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“Perfect Little Getaway In The Centre Of The City”
Review of The Orchid Hotel

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The Orchid Hotel
Ranked #35 of 6,531 Hotels in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We actually live in Beijing but were looking for a nice place to spend a weekend and celebrate Chinese New Year. We'd heard good things about The Orchid from visiting friends and family and thought we'd give it a go. It certainly didn't disappoint. Charming little courtyard hotel with lots of character and personal touches as well as very friendly and accommodating staff. Our room was small but lovely, very clean, and fully kitted out with a networked entertainment system.

The hotel itself is in the middle of Dong Cheng district which is where many of Beijing's traditional courtyards still exist. A great place from which to start exploring the city, especially if you are interested in seeing some of the day to day workings of traditional Beijing life.

The owners of The Orchid did a fantastic job of maintaining the traditional SiHeYuan style whilst providing luxurious and modern accommodation. I will certainly recommend this hotel to future visiting friends and family.

Room Tip: If you are willing to spend a couple hundred extra RMB, the private courtyard rooms are definitely w...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank WangAmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 10, 2013

Great little hotel tucked away down a side ally in the Huntongs. The location is very much part of the charm. Step out of the door and at the end of the ally is real, local, residential Beijing. Narrow streets and lane, people, bikes, cars. Lot's of shops; restaurants and cafes. The nearby Gulou East St seems to be becoming a bit of a musicians area with musical instrument shops and record shops scattered around.

Tianenmen Square is a 45 minute walk though it's all quite interesting and doesn't seem like a chore. The Line 5 Underground station is 5 to 10 minutes walk away. Every journey cost 20 RMB (0.20 GBP) so it's cheap, comprehensive and easy to use.

The hotel is small, 8 to 10 rooms. Serves breakfast but no other meals. There is a little bar with a nice selection of beers and wines.

Rooms are not huge but well presented and all are slightly different. We were there in February and a burst pipe caused some damage to one of our rooms (a change of room was arranged) and the constant dripping noise disturbed sleep for three nights in the other. The problem was fixed on the Monday morning but should probably have been addressed sooner for the sake of both the guests and the fabric of the building.

It's a great little place to which we will return next year. Not cheap for what it is (Some of the major chains can be booked for similar prices) but it offers a different and enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Achilles_F12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

My first review was too large and had too much in it so I have to do another!

The Orchid is TERRIFIC and I can't see how a couple or small group would not simply adore this place. Has all the Chinese charm you would dream of for staying some nights in Beijing - and the added plus of it being run by a Canadian - makes it perfect.

The Orchid is really, in our opinion, perfectly situated for a tourist in Beijing. So much to see in the ancient Hutong area that it is located in. Anything else is an easy metro ride away or a taxi ride if you prefer that. Joel the owner is very knowledgeable and you should not want for anything.

We stayed for 5 nights in September in the Yang Room. Can't imagine a better room than this at the hotel. This is the room that has a roof top terrace and that should explain why this room is so special. Your own private roof top terrace in the ancient Hutong area of Beijing. Simply - cool.

We were there in our plush bathrobes early in the morning or in the evening/night after a day in Beijing and after a cool shower. Spectacular. The room is simple and comfortable for two and had everything you could want. We brought cheap flip flips to wear in "all" the showers while in China and we think that is just good common sense for a warm foreign climate. It was recommended to us and we further that recommendation. The room has no one above and no one next to you and in our opinion is the best room at The Orchid. The breakfasts are fantastic and the service was impeccable. Truly well done. The Orchid itself is just lovely - a tucked away oasis and quiet and clean and interesting and unforgettable. Has all the Western necessities and the views from its rooftops are magical. We felt so lucky to be at The Orchid as compared to a typical high rise hotel in some other busy and loud part of Beijing. This is a gem and I say that in all honesty.

The area the hotel is in is an amazing area with ancient history at every turn. It is safe and full of families and babies playing and children and culture galore. We were never worried about anything - day or night. The Hutong has a vibrant feel and a legendary vibe. The Orchid is right in the middle with famous sights all around including the Drum and Bell Tower and also The Hutong Cooking school. Everything you might need is nearby. Our Hutong tour on the bikes was a blast and we must recommend Yo Yo who speaks English: http://www.synotrip.com/yoyo-wang or: namewangya@163.com. She knows where the Orchid is and takes you around all the area around the hotel and teaches you about its history.

The hotel arranged for us a private mini van to come and get us at the airport and to return us to the airport. Worked perfectly. We also used the hotels connections to arrange a private mini van to The Great Wall and that was good too. On the way back we were dropped off at the Silk Market and took the subway back to The Orchid.

The subway is about a 10-15 min walk through the Hutong and is safe day or night and easily navigated. From there we went everywhere and saw everything.

The Orchid was a refreshing oasis for us after a day of sights or a night of shopping. Perfectly quiet and well appointed and just what someone is looking for. The price cannot be beat and you are not a number - you are a guest. There is a lovely bar onsite and sitting areas and the breakfast is phenomenal really.

We do not have one negative thing to say about this boutique one of a kind hotel and if you want to feel like you are in China, but you want to feel comfortable and be well located - pick The Orchid. That's why it is rated #2 on TripAdvisor. Because it delivers without breaking the bank.

We miss it and highly recommend it. It made our visit to Beijing fantastic and was a great spring board for the rest of our trip around China all on our own. You gotta eat at Mr. Shi's Dumplings across the street from The Orchid.

Thank you Joel and staff and thank you for making a perfect place for guests in Beijing.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank travelsoothesthesoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Nikki M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Pottgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Dorylicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank BWWblaxx
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

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 #35 of 6,531 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range: $120 - $222 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Orchid Hotel 4*
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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