If you like modern 'glass & brass' hotels, this is definitely not for you - if you like lots of character and charm and an old world feel then you're in the right place.
We booked this hotel entirely on Trip Advisor recommendations and we were not disappointed, although I really couldn't see why it would be number one in Beijing - it's very good and should be in the top ratings but I can't see everyone appreciating it's charm.
We were lucky to be upgraded to a very spacious room on the 2nd floor - great, except for the 3 flights of stairs which needed to be climbed - luckily they porter lugged the heavy cases, as there is no lift. The room had a king size comfortable bed and lots of antique lacquered furniture; also a bar fridge, heating (windows were also openable), a couch and loads of space for luggage.
The bathroom was reasonably modern; no bath, but a huge walk in double shower.
The walls of the hotel are not thick and the floor boards are not carpeted so it was possible to hear other guests arriving in late at night or leaving early in the morning. Didn't cause us much distress however - we were more aware of the loud music coming from a nearby local school, which obviously does Tai Chi classes at about 7am each morning!
After a bit of searching, my husband found 3 channels transmitting in English, including CNN, but they did sometimes 'freeze' - perhaps the Govt didn't like what was being broadcast.
Couldn't get wifi working so the hotel sent their IT guy up to the room and we plugged the laptop into their connection - worked fine then - however, no Facebook - banned in China apparently...
Only had breakfast on one of the 4 mornings we spent there - not particularly good value at about $20 per person for tea, toast, fruit, egg and bacon - lots of other selections of Asian style breakfast if you're adventurous!
The staff were excellent - spoke great English and couldn't do enough to help, They organized a tour guide for us when we arrived, to visit the Great Wall and Summer Palace. However, the guide, Alice, proved to not know much at all and even went to sleep on the way back - she told us very little and didn't even know how long the wall was!! Her driver, Peter, seemed to know more. Not that any of that was the hotel's fault.
The hutong location is tucked away in a little narrow back street and apparently the taxis don't much like coming down there, so we walked a fair amount of the time (better for the waistline anyway) and found the local station only 5 mins away - it was very easy to use and ridiculously cheap.
We would definitely recommend this hotel, but would caution that it's not for everyone...
- 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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