We stayed for three nights as a couple while on holiday in Beijing. We chose this hotel because we thought Holiday Inn could be depended upon internationally for decent standard hotels. Also, we normally book hotels slightly away from the tourist sites so to avoid the crowds, noise and high prices. We initially got lost, but a helpful westerner pointed us in the right direction to Jishuitan metro stop. The hotel was about a 10 - 15 minute walk from there. Get out at exit A to avoid having to cross the busy road!
Because we got lost, we arrived later than expected, and of course, all the non-smoking rooms were gone. However, the lady behind the counter said that we should check out the room and see if it smells bad, and that if we didn't like it, we could come down and swap for another one. Actually, the room we had wasn't that bad at all. Certainly the corridor on that floor smelled a bit smoky, but that could have been from people smoking while waiting for lifts, where a lot of cigarette butts were put out in the designated bins. In the room however, you couldn't really smell anything, so we decided to just stay there.
The room was lovely and spacious and clean, and we had a view of the bustling main road outside, which certainly did make it feel a bit like an "oasis" as described by a previous traveller.
The beds were soft and had the usual "firm" and "soft" option pillows. This hotel was also the only one in China we'd stayed in so far that actually had English speaking channels. There were about three or four, but we mainly watched the HBO and Discovery channels.
On the night we arrived, it was getting quite late by the time we set off for dinner, and a quick perusal round the local area showed only quite small, local Chinese restaurants with no English menus, so we decided to turn back and give the hotel restaurant a try. They still were serving food after about 8 pm when we got back, and there were two friendly and helpful people behind the bar. Their English was very good, and they were attentive and good at communicating. My husband ordered a Chinese burger, but they let us know that the french fries were out of stock, but that they could give us hash browns instead (presumably for the breakfast? But who cares, this was a bonus!). I ordered the chicken quesedilla, and both dishes came promptly and were great. Yes, the prices were more expensive than elsewhere in Beijing, probably comparable to UK prices, but it was late, we were hungry and had just arrived, so we didn't know where to go, and this was a perfectly acceptable dinner. They even had knives and forks already laid out, much to my husbands relief, as he's not too experienced with chopsticks. I can imagine that this would be great for people stopping over briefly for business.
The downsides - they required 2000 RMB room deposit, which was twice what we'd been charged in Shanghai, but actually, they never removed the money from my account, only the room rate.
The wifi is 2 RMB per minute in the first 40 minutes or something, and then a max of 80 RMB per day, but since I have a Chinese sim with 3G, obviously we didn't touch this deal with a bargepole!
They only give one small bottle of water per person per night, which seems to be the standard for Chinese hotels. Be aware, there is also a 1 L bottle of Evian placed away from the mini bar on the table - this is not free! In fact, we were alarmed to find out upon check out that we'd been charged 50 RMB for it! Luckily there is a 24 hour convenience store/corner shop just to the left of the hotel entrance with an array of drinks for only about 3 - 5 RMB each, so we always got drinks and snacks from there.
Also, we needed to print off a boarding pass since Emirates only allow check in 24 hours before the flight is due. We were told that upstairs on the 16th floor, there was a business area where it was possible to print. However, when we got up there, we were told it's 10 RMB per A4 page. That's extortionate beyond British standards! Scanning, would be 30 RMB per page! Then for some reason, the computer was so old, it would not print anything from a webpage. Since Emirates doesn't allow you to download boarding passes to pdf, this meant that we spent about 20 minutes faffing about, trying to get the passes to print, with no success. Luckily, the lady behind the desk was very nice and tried to help, and did not charge us for the failed print attempts.
Overall, this is a good and comfortable hotel, and probably better than what you would get for your money in the UK. Having said that, the going rate here is double what regular Chinese people would consider "expensive", so this would be expected. The downside is that all extras seem to be overpriced and designed to get money out of either tourists or businesses who they must presume are very rich. However the staff you meet are presumably not in control of these things (probably all decided in a head office somewhere very far away), and all the staff that we did speak to had perfectly satisfactory English and tried to be helpful where they could.
Probably I would prefer to stay at a hotel closer to a metro stop next time, because I'm reliant on public transport and don't like getting into taxis in China (due to language barrier/traffic/safety issues), but overall it's a comfortable, clean hotel with good facilities.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With us, with the prime location——Situated in Beijing’s financial street area and Deshengmen, you can easily get to bus station of Great Wall Badaling, Lama Temple, Bell & Drum Towers, Houhai Bars, National Stadium and Beijing Zoo; Also to Confucius Institute’s headquarter, Second Artillery General Hospital, Beijing Liuzhou Road Hospital, Beijing Normal University and Desheng Science and Technology Park in walk distance. Only 1.6 km from Jishuitan Station on Subway Line 2 and 27.2 km from Beijing Capital Airport. What is waiting for you——332 contemporary guestrooms including 50 Executive rooms and 20 suites, featuring fresh and modern decoration, close and high quality facilities to make your stay with neat and friendly. Gallery Cafe on 1st floor with delicious buffet and a-la-carte, well updating food wait for your appreciate. Shan You Chinese Restaurant brings delicate and delicious Shanxi and Cantonese cuisine honors you special dining space no matter business or leisure. Palette Bar provides purpose made drinks everyday to make you comfortable or free. Health Center located at 4th floor and fully equipped with fitness facilities, to enjoy an invigorating workout and graceful relaxation. Extensive meeting and banquet facilities with a good combination of dining selections make you successful meetings. Look forward to welcoming you and making all your time with us enjoyable and memorable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Beijing Deshengmen Hotel Beijing