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“Very nice hostel in the middle of a hutong”

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Sitting on the City Walls (Beijing) Courtyard House
Ranked #6 of 984 Specialty Lodging in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 7, 2013

The hostel is located in a hutong, which we found really cool. Not too difficult to find with the directions they give you upon booking. The location is perfect: very close to the forbidden city. The staff is very helpful and gives you good tips on arrival. We booked a tour to the great wall with them (Jinshanling section, as they recommended) and were very happy with it. The common area is beautiful and perfect to spend some time in. The hostel sells drinks and food of good quality and cheap price. We enjoyed eating or having a beer in the patio.
We stayed both in double room and in a dorm. Double rooms are super nice and clean. Bathroom is not  perfectly clean, but clean enough. Dorms are 8 people dorms. Because there are two floors, it feels more like 4 people dorms. Ask for a bed on the second floor as the bed quality is better and the rooms are more spacious. The dorms are more or less clean. The room could be cleaned in detail more often. Bathroom is cleaned regularly, but would need more cleaning in detail to get rid of the mould on the wall. Shower curtains should also be changed more often. 
Overall we had a great stay and highly recommend this hostel to everibody spending some time in Beijing!

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Sofquipeut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 17, 2013

This is a really good hostel. We had a twin room with a private bathroom. The room and bathroom were very clean and the beds were comfortable. I was quite happy with the security of the property. It felt very safe and secure.

The hostel is well located for tianamen square, the forbidden palace as well as great places to eat and drink. It is also convenient for bus and metro.

Tip: let the hostel book excursions, especially to the great wall. Go to the jingshalin section of the wall. It is a full day trip, but is much better than closer sections of the wall.

The staff and owner speak good english.

Only negative which is pretty trivial, was that the internet was rather flakey.

Happily recommend this hostel and would stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank DanC-in-USA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

This place has friendly staff and is located right next to Jingshan Park, some lakes, and the Forbidden City--although only the South gate entrance to the Forbidden City was open when we tried to visit which meant that we had to walk further than anticipated from the hostel.

The hostel food was really good value--15 vegetarian (or pork) dumplings for 15 Yuan and 3 Yuan for a large bottle of beer--and quick to be made, so we ended up eating-in for most of our four nights here.

We had roommates up talking late with the lights on during the first night when we were trying to sleep, but otherwise people were respectful. Sharing a single room with shower/toilet with up to 8 people meant that some patience was often required in the mornings and that the floor would be wet if you weren't first in.

The common area is well laid out and comfortable.

We booked a Great Wall trip through the hostel (the three hour drive plus hiking trip) for 225 Yuan pp (not including the 65 Yuan entrance fee to the Wall). This went smoothly, except that the hostel had apparently forgotten to tell the guide we wanted vegetarian breakfast. Luckily, the guide was nice enough to find us some vegetarian street food, which looked nicer than the McDonalds breakfast everyone else had.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank James_B165_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

I stayed in City Walls in April 2011, this review is long overdue. But I still remember that this gem of a place found in the middle of a hutong near Forbidden City is something I didn’t expect to see in booming Beijing. It was a feel of old China that I was looking for despite being in such an urban setting. The place is also close to two parks which allowed me to see the Forbidden City from a unique vantage point. The courtyard house set-up allowed me and my friends to meet other travelers. Rick was helpful in giving us tips where to go in the area. As soon as we arrived, he briefed us on our surroundings and gave us a map of the place. Finding the place is a bit of a challenge though, but just follow Rick’s helpful directions and you’ll find our way.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Nikki Lou B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

Our 1st trip to China involved a long couple of flights and a very late arrival in Beijing. What a relief to find this hostel at the end of the process. It is not perfect but that is part of the charm. The staff were friendly and helpful. The bedroom was as comfortable (more so) than to be expected at this price point. The atmosphere was peaceful and relaxing. It is within walking distance of many of the main attractions. If you want a traditional "hutong" courtyard hotel experience this is the one.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank FRASER C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

While the place IS very difficult to find, and the rooms are small, it is such a wonderful experience that one can overlook all of that. The hosts are incredibly friendly and helpful, the dining/general/lounge area is fantastic to meet people and swop stories and the location is great.

Other positives:
- food is available and is inexpensive and tasty
- the hosts are concerned and will go out of their way to help
- the rooms were neat and clean

Some negatives - but it didn't spoil the trip
- our airconditioner remote broke and the supplier was taking a long time to fix it. We had to switch it on and off manually. The switch was very high up so I had to use a coat stand to pull out and push in the plug! So we only had a choice of Arctic or tropical - nothing in between...
- no cupboards to store anything and not much space on the floor for suitcases
- not enough loo paper if one has a dodgy stomach...!


Would go back!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Maxi_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

We stayed here in May 2013 for 6 nights on the way to Europe. The hostel is located in a hutong area not far from the Forbidden City and is very centrally located to get to many of the sights of Beijing. Hutongs are the old single story dwellings located in a maze of alleyways that are vehicle free and very peaceful in such a busy and crowded city. It is a unique experience to stay in a location like this and gives you an insight into the old China that is rapidly changing to massive high rise apartments. The entrance to the hostel is very unassuming from the little alleyway so don't be put off. It leads you into an area that would formally have been a central courtyard with small dwellings facing onto it. The courtyard is now covered to form the central communal area of the hostel with the dwellings now individual rooms with en-suite facing onto it. The staff are very friendly and helpful and on arrival supply you with a number of very detailed sheets outling just about everything you want to know as a newcomer to the city with listings of all the local attractions, places to eat, metro and bus details etc. We were a little apprehensive at first about the thought of using the metro in Beijing but it is incredibly good, cheap and easy to use partly due to the influence of the Olympics with all signage being bi-lingual and detailed moving displays in the train carriages so you always know where you are and where to get off. I wish our trains at home were as good. There are plenty of opportunities to eat out and we took our hosts recommendation for a local Peking Duck restaurant and weren't disappointed but the hostel has very good food at reasonable prices so we ate in a lot. We relied on Tripadvisor to select this accommodation and would not hesitate to go back there if we ever return to Beijing.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MJxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 #6 of 984 Specialty Lodging in Beijing
Price Range: $26 - $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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