I frequent Tripadvisor but I've never written any reviews until now. Nevertheless, I believe Red Wall Garden Hotel is one of those special places worthy of a first.
Although I'm a Beijinger by birth, I've spent most of my life abroad. I've often listened in wonder to my Mum reminiscing about growing up in my Grandfather's Siheyuan (traditional Beijing courtyard) in the 70's. Playing tag among the narrow alleyways called Hutong; then later riding her bike through them to explore the bigger Beijing beyond. I wanted to experience this half forgotten Beijing for myself given the chance. So imagine my excitement when I came across RWG when booking for my upcoming trip to Beijing. It so happens it's just across the street from my grandfather's former courtyard.
After an extension of eight nights, altogether we called RWG "home" for just over a month (33 nights to be precise). From the moment we were met at the airport by the hotel's driver (Xiao Fan) at 11pm, until the time we were bid farewell by Xiao Cao (from front desk) at the big red gate, I was thoroughly touched by the genuine care and kindness shown to us by every single member of the RWG family. It was hard to say goodbye to our new "frien-mily"!
RWG Hotel was in its former life a private residence, and it's current design reflected and conserved a lot of the characteristics of a turn of the last century Chinese home. In the main building where we lived, the patina-ed wooden stairways led to large shared living spaces on each floor. The entire building flowed like a large private home, decorated tastefully with Chinese artefacts. I often rested in one of the sofas outside our room in a food coma after breakfast; and at other times chatted away with fellow travellers from all around the globe; or just relaxed with a book from the sizeable collection on the bookshelves. It was lovely to leave our room every morning to be welcomed with this space rather than a generic hotel hallway.
The Premier Deluxe room we had was sunny and well-appointed, and provided more than enough room for two people. The rain shower was always a welcoming thought at the end of another day of exploring this vast city. We could always expect the room to be meticulously cleaned by the lovely team of ladies from housekeeping. When one of the ladies noticed that I was sick with a cold, she left an extra box of tissues for me to use on the bedside table. Much praise has been written about the Duxiana beds, they are all true!
Downstairs, the buffet breakfast didn't have the variety of food numbering in the hundreds like some large international hotels. But the East meets West spread was always fresh and delicious. We had breakfast at RWG almost 30 times, the high standard was consistent and the combination of food never became boring. The coffee was quite exceptional (Merci Beaucoup Mlle Lilly), which is a rarity in China.
RWG offered me a glimpse of the old Beijing that was full of beauty, tradition and infused in history, albeit among modern amenities. If that is the Beijing you came here to find, then RWG is a very good place to start. A big THANK YOU to the consummate professional Stefan and his dedicated team (Pennapa & Co.) for an immensely enjoyable stay! See you all soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Red Wall Garden Hotel is a cultural oasis of tranquillity in the very heart of the vibrant city of Beijing. It is located in Shijia Hutong, one of the city's most historic neighbourhoods and is within walking distance of the Forbidden City and the famous shopping and food streets of Wangfujing and Jinbao in DongCheng. A traditional Chinese courtyard hotel invoking the past, yet replete with modern facilities. All 40 individually appointed guest rooms feature ultra-luxury DUX beds, wooden flooring, en-suite bathrooms and amenities such as large flat screen TV, complimentary WI-FI throughout the hotel and private in-room bar. All rooms have air-conditioning & heaters. Located within the central courtyard of the award-winning Red Wall Garden Hotel, The Courtyard Bistro serves great value dishes that are inspired by the eight main culinary areas in China. The Courtyard Bistro also features open stage Cultural Entertainment nights as well as indoor and outdoor Noodle Stations and daily special chalkboards to further enhance the guests' dining experiences. The Lounge Bar invites guests to kick back in an armchair with a drink, a snack and a book. The Courtyard Bistro's full service bar serves up classic and specialty cocktails as well as traditional afternoon tea and features an excellent selection of wines, beers and other alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Situated just off the west lounge of the hotel, The Courtyard Bistro Tea House offers daily tea ceremonies where the in-house tea master guides patrons through Chinese tea history that looks back on over 4000 years of tea excellence. The Private Dining and Event Rooms at The Red Wall Garden Hotel can accommodate up to 200 people for Meetings, Weddings or Events. The tailor-made menus offer an array of traditional Chinese Cuisine to suit either a formal or an informal Meeting, Wedding or Event. The "Red Wall Garden Boutique Hotel Experience" emotionally connects our guests with the intense Historical, Cultural and Artistic life of Authentic and Historic Beijing. ... more less
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