My partner and I stayed in the Xiyuan Hotel Beijing on two separate occasions in October as part of a tour.
First impressions from the large spacious open lobby were good, however that was almost the highlight of the hotel for us. The hotel is located well away from Beijing city centre. It has a few restaurants close by but very few people speak English, or at least don't want to. I don't expect everyone to be able to (why should they, I don't speak the local language) least of all to any good standard especially as my command of Chinese extends to 'Hello', 'How are you' and 'I'm good thanks'! But it would be nice to have a couple of words in English. Especially as the Olympic games were held here only just 4 years ago, I expected a little easier communication.
Check in on both occasions was completed by our tour guide so I can't comment, however this went smoothly.
We got to our first room on the 17th floor, supposedly non smoking but definite smoky smell in the air. The room itself was allegedly an upgrade due to a short notice hotel change. However, this room was dated, damp musky smelling and in general very bland.
I then walked over to the bathroom area and found my socks soaked with water. This appeared to have come from an overflow of the shower. The floor was sopping wet and smelt strongly of damp, indicating that this wasn't a new problem. That was when I encountered the "English Speaking Staff" we had been promised.
I called reception to find that the first person I spoke to spoke no English. The second thought I wanted coffee, and the third arranged for a bell boy to come to the room to see what the problem was.
The soaked floor was resolved by another member of staff throwing down a few towels and stamping on them to soak the water up. Upon which some sort of carpet cleaner arrived which got the rest up. No change of room was offered.
The source of the problem was the shower, which would continually flood the bathroom floor despite having a closing glass door. The seals were of no use at all and all the water escaped to the floor.
The first night, we decided we would try a recommended restaurant in another part of town. Trying to get the concierge to order a taxi was a struggle. It took three people to look on a map where I was going, despite having it written down and pointed out to them, however they still struggled. We were eventually ushered outside with the door staff who tried (well, stood outside) to hail a taxi. However, they only flagged down those taxis that actually came to the hotel door to drop other guests off. A Chinese guest was allowed to jump in one before us, despite us waiting for 15 minutes already and him only 2, which was met with a shrug of shoulders from the hotel staff. In total, we waited for 40 minutes for a taxi, which the hotel staff were unsuccessful in getting for us. At this point, it was suggested that we may have better luck if we tried ourselves on the street nearby!
The breakfast was ok, nothing to right home about but not that bad either. Mainly catering for the locals but with quite adequate western style bacon, sausage, eggs etc. Having said that, the Chinese style food was also quite good.
We travelled in a group of 10 others, of which 8 had problems with their rooms such as the safe not working, tv being broken, shower seals broken and very smoky rooms. Others had to change their rooms.
Our need to have the room changed came on our penultimate morning. We left the room to head for breakfast but found that the door did not lock. We called reception to again have a language difficulty. The bell boy was sent up to investigate again, who told me to call a different number. This I did, went through the rigmarole of two people trying to understand what I was saying, someone else came to look at the door who said he couldn't fix it, to eventually be asked by reception if I wanted to change rooms and when I would like to, all the while having missed breakfast as the tour we were on was due to leave soon.
To their credit, the staff arranged for us to move to the room opposite and this was done within 10 minutes.
Our second visit to the hotel was for our overnight stay to fly back to London.
While a short fleeting visit, it was still not without it's problems.
The shower had the same issue in the morning with water completely flooding the floor, having to be mopped up with our towels after we had showered.
The other issue was that the tv was not working at all. No power. All plugged in and connected but just not able to be turned on. No major problem for us at all as we had no need to watch it, just something that shouldn't be happening in a supposed 5* hotel.
As this was simply an overnight stay for a few hours, we put up with the issues.
My overall impression of this hotel is that is is certainly not 5*, it barely manages to get a 4* in my opinion but is a high standard of 3* with the facilities of a better quality hotel.
The staff however have let it down a little, just generally being very surly and appearing unfriendly. I don't feel I am being harsh at all with the above. We stayed in 3 other 5* hotels on this trip, all of which were wonderful. The staff friendly and polite.
We we never greeted in the Xiyuan hotel and asking them for simple things seemed to be putting them out.
The rooms are in need of modernisation (at least the ones we stayed in) and are not without their faults. Not expected from this grade of hotel.
Stay here if you are looking for no frills, not particularly great service and have a good command of the language, but be prepared for the above.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Priceline, Ctrip TA and Booking.com so you can book your Xiyuan Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Xiyuan Hotel Beijing