Kellys is the place if you want great value for your money. I enjoyed staying there because it did not have the typical touristy/expat vibe and/or overtly tacky Chinese decor for tourists who want to experience the "real" China. In my opinion, it's perfect for the yuppie on a budget, the older flashpacker, or travelers who want to feel "at home".
Interior: The courtyard is tastefully decorated with a small fountain and Chinese wooden furniture; my Mom even spotted an antique chair. There are also books and guidebooks you can browse/read in the common area. The bedroom we were in had a vineyard countryside feel to it. Really nice.
Location: It's in a no-fuss hutong in the shopping and financial area of Xidan so banks and ATMs are not a shortage.
It is also a 5-7 min walk to the Xisi Metro (closer to Xisi than Lingjing station) that runs quickly through essential lines you need to access the main tourist points.
Unlike in the Dongsi hutongs, where the main road is mostly boutiques, there are plenty of good quality local food choices on the main road. A little further walk (or a metro stop away) by the row of malls are plenty of Western, various Chinese, Japanese, Korean & Thai restaurants.
As mentioned in a previous post, the hutong (alley) may look dodgy upon entering Bingmasi as there is a food stall with street sitting and a recycling stall at the entrance but it is completely safe.
Also, if you're taking a cab, don't expect to be dropped off at Kellys door (like we did). Cars don't fit into many hutongs, you have to walk a few meters from the corner of Bingmasi hutong and Xiaoyuan.
Service: The service offered by John (Bob was on holiday) and other staff members were impeccable. It starts even before your arrival. They send a map and if you exactly follow the map they email you upon booking, you/your cab won't get lost. When we were not yet at the hotel much later than the time we indicated, John called to check in on us and also talked to our cab driver to make sure we don't get lost.
Since we checked-in past dinner time, John asked us if we've had dinner and if we would like to order food from a nearby restaurant that delivers. He arranged everything for us! The food was also very affordable and quite okay.
John also arranged a car for us to take to Mutianyu Great Wall. For us to save costs, he even asked other guests who may be interested to go to Mutianyu. We shared the car with two other guests.
If you ask John any question, he'll be happy to answer and give you a tip. The staff also always greets you. Kellys makes you feel like a guest in a very hospitable home.
Room for improvement:
The beds we had can be a bit sturdier, which is a common issue you'll read about many Chinese accommodations.
If you want to avoid hearing the neighbours request for the inner rooms. The neighbours are not constantly noisy, but if you're in one of the 3 rooms facing the hutong you'll hear an occasional conversation or two when people are outside their homes. Though this actually makes you feel you really are in someone's home.
If these don't bother you, Kellys is highly recommended especially if you're on a budget!
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- Also Known As:
- Kellys Courtyard Hotel Beijing
- Courtyard Hotel Beijing