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“Modern, cozy, feels like home, hotel!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Orchid Hotel

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The Orchid Hotel
Ranked #23 of 6,165 Hotels in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Woodland, California, United States
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Modern, cozy, feels like home, hotel!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

We booked this hotel solely off of Trip Advisor reviews. It did not disappoint! Our room was the Yang room and it was just perfect. Once the heater was going and we'd had hot showers to warm ourselves up after a long day of outdoor tours in 18 degree temps (F), we needed it! Both nights we spent time in the lobby/bar enjoying wine/beer and chatting with the owner, employees and other guests. It was super relaxing and even the cats found their way to our laps. We enjoyed wandering the street and taking up restaurant recommendations (Mr. Shi's & Southern Barbarian), and had a wonderful time! Our tour company was called "Stretch-A-Leg Travel" and was excellent as well!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nikki M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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448 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
Date | Rating
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English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

The first praise has to go to The Orchid's staff, who went out of their way to make us feel welcome and help us make the most of our stay. This started with being greated by our first names from day one when we arrived. It also included help with arrangements for drivers, train tickets etc and also meant we were offered free hot drinks when we came in from the cold.

Our room was on the ground floor, with a view of the courtyard, which was green and, towards the end, white, as we were lucky enough to experience Beijing in the snow. The big bed was great, the shower even better, and the wifi comes via its own VPN, so if you use it, the Great Firewall isn't an issue.

The Apple tv in the room was a nice touch, but the times that we tried it, it kept disconnecting a few minutes into whatever we were watching. We didn't bring this up with reception, though, as we were out and about most of the time anyway. There's also a bottomless fruit bowl in your room and breakfast is delicous - with a wonderfull view over hutong roofs.

All in all, the contrast between the bustling alley outside and the peaceful hotel atmosphere couldn't be greater. We'd definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Even the most affordable ones are still really nice.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pottgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
95 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

I would describe this hotel to be very cosy and homely - I would love to have my home decorated in this way, lots of wooden surfaces and quirky furnishings and decor. We travelled as two couples and opted for the Garden rooms each and we did not regret it. It was relatively spacious compared to some hotels I've stayed in large dense cities like Paris and Hong Kong. The rooms were cleaned every day and replaced the complimentary fruit even if we had not touched it. They have a small bar/lounge/library/games room/lobby area where you can do all those things, visitors liked to hang out here with the staff as they were so friendly. We had a chat with the owners and it felt like talking to old friends. Now and then you would see their two laid back cats lounging about, it really felt like a home.
In terms of location, it was right in the hutong area so there's little eateries, people on their bikes, close to the Drum Towers, walkable to a subway (about 10 or so minutes), a straight bus down to The Forbidden City and across the road from Mr Shi's Dumplings, one of "legends" in Beijing dumplings - best of all you can order it from the hotel and get it delivered. The staff are great as they would offer to plate it up for you so you can have it in your room or in their breakfast parlour. Speaking of breakfast, you get a great menu, I would highly recommend the one with the szechuan bacon, if you're more of a sweet tooth person the pancakes are great too.
One thing we realised Beijing was its sheer scale, it takes time to get from place to place. Furthermore taxis were impossible to get unless they were ripping us off six-fold, to save time and pain I would recommend planning your days by working around locations according to the subway or hire a private driver from the hotel. If you are travelling in a group this works out even better as it is charged by car not per person.
One last tip is that when you first get to the hotel for the first time you won't see The Orchid anywhere as it is hidden in a tiny alley (Don't worry it really is a hidden gem) so tell the driver to find Mr Shi's Dumplings and it is really across the road in a tiny alley and at the end of it you will see sign "The Orchid" on a white board - and yes, you can see it from the main street so don't walk down some weird alleyway if you don't see the sign at the end of it. Alternatively you can call the staff and ask them to come out to the main road to greet you which is what they did for us.
If you're looking for 5 star hotel facilities you're not going to get it here, but if you want honest hospitality and a place that feels more like a home rather than some generic hotel chain this is definitely it. We loved our stay here!

Room Tip: I noticed there were rooms in the middle of the courtyard where we could see into, not advised to ch...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dorylicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary. AB
Level Contributor
32 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

In short, this is the perfect place to stay if you'd like to be immersed in old Beijing, and also be close to major tourist spots and authentic delicious food.

The rooms are big, the bed is extra comfy, the rain shower perfect - with views of amazing Chinese roof tops, you can't beat that. The staff can't be friendlier. Kudos to Lu, who made our visit extra special. She was so helpful and nice, she even offered to go with us to the market! Take advantage of their tours, they are reliable and organize everything for you. Don't miss having dumplings at Mr. Shi's across the street.

Their breakfast is incredible, don't miss it. They also have an itunes collection of hundreds of recorded movies in English.

Sure, getting there might be intimdating. Once you leave, you won't be sorry for this combination of comfort and authenticity.

Room Tip: The rooms upstairs are isolated and quiet.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BWWblaxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

I say ditto because my review will probably just echo some of the previous positive reviews of this quaint little hotel.
En-route to the hotel there are many things that go through your mind (where are we? the area looks shady, have we made the right choice? If this is what the surrounds look like, what is the hotel going to be like? Etc). But don't worry. The surrounds, although worrying to begin with, are actually just part and parcel of the quirky hutong that the Orchid is situated in.
The Orchid is quite tricky to find as it is in a slightly dodgy-looking side ally (also known as a hutong) off the Main Street (specifically Baochao Hutong). The the entrance is in a further narrow ally diagonally across from a small restaurant called Mr Shi's Dumplings.
When entering the Orchid you get a welcomed surprise with a quaint modern-type entrance with small sitting-room and bar. There is wifi throughout the hotel and if you require there is a computer available with Internet access.
The courtyard leads to the various rooms and is very pretty and cosy. We were there while it was snowing and so it looked quite romantic.
We were in room 10 which is either the Yin or Yang room (one of the larger rooms). In a previous review I read, someone said to choose a larger room as they come with better views. Well this one had its own private balcony. While we didn't use it, as it was about -8 degrees or so, it was a lovely option.
The breakfast nook is really lovely and comfortable with beautiful views of the neighbouring buildings rooftops. In the summer you can sit outside under umbrellas. The breakfast options were fantastic. I suggest "Cake for Breakfast" which was lovely pancakes with fruit and homemade syrup.
The staff were very friendly (Lou was very helpful). A suggestion is to ask the staff what nice areas there are to visit and places in and around the neighbouring Hutongs to see. Unfortunately we only found a busy Hutong off the Main Street on our last night, where there were a few bars and interesting stores and restaurants (including a nice modern Korean restaurant), and weren't really able to explore much. So ask for directions to this area especially, you will be sorry you missed it.
If you consider going in winter ask for an extra blanket as the heating in the rooms is not that great.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Ailalay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theorchidbeijing, Owner at The Orchid Hotel, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Thanks for the interesting and detailed review!

As much as we love Beijing, coming here when you did took unusual guts. A colder winter hasn't been felt in 30 years, or so they say. Particularly late December 2012 when you were around. Our heating system simultaneously took a few blows and was in constant recovery mode.

As a result we have since added new insulation layers to the Yang room (the one with the private terrace) and a few others, as well as backup heaters for anyone wanting a bit of extra heat. And since this major upgrade Beijing has warmed up significantly, of course, but we will be better prepared next time around.

See you next Spring!

Joel S
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hampshire
Level Contributor
52 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

I have just come away from the orchid with very mixed feelings - on the plus side the location is fantastic right in the middle of a working hutong so you just go out the door and are immersed in sights sounds and smells of the real Beijing - easy to walk to subway plus can walk to forbidden city in about 30 mins - if that.
Another plus was the staff who were all really friendly and helpful:)
Downsides - and sorry, there are some-

Breakfast was really only so so and I ended up having toast most mornings
I stayed in lookout room with fabulous view if bell and drum Towers but bathroom had a really unpleasant smell if door kept shut plus plasterwork in ceiling had fallen in and needed replacing. This room is also by the laundry and one night at about 1030pm they decided to do some laundry - the noise of the extractor fan woke me
Cats roam in public areas so be warned if you have allergies which I do
Apple TV is a real boon - why doesn't everywhere have it? But being china it trips up every 2 hours and you have to ring down for the team to give it a kick
Would I go back? Probably not to the orchid but most definitely to another hutong style hotek

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gpd34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theorchidbeijing, Owner at The Orchid Hotel, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Thanks for the detailed review and both the positive and negative feedback.
I'll comment quick on a few of the details that caused problems for you:

1) Bathroom ceiling, indeed, it's China and it has taken many iterations of materials to find something that is stable. Generally when something like this becomes a problem we fix it immediately, so I'm sorry this appears to have been overlooked when you were here. All good now, however.

2) Breakfast being so so. Well you are the first to mention this. Since you say you had toast on most days I must feel this is related to that specific part of the breakfast. I'd hesitate to think our cheese or jam is the problem, so it can only leave the bread. We offer unlimited toast for any guests, whether they order this breakfast or not. Based on your comments I've revisited this part of the breakfast and switched entirely to the local breads that we use for the other breakfast items. We are all for going local .. and all that!

3) Laundry in the middle of the night? I'm not sure what that's about. There is in fact a small storage area near the Lookout room, however it mostly contains clothing, extra toothbrushes and coffee beans (in separate bins). I can't imagine what could have caused the noise you described, but we do try to keep whatever we do as quiet as possible.

4) AppleTV. You are right, all hotels should have this. It's the best and coolest reason to never leave your room that I'm allowed to write about. It has indeed been through many ups and downs especially during the time you were here. This is a difficult part of the hotel to debug, since we are the only ones apparently doing it, and the feature is a bit of a hack to begin with. Nevertheless, ditching our China-store bought flaky equipment for our new quad-core mega server seems to have got the problem in check! Now we can stream Fawlty Towers 24/7.

I hope that sums it up and I really do appreciate hearing from our guests about areas of the hotel that need work. When our guests stay in other hotels prior to arriving at the Orchid, they begin to fully appreciate how far ahead we are in terms of both service, amenities and general way of thinking. You can certainly try another hutong hotel on your next future visit just as you mentioned, and we of course will love having you back the next day!

That being said, detailed comments such as yours made by guests that have not visited other hotels in Beijing is exactly what we want to hear. We strive to be the best on a global scale, and not simply far ahead in Beijing alone. For that we are mostly aware of how much work is needed, but from time to time need reminding!!

Thanks once again, and see you soon back in Beijing!

Joel S
Orchid Hotel
Assistant IT manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

This is a gem of a boutique hotel that fills a nitch & perfectly done, a blend of modern with older features retained. Fantastic location if you like wandering hutongs & local neighborhoods like we do. It's a 15 to 20 minute walk to the nearest subway station but that will change later when nearer stations will open on the new line.

We stayed in the Yin room which was a very good size for a hutong hotel. Beds are very comfy but can be a bit soft if you are used to harder ones. Lovely bathrooms with piping hot water. The climate control in the room was for aircon only for the warmer months. Heating is supplied by underfloor heating only. Being December it's very cold & only just managed to heat the room. If you are not opening & closing the door it stays warm.
Apple TV is a nice touch. Bottles of water, fresh fruit & lovely flavored tea is supplied. Wifi was slow & kept cutting out sometimes at the time of our stay. The Yin Room included a small private courtyard area which was too cold during December to take advantage of, but would be nice in the warmer months.

Breakfast is incredibly well done & thoughtfull. There are some lovely choices all served in an upstars room with lots of character.

We come to Beijing often & The Orchid will now become a firm favorite. After a busy day its nice to relax over a glass of wine in lounge/bar area - it feels more like you are visiting someones home & its very cosy and relaxed feeling.
The staff deserve a standing ovation. They bend over backwards to help you and are very warm & welcoming.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank annieandhamish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Orchid Hotel

Property: The Orchid Hotel
Address: No.65 Baochao Hutong, Gulou East Street, Beijing 100009, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Beijing > Houhai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 6,165 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Orchid is the ultimate base for exploring Beijing from within. Situated right in the middle of all the action of the old city and staffed by some of the coolest and fun people, staying at The Orchid means you will love Beijing, and want to come back for more! ... more   less 
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