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“Imperfect but endearing”

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Beijing International Hotel
Ranked #92 of 6,448 Hotels in Beijing
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Imperfect but endearing”
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We stayed here for 5 nights during our stay in Beijing. I'd have to agree with some of the other reviewers in that the hotel is outdated!

Our 16th-floor room was clean enough with daily room service, but the carpet (an unappetizing brown), doors, furniture, and accents were clearly worn and haven't been replaced for some time. Notably, the bathroom had no ventilation system (no fan!), so taking even a brief shower steams up the room and tends to create the perfect incubator for mold. Considering how steamy Beijing can get, I'd say this is a major con. We also had some difficulty getting the air conditioner to work, and we were never able to blast really cool air when we wanted -- however I'm not sure if that was just a fluke or us being inept at figuring the little cooling/heating button pad out. We visited in May, just before the weather becomes unbearing-ly hot and humid, so I hope ya'll have better luck with this!

Needless to say, the coolest (literally) place to be in the hotel is the downstairs lobby, where my aunt and I hung out quite a bit. There is only free wi-fi downstairs and the quality of connection was unpredictable; we'd spend at least ten minutes each time before being able to connect. It is a little disappointing that in-room wi-fi is extra charged; however I admit that it was refreshing and different to have an excuse to chillax in the lobby and watch other guests and business people come and go.

Another con for me was the gym/pool services. If you intend to work out at this hotel, be prepared to have your first workout be the successful completion of the roundabout maze you will undergo to first find the gym, which is located in the "basement". You have to take a certain staircase up to the second floor and then take a certain elevator to the basement, and then ask the staff where to go next. The gym itself is poorly ventilated (read: Stuffy!) and just the basics. The pool costs and extra 99 yuan to use. To be fair, it is a pretty nice pool.

The travel services and concierge desk staff were extremely helpful and friendly, despite the sometimes-limited English of some. They helped us arrange a day-long tour of the Badaling section of the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs for about $384 yuan per person; although our tour included the requisite stops at a huge Jade Gallery, silkworm factory, and a tea house (definite tourist traps--let me tell you, the Jade Gallery is very cleverly spatially-arranged to trap you inside with a melange of jade jewelry and sculptures), our guide was down-to-earth and did not push us to buy, although stressed that these places could at least ensure quality products.

Lastly, location. It is about a 20-30 minute walk west to Tiananmen Square, and is within 7-10 minutes walking distance of the nearest Metro Station.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank bmarie_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Calgary
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We stayed at this hotel as part of our tour. The hotel is very large. Our rooms were spacious and had been upgraded and were very comfortable. The breakfast buffet was big and varied. We had a drink in the revolving restaurant in the evening and watched the city lights. That was very enjoyable. we did not have a meal in this restaurant as it was very expensive even by North American standards. The hotel is located on a major street and there is an underground walkway that takes you to the mall acroos the street. There you can find McDonalds and Pizza Hut and Chinese Restaurants.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Irene P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london, UK
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Stayed here as part of a two week tour of China with family and it was the weakest of the 5 hotels we used. It is huge and not really my sort of property however it is in a very good central location close to train, many of the sights and subway stations. Rooms were big and spacious and fine although could do with being modernised. The ground floor/reception was being rebuilt so not ideal however staff friendly enough. The pool/spa area was OK but pretty officious with staff standing every few yards and kids pretty unnerved by pool boys picking up pants as they were getting changed. Breakfast buffet was good, big and varied however my wife and were both ill (the only time in China) and suspect it was the buffet so have mixed feelings.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank charpant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai
Level Contributor
324 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

The only reason I stayed in this hotel is because the buses for the Great Wall Marathon were leaving from here at 3am. This meant I could sleep till 2:45am and would not have to worry about catching a taxi.

This hotel is the best example of a Chinese 5-star hotel. It probably was a 5-star hotel in 1980 before there were other true global 5-star hotels around. In fact, the 4-star Crowne Plaza or 3-star Holiday Inn are several notches above this hotel. The only thing it had going for it was that it only cost $100 / night. And I guess we got what we paid for.

The inside appearance was typical for a Chinese interpretation of 'grandness' but ruined by the use of cheap materials and the usual lack of proper hygiene and maintenance. The hotel had a run-down feel everywhere for the lobby to the rooms. Everything was shabby and well-worn. My room had a very strange layout where the top of the bed (with the pillows) looked straight into the shower. The bedside table was so close to the entry door of the bathroom that I really hurt my left toe walking from the bathroom back into the bedroom. Thank goodness it was after the big run. It was sore for a full year after that.

The breakfast buffet was good for American standards where you get only bagels and jam at most hotels. But again, it does not compare to global standard 5-star hotels in China or across Asia.

So, I got what I paid for, just.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DHWShanghai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, CA
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2013

This hotel was a complete disappointment. We stayed here as part of our China Spree package which was advertised as a 4 or 5 star property...it was most definitely NOT. Our family of 4 was assigned 2 rooms on 2 separate floors and we were told that they could not do anything about it as all they were fully booked. Fortunately, we were able to trade with another couple that was also in our tour group so we were in close proximity to our kids.

Our rooms were non-smoking but it reeked of cigarette smoke AND the guests across the hall from us were smoking with their door open when we first checked in. Everything about the rooms was old and dated. It was a standard size hotel room with double beds, limited storage, mini fridge and a small bathroom. The hair dryer is attached to the wall, grout in the shower/tub was cracked and dirty and there was mildew on the shower curtain. The carpeting was dark and worn. The built-in furniture was chipped and ratty. The ventilation didn't seem like it worked well either. Being on a low floor, we did not have an attractive view from our window. The best thing about the room was the free wifi. They do provide 2 complimentary bottles of water each day. The lobby appears more updated and attractive than the rooms but can still do with a serious remodel.

The beds are hard so if it's uncomfortable, you can request additional padding. You can also get different pillows if the ones in the room are not to your liking. We just used what was in the room and it was ok for our 3-night stay.

A Vegas-style breakfast buffet is included and the food is decent and freshly prepared. It's actually a rather large selection of Asian and Western breakfast/brunch foods so I did not get bored with the variety of food available. Whole fruit is available which is convenient for taking on day trips while we were out sightseeing. The servers were mediocre in attentiveness, but they did a good job keeping all the food items replenished.

There is foreign currency machine in the lobby adjacent to the reception area if you need yuan. Also a shopping mall is conveniently located across the street which has a number of eateries and a large market good for stocking up on bottled water and snack foods. Just a short walk via the underground pass. We ate at the mall a couple of times just because we did not have time to venture anywhere else. Most of the places are very inexpensive and the food is good!

We did not get a chance to eat at any of the hotel restaurants or use their on-site amenities. Given a choice, I would not stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TigrMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

I was prepared for the worst, and this was not the worst, but it was far from good. The rooms are stuffy and smell bad. I was in a non smocking room but could smell smoke. The towels smelled strange. Everything was outdated. The restaurants in the hotel will not good. Positives: great location, twenty minutes walk from Tiananmen Square and 20 mins in the other direction from the Silk Market. It's a great facility for large conference.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank NoraLovesLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

I just spent 11 nights at the Beijing International for a work conference followed by several days of sightseeing around the area. The hotel is clean and the staff is friendly and speaks enough English to make the stay comfortable for this non-Chinese speaking guest. Breakfast, included with the room, is a large buffet breakfast filled with Asian and Western items, including omelette bar. You won't leave hungry, that is for sure. The best restaurant in the hotel is probably the Tan Restaurant on the third floor; although you should certainly check out the rooftop lounge just for the city views.

The hotel is about 30 minutes walk from Tian'an Men Square and (in the opposite direction) the Silk Market. The closest metro station is about 10 minutes walk.

Taxis are extremely hard to get in Beijing -- traffic control measures ban them from stopping during weekday business hours on busy streets, including the one the hotel is on. The staff will call and make arrangements for a cab for you, but don't expect to just jump into one from the hotel cab stand. We often had to wait 20 minutes or more at the stand without calling ahead.

The fitness room is functional, with four treadmills, free weights, a rowing machine, stair stepper and bike. There's a sauna and nice, large spa and swimming pool. You can get a 45-minute foot massage for about US $60.

There is a clean, well-stocked grocery store in the Henderson Mall across the street -- take the underground tunnel to the mall entrance, go down to B2 level and stock up on bottled water, sesame peanuts, candies, tea -- as well as the more exotic yak bone marrow protein powder and tripe. And of course, Peking duck packaged in pretty red bags.

Room Tip: Ask for a non-smoking room if you are a non-smoker! It's inevitable that you will smell smoke on...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zanzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Beijing International Hotel

Property: Beijing International Hotel
Address: No.9 Jiangguo Mennei Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100005, China
Location: China > Beijing > Beijing Railway Station / Jianguomen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #92 of 6,448 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Beijing International Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 916
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