I stayed here with my daughter for a few nights from 24th December - if you really want an authentic Beijing experience at a wonderful hotel, then look no further and stay here.
First, the location is fabulous. We really enjoyed our Hutong. Once you left the main road for the short walk through the street of the Hutong, you really felt transformed into another world. We enjoyed the bustle, the people on bicycles, and then you arrive at the hotel - just magic. The hotel is in a fantastic position - in a Hutong filled with character, but 3-4 minutes walk from a main road and a metro. What could be better? And why would you stay at a traditional Western hotel when you can stay here?
The grounds are wonderful, and when you enter the building and get to the shared space on the first floor, you feel immediately relaxed and at home. The room we stayed in was lovely - ideally finished, great beds and bathroom. Pity we had to leave.
The staff were exceptionally helpful. We asked for the address of a local vegetarian restaurant - three people behind the desk then proceeded to research the issue, draw maps, provide guidance, and we ended up at a great restaurant we did not know existed.
The only gripe I do have is that the hotel will provide free breakfast and a free hotel pickup if you book with them directly. Now we had book our trip through a travel agent because of complicated flights. We had no choice. And the travel agent used Expedia. So we had to pay approx $20 each for breakfast and a reasonable amount for the airport pickup (approx $60). The issue for us is that, because of various dietary requirements, breakfast is a very important meal for us - especially having a buffet with choice. And we wanted an airport pickup as we walked off a long flight (15 hours) late at night.So because we had booked through our travel agent, we ended up paying 4 x $40 + $60 = $220 more than if we had booked directly. When I raised this through the hotel via email before coming, I was told that I would have to cancel the booking and rebook directly. However the Expedia booking is not mine really, but the travel agent's! So it would be a whole process for Expedia to refund the monies to the agent, and the agent to refund the funds to us, and then to ensure we had a booking made directly. So I left it as it was and paid the additional. I think this is a real problem as it coloured our stay - we paid $220 more than the next person at this hotel just because we used a travel agent. We raised this again when we checked in, but the hotel staff said we had booked without breakfast so those were the rules!
I think this is an issue you need to be aware of, and the hotel needs to reconsider, as penalising people a substantial amount of money because they used a travel agent I believe is not fair. It just makes your stay less enjoyable because you are resentful.
Overall, this hotel does indeed deserve the #1 position on Tripadvisor if they address this issue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Red Wall Garden Boutique Hotel Beijing is an oasis of tranquility in the very heart of the vibrant city of Beijing, located in one of the old Beijing historic neighborhoods: Shijia Hutong, a lovely tree-lined, low-rise lane. The hotel is within walking distance to the Forbidden City, the famous shopping streets of Wangfujing & Jinbao in Dong Cheng, the central district of Beijing. The Red Wall Garden Hotel is ideal for either work or pleasure.A traditional Chinese courtyard hotel, invoking the past,yet with modern facilities; a subtle blend of ancient Asian esthetic with a modern spirit; offers 40 individually appointed guest rooms, featuring ultra luxury DUX beds, wooden flooring, en-suite bathrooms and amenities such as large flat screen TV, complimentary WIFI ( throughout the hotel) and mini-bar. All rooms have air-conditioning & heater.Besides The Red Wall Garden Restaurant serving mainly classic Chinese cuisine the hotel also features a popular cozy lounge/bar overlooking the beautiful courtyard, which is the centerpiece of the hotel. Here guests can try Beijing street food creatively interpreted by the executive chef, enjoy a drink or simply relax. The Red Wall Garden Hotel often features live cultural, music and art performances.Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s in-house car service, to explore the city, the Great Wall , or hop on to one of our bicycles or rickshaw to stroll through the hutongs and perhaps enjoy a Chinese massage in the treatment room after a long day of sightseeing or a hard day’s work. Our warm friendly english speaking staff awaits you."The Red Wall Garden Hotel Boutique Experience" : emotionally connects our guests with the intense desire for all things historical, cultural and artistic to experience the true lifestyle of authentic and historic Beijing. ... more less
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