In looking at all the hotels Beijing has to offer, as a western traveler, this is a place you would probably overlook. This is not your typical hotel for American travelers; it caters primarily to Chinese.This is a good place to stay if you want a very Chinese experience. The rooms are clean and spacious with the usual amenities, including a good Chinese breakfast - you will not find western breakfast here. The hotel is also quite far from the usual tourist attractions and is not close to a subway station, the closest is at Military Museum - although taxis are very inexpensive in Beijing. The staff had very limited English (and my Mandarin was not much better!). It is convenient in that there are a few banks nearby (hotel does not change money) and there is a Carrefours and KFC across the street. Like much of Beijing, there is quite a bit of construction going on, so there is likely to be new services available soon.
It doesn't sound so interesting does it? Well, this hotel is right in the middle of the Maliandao Tea District and is surrounded by tea shops and a fascinating hutong. By 5 am, the neighborhood is humming with tea merchants, the whole area smells of different types of tea, there are beautiful tea sets to be bought, little children sitting on big burlap bags of tea studying and playing, women hand sorting and grading tea. There are lovely little shops which have tea ceremonies and unique small restaurants with regional cuisines. Although off the beaten path, this is a fascinating area. If you can, take the Maliandao Tea Tour to see and understand it all.
As for the hotel itself, the thing that makes this hotel so lovely is the staff. Despite a serious language barrier, they went out of their way to assist us. The porter was particularly helpful and everyone refused to accept a tip for work that was above and beyond. We had to settle for offering our sincere thanks.
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