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“Good location but that's it!”

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Purple Courtyard Guest House
Ranked #82 of 1,320 Beijing B&B and Inns
Aachen, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good location but that's it!”
Reviewed 12 October 2011

We were staying in this hostel for two days in September and we were not really satisfied. The good thing about this hostel is that it is very central. Nevertheless Taxis are not able to drive into the Hutongs, the next bus stop is around 10 min. away and the next metro station is even further away. So if you have some luggage it is not really convenient to reach this place.

The main reason, why we were not satisfied, were the quality of the rooms. We know that staying in Hutongs shall be something special and unforgetable. The price is also rather equal to a night in a 3-star-hotel in Beijing, whereas the quality is much much beyond it. You have to be lucky in order to get some hot water for taking a shower in the evening. Sometimes you have to wait for quite some time until hot waters comes out, sometimes (usually after 23.00) there is just NO HOT WATER anymore. What we found even worse is that the room was smelly and no real blankets were provided to us.

Their price is not worth staying there.

So all in all I cannot really recommend this location to you.

Room Tip: First of all choose a hotel/hostel which is easy to reach. (not far from a Metro station) Then bette...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Max F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 October 2011

it was just at first glance that everything seemed to be great. the owner was friendly in the beginning but as soon as money was a topic (trip, room changing and so forth) she was very dishonest!! she also told a friend how she cheated (and probably still does) on tourists! Just don't go there anymore and finance her!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Schtuessu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2011

First of all, the hostel is located in a quite original area of beijing - in the hutongs. However it is a bit difficult to get there and far to get to the subway.

Talking about the rooms, their pictures on the internet are way nicer than the reality is. The rooms were quite stuffy, there were no real blankets eventhough the weather was quite cold. Furthermore there was no water in the first room we were given, but could fortunately change later on. In addition I have to admit that the service was really bad, they did not clean the room, they did not change the towels and did never fill up the toilet paper. Besides it is not possible to lock the rooms properly.

The last and worst thing was the trip to the great wall we have booked over the hotel. The car was way too small to put in our luggage. They were not eve a little cooperative and did not want to offer a bigger or a second car. After having discussed for over one hour it was already to late to get to the great wall as we had to catch a train in the late afternoon. We tried to cancel the trip, but as we had already paid, the Hostel did not want to give us back the money. Later on we changed the grat wall trip to a summer palace trip but were still not given back any money and were in actually forced to do SHOPPING for most of the time eventhough we did not want to buy anything.

Hence I definitely disadvice you to stay in this place.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sibylle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2011

I really can recommend this place to everyone who wants to be close to the important sightseeing’s of Beijing and at the same time wants to get a taste of the old Beijing. The purple Courtyard is a small traditional Chinese guesthouse in the heart of the Hutong area. It is a great place to stay, the staff is very helpful and friendly, the place is clean and is not expensive for what you get. I traveled with my daughter and we felt at home there immediately.

Staying in the purple courtyard will not only be a special and unforgettable experience but it will also save you lots of traveling time if you want to discover Beijing. It is at walking distance to the famous Nanluoguxiang Hutong, a fascinating place to be, with many nice shops and restaurants. Also at walking distance you will find the Back Lakes another great place to visit especially in the evening. There are lots of bars and restaurants with life music near the water and you can easily spend there several hours. I further can recommend to discover that area by tandem or normal bike during the day if you have time. There are many places where you can rent a bike. We really loved it. What also is important is that the guesthouse is located close to the Tienanmen Square with the Forbidden City that you easily can reach by bus.

During our stay we also visited the Mutyianu part of the Great Wall. We did not book a trip at the guesthouse but found a reliable and cheap shuttle service that brought us there and picked us up after 3 hours. The total price for the car with driver was 400CNY only, including the fees for toll ways. In our view this is the best option to visit the wall, cheap and comfortable without any unexpected visits to shops and other tricks from the driver. For the ones who are interested: the drivers name is Mr. Liang, his mobile number is 13311512344 and he is also willing to bring you to other parts of the Chinese Wall. We found him at a boot opposite the Dong Zhi Men station (close to the bus terminal) but I’m sure Mr. Liang is willing to pick you up at the guesthouse for a small additional fee if you are interested in that. You will need the assistance of the guesthouse to arrange that because Mr Liang doesn’t speak any English but they will be happy to do that.

If you come from the airport you can reach the guesthouse by taking the Airport Express to Dongzhimen station and from there take the subway to Dongzhimen station or Guloudajie station. That is the easy part! From there you will need to take a taxi to the guesthouse. You will have to prepare this trip well by showing a routing to the guesthouse (e.g. using Google maps) to the taxi driver with the address of the guesthouse also written in Chinese, otherwise there is a good chance that the taxi driver cannot find the place. A taxi trip from Dongzhimen station should cost 15-20CNY if the taxi driver uses the meter and a trip from Guloudajie station should cost a bit less. Best is to ask the taxi driver to drop you at the intersection between the Nanluoguxiang Hutong and the Shajing hutong, the street where the guesthouse is located, because that steet might be to narrow for the taxi driver and most taxi drivers know the Nanluoguxiang Hutong. From the intersection it is just a 3 minutes walk to the guesthouse. If you arrive in the street of the guesthouse it is good to know that the guesthouse does not have a proper sign showing the name of the guesthouse in English in a horizontal way. It is shown in a vertical way next to Chinese characters but that can easily be overlooked. The hotel staff told me that the local authorities there do not allow horizontal writing. So you will have to identify the guesthouse by number. Mind that in that street there are two doors with number 24 but only one of them is the guesthouse.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nico O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2011

The location is fantastic, around the corner from night life and delicious street food. Avoid eating on the trendy main street, but there are great options on the side alleys for both Beijing hipsters and the hutong locals.

My room was generally clean, but there seemed to be a leak from the room above, and the ceiling above the bed was covered in black mold and the room smelled of mildew. It was cheap ($60), but at this price level I expected more. I think the other rooms were nicer, so if it's not full, ask around.

Owners are helpful though, and arranged a very nice trip to the great wall for us. (No shopping at all!)

Room Tip: Ask for the one without mildew!
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank drSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cologne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2011

There is no doubt that the location of this hostel is good. You can feel the old Beijing life and you are very close to many bars, tourist shops and restaurants. So the surrounding is not bad at all!
We unfortunately experiences that the owner was very dishonest to us. We booked a trip to the great wall which didn't work out at all. There wasn't enough space for all of our friends as well as their luggage, which we explicitely mentioned before we booked. In the end we had a boring shopping trip instead of visiting the great wall. The ridiculous thing was that we HAD TO stay in two shops for each 35 minutes. (Actually we were supposed to visit four touristic shops.)
The room itself as well as the local atmosphere was really ok. But the water was turned off twice for a couple of hours. Usually it happened that there was no hot water anymore from a certain time on.
Unfortunately in the end we have to say that we were quite disappointed staying in this hostel.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EddieCologne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2011

This hotel is a three-minute walk away from the chic Nanluogu Hutong which is bustling with bars, restaurants and shops. It is in the middle of the hutong riddled center of Beijing which is ramshackle but teeming with life. The hotel is a family business: some members speak more English than others, but the younger generation speaks it well, and the older generation is willing to cheerfully play charades. The family is very friendly, and invited me to a dumpling dinner (from looking at other reviews I think this is a fairly frequent event) which I ate with a few of the other Western guests. It was delicious! My dinner companions recommended a microbrewery around the corner from the hotel (Great Leap Brewery) that we visited the following evening, and was fantastic.

The room was clean and comfortable. It was also nicely decorated. Beijing was hot when I visited, but the air conditioning in my room worked perfectly. My bathroom had a handheld showerhead with no stall (I believe this is fairly common in China) so beware that the entire bathroom floor and toliet will get wet during a shower (the water did drain quickly at least). I asked for a small towel to wipe my feet, and got by just fine. I think some of the other bathrooms in the place at least had a shower curtain (but probably no separate shower floor). Also, the TV had no English language channels. Bottled water is available for purchase at the hotel (fairly cheaply) and you're a short walk away from other shops. Head west for delicious street food breakfast options that are cheaper than on the trendy Nanluogu Alley, and also small food shops and a pharmacy.

Be aware that it will be difficult to get a taxi driver to drive you straight to the hotel unless you speak Mandarin. The hutongs are narrow, and while cars can fit, it's slow going with all the foot and bicycle traffic. Have the driver drop you off at the intersection of the northern main street Gulou Dongdajie and the Nanluogu Alley. Walk south down Nanluogu alley (5-10 minutes) and turn left and travel west down Shajing Hutong. Walk another 3 minutes and you'll get to a T intersection with a big purple banner, the entrance to the hotel courtyard will be the door on your left.

You can also initially approach the hotel from the western main street as I did, which is a shorter walking time but more confusing. If you do this, just keep heading east, and if you hit Nanluogu you've gone a bit too far and turn around.

Metro is about a 20-30 minute walk away (closest stop is Andingmen, Guloudajie almost the same distance).

The location of the hotel is both a selling point and a drawback. It's a walk from transportation, but the walk is an interesting one, as the hotel is in the middle of a very lively neighborhood. I didn't end up renting a bike when I was there, but it could have been a nice alternative form of transport.

All in all, this was a lovely hotel, in a really lively part of Beijing, and I'd highly recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Natania A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Purple Courtyard Guest House

Property: Purple Courtyard Guest House
Address: No.24A Shajing Hutong, South Luogu Alley, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009, China
Region: China > Beijing > Houhai
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #82 of 1,320 B&Bs / Inns in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Purple Courtyard Guest House 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BeijingHutong home hostel,is located hostel in Beijing ,our hostel is in the Dongcheng District in Beijing the famous Hutong the Hutong s nema is Nan luo gu xiang . nan luogu xiang have lot of hutong, and Beijing Tradition foods,when the morning on the street some body peddle, hawk meby let you in the old Beijing our hostel have pretty courtyard also have plain clean room our hostel is in the Beijing downtown have bus .subway. To the Gulou, Tian’anmen, Forbidden city, Beihai, Houhai bar street, Guijie,Jingshan park, just 1.Kilometer walk to subway station 10minute . And also have twenty bus can let you to any places, our hostel have one day seetseeing you can go to great wall and summer palace ,also have ticket booking. and internet ,lundry,our hostel have lot of different room you can choice our room also have air-conditioner ,TV, Bathroom, public bathroom .public activity area:(DIYkitchen,discussion) internethional calling.Airport service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Purple Courtyard Hotel Beijing

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