Oh dear. The Dong Fang comprises two wings, the old wing which seems pleasant and has a nice coffee shop, and the 'new' wing I was in which is a concrete tower that I was stuck in. It has a dated and strange design with huge lobbies on each floor that no one uses. The lifts take a long time maybe because local prostitutes are using them all the time to put their calling cards under the guests doors which may have been amusing if the hotel had not been occupied mainly by high school kids while I was there. This also has implications for security if they could rove around the hotel at will. The rooms are an average size but stiflingly hot with no A/C and a fan that did not work. The only ventilation that the room had was a small window that I could open that let in the fumes of Beijing's air so you woke up with sore throat, blocked nose and eyes which felt like they were full of sand. The only reason why I knew this did open was by watching the hotel TV channel and the procedure you are supposed to use if the hotel is on fire (if the stairs are inaccessible you are to open the window and wave a red flag at the fire brigade so make sure you pack one!) The bed was comfortable and the room had good amenities such as hairdryer, satellite TV, safe etc and the hotel is a short drive to Tiananmen Square. The food is average and most of the staff surly and unresponsive bar one or two waitresses. There is a shop in the lobby with a business centre that has a good stock of goods and souvenirs but is pricey so the 24 hour supermarket across the road is a better bet for drinks and snacks etc. If you want a beer make sure you order it in the restaurant where it is under half the price as in the bar. The hotel makes little or no effort to be welcoming to its guests, in fact the opposite. The free mineral water in each room was not always restocked as promised. I had paid for breakfast but was barred one morning from getting it due to an administrative error and they seemed totally uninterested in solving the problem or apologising for it. Best avoided if at all possible.
Go for the old wing (1918) not the 'new' wing.
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