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“Great character!”
Review of The Orchid Hotel

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The Orchid Hotel
Ranked #23 of 6,473 Hotels in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Buderim, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great character!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

After travelling from Russia to Beijing, this place was an amazing oasis right in the middle of the fabulous alleyways in the hutong area. Our room was fantastic, the breakfast delicious, the service wonderful with all staff being very attentive. The staff provided us with some great local knowledge, allowed us to borrow their push bikes to get around and told us of some very hidden gems of restaurants - a real treat for my vegetarian husband. Their website gave great directions how to find your way there (although our taxi driver did get initially lost). We would highly recommend The Orchid and you'd be hard pressed to fault it.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jenny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level Contributor
35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Overall we did have a nice stay in The Orchid and the location is great. You get to feel like you are living in the real Beijing whilst still having the luxuries of a nice hotel! I’ll start with the good points the biggest of which has to be the location; pretty central Beijing with very easy access to the big sites and close to the metro to get anywhere (the metro is really easy to use and very cheap so I highly recommend it – even for getting to and from the airport)! Next the rooms are nice, on the small side but perfectly adequate, and are nicely decorated to make them feel as light and airy as possible. As The Orchid say on their website the hotel is very quiet compared to the outside Hutong lanes so you do feel like you have escaped the bustle of the outside world once you have stepped through the door.

Now for the negatives; I’ll leave the ones that are hopefully specific to our stay till last.

Whilst the hotel is insulated from the noise of Beijing the rooms are not very well insulated from the noise of the hotel – if people are talking in the courtyard or on the terrace they are easily heard in the rooms. This wasn’t a big deal whilst we stayed as it was cold and people tended not to linger outside but I can see this would be very annoying in the summer.

The website makes a big deal about the underfloor heating in the rooms; this is very effective but doesn’t seem to be controllable; we had room 10 for most of our stay and altering the room thermostat didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the room temperature (even turning the thermostat down to 15oC in the morning and seeing what had happened by the evening).

The hotel also makes a big deal about their Apple TV’s; this is a fairly good system when the movie you want to watch works. But what really annoyed me was the fact that the movies obviously came from a questionable source and whilst watching some you were regularly reminded of this.

Whilst the staff were normally very helpful I do have a couple of negative points; one being that when asked about options for going to see the Great Wall everything they proposed was on the pricey side (in the end we booked a tour through a local hostel and it was less than a third of the price, very well organised and only a small group). Also when we went on our great wall trip we asked if they could arrange some early breakfast items for us (it says they can on the menu) and this was a major dilemma for them like no one had asked before. In the end what we got was some sliced bread and some fruit – not great. Things did improve a little on this front on our last day when we had to leave early for the airport they actually offered to get some stuff ready for us when we paid our bill the night before. This time we got some banana bread and fruit – better but not great. Also on the banana bread front whilst this is very nice it is a little boring everyday as it was served as the breakfast pasteries.

Ok finally the problems that were hopefully specific to our stay. First we arranged a train station pick up – well this failed totally. The hotel sent the driver to the wrong station (they acknowledged this was there mistake) and when I rang to find out where the driver was they kept asking where I was and asking me to wait till the driver found me. In the end after an hour at the station we gave up and caught a taxis ourselves. Not the relaxed easy arrival I had planned and arranged. When we arrived at the hotel our welcome was not really filled with apologies for this mistake on their part.

Next up we had booked a garden room and we got this but there was a terrible buzzing noise in the room; like there was a fridge / aircon compressor running in the room. They must have known about this as it was very evident when in the room. So after one night we complained and were move to room 10 (Ying or Yang). This room fortunately free of the buzzing noise and far more peaceful.

Finally the last problem was the hot water. For two days when in room 10 the hot water was at best luke warm. We told reception about this but the problem persisted for over 24hours meaning we had to have two days of colder than wished for showers.

One last thing for the hotel owners – you have random bits of stuff (cardboard boxes, paint cans) stored in public areas in the hotel courtyard and terraces why don’t you clear that away to make the place feel that much nicer.

Ok so a quick wrap up; overall we had a nice stay at The Orchid but the stay was badly marred by a few incidents. I would recommend the hotel because of the great location and the experience of staying in the Hutong over a modern hotel chain; but the place isn’t as perfect as the website leads you to believe.

Room Tip: The Ying and Yang rooms are above the court yard so a little quieter as long as now one is on the up...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simsbsims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

What a hidden gem. This is a place to stay in Beijing that should not be missed. Very tidy, warm comfortable rooms. Staff are a mix of locals and expats. All speak perfect English and Mandarin. Location is wry central with local restaurants at your doorstep and some fantastic examples of high end Chinese within a $10aus cab ride. A hidden oasis of pure bliss within a very busy dirty city. I will 100% stay at The Orchid next time I'm in Beijing.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lasi1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WangAmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alderney, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Achilles_F12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
68 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelsoothesthesoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodland, California, United States
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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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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 6,473 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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