protect area, stay with decades thousand local people and our VIP say President, Ex president, premier and Generals are all in 2 km circle, they all love Hutong and courtyard life , it will never be demolishing by sure.

As you know, we supply fresh café, Tea, Western and Chinese food during 7:00—21:00, and Beer, Beverage and Snack in the fridge you can grab 24 Hrs. We think that is enough for most of guest’s need. Even in Peninsula Beijing WangFu Hotel, their lobby café is open at 7:00.

By the way, We also don’t think 3:30 am is the great time to have a long chat, that is the duty time of reception girl who is ready for late check-in, early check out, or other kind of emergency need. of course we understand you were in jet lag and eager to know something more about Beijing, but Please excuse her on and off sleeping, she needs energy to serve guests whole night until 8 am. Many thanks for you didn’t wake her up .

Have a nice tip.

City Walls

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sitting on the City Walls (Beijing) Courtyard House

Address: No.57 Nianzi Hutong, Jingshanhoujie, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009, China
Location: China > Beijing > Houhai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 991 Specialty Lodging in Beijing
Price Range: $27 - $62 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Sitting on the City Walls (Beijing) Courtyard House 2*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is Classic, Therefore it is Modern…¬City Walls (Beijing)/0 km…Staying and Being a real neighbor of locals/1 km circle…Forbidden city, Beihai park, Jingshan Park, Drum and Bell Tower, Houhai lake leisure area, Nanluoguxiang culture street. Senior officer’s private courtyards (China’s Chairman, Premier and Generals) Located in the central of the middle AXIS; definitely here is in the HEART of Ancient Peking.Quiet alleyway, friendly eyes exchange and warm greetings within neighbors, a simple and happy life atmosphere, all these are reminding you: Life Style in Old Town Beijing ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sitting On The City Walls (Beijing) Courtyard House Hotel Beijing
Courtyard Beijing
Beijing Courtyard

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