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“What an amazing experience!”

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Han's Royal Garden Hotel
Ranked #141 of 6,520 Hotels in Beijing
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What an amazing experience!”
Reviewed July 22, 2010

My family absolutely loved this hotel. Traveling with young children is always a challenge yet this hotel had everything we needed and wanted. Tucked away in an amazing Hutong, this hotel gives you a sense that you have stumbled upon something amazing. The rooms were meticulously cleaned and beautifully decorated. We enjoyed a delicious dinner in the restaurant and didn't find it any more expensive than other 5 star hotel restaurants we dined in during our trip.

The staff were exceptional and we felt that no request or enquiry was a problem. We experienced no language barriers at all and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of the staff members during our stay.

The children were occupied by exploring the beautiful grounds, feeding the fish in the ponds and watching the flat screen TV in the bath!

The hotel is located within walking distance to shops and bars and there were a number of great places to have lunch or dinner nearby with no need to worry about a taxi.

When it was time to leave my eldest son remarked that he thought it was "one of the best hotels ever " and I have to say that I agree with him!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sjdcandidate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Manila, Philippines
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2010

My husband and I spent a weekend in Beijing for a friend’s wedding. I fell in love with Han’s royal garden the moment I saw the room pictures.


ARRIVING:
After reading reviews we were prepared for the traffic situation (It’s in the middle of the “Hutong” area, surrounded by and itself being a traditional Beijing style architecture, it’s almost impossible for taxis to find the front door through the infamous Beijing traffic, nearby pedestrian streets and all the confusing one way lanes. We strongly recommend arranged transfer for those who don’t know Beijing well or can’t speak Chinese.). We got out of the taxi on the main road, walked for two minutes and there we were. Our suitcase wasn’t heavy and it wasn’t raining so no dramas.


GENERAL:
We were pleasantly surprised to find the hotel being a member of the SLH (Small Luxury Hotel of the World). And everything about it lives up to their standards. It’s transformed from a Qing royal house, full of museum quality decorations, all the details are well attended to, instead of a regular hotel you feel like you are stepping into a luxury retreat of an old aristocrat. The building is of two stories and the rooms are spread around two well-attended traditional courtyards with ponds full of carps. While keeping the ancient style, the insides of the rooms are filled with modern facilities, giving the comfort you would at any other five star hotel. The hotel is only two minutes’ walk to one of the cutest bar and shopping street in town (Nan Luo Gu Xiang), connecting to all the central, most well-known tourist attractions, but the little side street it’s on is surprisingly quiet.

Checking in was friendly and fast. We asked for a late check out on the day of departure and unlike most other Chinese hotels, they didn’t have a problem with it at all.


DETAILS:
The most impressive thing was their bed and sheets, remarkably comfortable (again unlike most places in China), giving us two very good night sleeps.

The rooms are equipped with CD players, with connected Bose speakers in the bathroom ceiling, which was great only if they had the cable for plugging in ipods or mp3 players – I don’t reckon most travellers today still carry CDs around?
Adaptors and even card readers are provided, making life easier for business travellers.

Sony Bravia TVs – one in the room another above the bath tub.

Minibar has all the basics, a bottle of wine (which became our nightmare) but no openers.
A nice rain shower above the bathtub (no separate shower cube in our room), but no shower curtain so when you shower the water splashes all over the place.

We heard lots of good things about their restaurant (traditional royal cusine), but because of our schedule we didn’t have a chance to check it out.

We were very satisfied with everything during our stay, all the staff were friendly, always had a smile on their faces and eager to help. It didn’t seem like they were very well trained and their English skills weren’t quite perfect, but their warmth and willingness more than made up for it. They reminded us about the rain and temperature drop, and taxi orders came quickly (they would go out in the rain to the main street to get one for us).


CHECK OUT – Where the problem came!
No it’s not the check out process, the staff were helpful as always and the process itself was smooth. It was our own incident and how the management – Mr Elephant the Rooms Division Director responded to it. (It was what the name card says! No joke! If it wasn’t for his normal sounding Chinese name ‘Geng Xin’ I’d think it’s a prank!)

The last night of our stay we had a couple of friends visiting so we got into the minibar. By the time we opened the last bottle – a miniture bottle of French wine (can’t remember the vineyard details) from 2003, we realized it was completely off (yes our fault for trying to drink a 7-year-old bottle in a Chinese hotel room).
So we left the full bottle on the table, and mentioned it at the time of check out. The front desk girls went to the back office to talk to the manager – Mr Elephant, and came back to tell us that we had to pay since we opened it. We insisted that it’s not fair to charge us for something with quality issues, and Miss Front Desk went back inside. Then came back out. Then went back inside. A few times, carrying our words and Mr Elephant’s words, with an apologizing smile on her face. In the mean time we could actually hear Mr Elephant ourselves through the open office door, perfectly clear. Finally after three times of me suggesting - the last time directly addressing to Mr Elephant, that he should come out and talk to us himself since we can hear each other anyways, he sent a house keeping lady to fetch the wine - who gave us a dirty look on her way out, and came out to talk to us.

Here’s our conversation cut short:
“This kind of wine doesn’t go bad.”
“It’s wine, of course it can. It’s been sitting in your room since 03, it’s more than possible that to go off.”
“I guarantee that it hasn’t passed its expiry date.”
“Mr Elephant wine doesn’t have to expire to go off. The way you store it is more critical.”
“I’m sorry but you have to pay since you’ve opened it.”
“Well do I have to pay if I order a dish in your restaurant and you send me something rotten?”
“I guarantee you it’s not bad.”
“How about this, let’s open another bottle of the same wine, from another room of yours, and if that one is not off we’ll pay for both of them. I believe that most bottles from your same batch have the same problem.”
“Oh there’s no need for that. But it really hasn’t expired.”

And it went around in circles. I began to feel frustrated as my husband also works in the hotel industry, and we ourselves have at home two wine fridges together including around 200 bottles of wine, can’t seem to find a way to make Mr Elephant understand the meaning of wine “going off”.
Then at the end of the circus Mrs Housekeeping returned with our bottle. And Mr Elephant said:
“You have to pay since you drank it.”
“But we certainly did not! We left the full bottle in the room.” (One of our friends from the night had about 6 or 7 different kinds of liquor mixed up in him, well intoxicated by the time we opened the bottle, and even him couldn’t bring himself to gobble more than one sip.)
“Then you shouldn’t have poured it out! You should’ve called me right at the moment!”
“Oh Mr Elephant, it was 2am! Touch your heart and say that you would’ve got up! Besides we did not pour it out, we left the full bottle on the table!” (We did make a call to ask for an opener before we forced the cork into the bottle, but the answer was that the restaurant was closed long time ago, there was nothing they could do.)

At this time we looked at the bottle Mrs Housekeeping brought, and realized that indeed it was the same bottle we opened, with the cork pushed in, but there wasn’t one drop of wine inside.
“Then where’s the wine?” Mr Elephant asked.
My husband and I looked at each other, making sure again neither of us poured the wine out. Then we turned to look at Mrs Housekeeping, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“We really didn’t drink or pour out the wine. Are you calling us liars? We don’t know what happened to it but maybe you should ask Mrs Housekeeping.” I was a little on edge by this time – we drank and paid for over 600rmb’s worth of Minibar drinks, which was the full alcohol content of their minibar. Despite the fact hotel minibars charge 5 times more then what’s worth, even though it’s not that much in total, why would we try to get away with one 134rmb bottle?

Then Mr Elephant finally agreed with us and walked out of the reception towards our room to look for Mrs Housekeeping. 10 mimutes later Miss Front Desk helped us settle the bill for everything except for the wine, we had less then two hours left before our plane took off and we were still in the middle of old town Beijing, and Mr Elephant was not back. Miss front desk apologized again and started calling the housekeeping and our room, but Mr Elephant couldn’t be found at either place. Finally he was reached through his cell phone, and we were let off by writing a declaration about the wine being off.

That was the end of the incident. And thankfully our plane was late by an hour, so we didn’t miss the last flight of the day back to Macau.


OVERALL:
It was an amazing stay with Han’s Royal Garden and we loved everything, it was such a shame that Mr Elephant had completely wiped out their management image for us. The way he handle the issue was extremely unprofessional from the beginning to the end, and it’s hard to imagine that he had any kind of serious hotel management experience. My guess would be that he was a buddy of someone so he got this job. This is awfully unfortunate for their lovely staff and hardware, and I worry about the hotel’s future if people like him keep holding an important place.

But we will still stay with Han’s Royal Garden in our future Beijing trips, and we sincerely recommend the hotel to everyone. The environment and the staff are truly amazing. It will make your Beijing Stay special. We will and recommend though, that everyone stay away from the minibar (unless the wine changes), and try not to come across the management (unless Mr Elephant is gone).

Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank PukakiBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Han's Royal Garden Hotel

Property: Han's Royal Garden Hotel
Address: No.7 North Bingmasi Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009, China
Location: China > Beijing > Houhai
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #141 of 6,520 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Han's Royal Garden Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 33
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