Not knowing anything about this apartment other than the pictures posted and the emails between the apartment owner and me - I wasn’t sure what to expect. At the time I committed to this apartment there were no reviews. I don’t fully agree with Travel Zippers point-of-view. Having traveled to China a few times Westerns are accustomed to different standards; most of the time you just roll with it – otherwise you are going to have a horrible time. So, with that in mind, I offer a detailed review of this apartment.
The owners, were helpful and kind. We were in communication a month before I arrived. They offered their help in getting from the Peking Int'l Airport to the apartment, showed me everything in the apartment and how to work the appliances, and I was able to contact them (via email) and expect a response in an hour or two.
If you are looking for a local Beijing experience or are traveling to Beijing with a family I would recommend this apartment to you. If you are a single, avid traveler, or youngish traveler not looking for the ‘local’ experience, I would direct you to continue looking.
I enjoyed my two-month stay at Poly Rose. I agree that the apartment has real possibilities. The apartment is a modern-Western style with a college dorm feel (mix matched furniture). The apartment is a two-bedroom, one bath, fully functioning kitchen, and washer. There is an air conditioning unit in the main living area and the master bedroom. The second bedroom has two twin-beds with no a/c unit. The bathroom is western (toilet, walk-in shower), however, towards the end of the second month the drain in the shower began to back up, but it was workable. As you will learn, in China you are lucky to have full waterpower showers, but you cannot consistently run at full power (as you shower) or else you will flood the bathroom. Its just part of the drainage system – it goes with no toilet paper in the toilet. The apartment comes stock with plates, cups, bowls, utensils – its provided by the apartment owners and I think previous guest, so its like the take a penny – leave a penny. Everything has been used previously, so a wash before using is advised.
The apartment is located in the Chongwen District. Chongwen is an old area, slowly rebuilding itself (much like Beijing and China in general) to become modern. The apartment is in local-residential area. I think I saw one other foreigner in the surrounding areas of the apartment. I wish I would have known the location of the apartment before hand. The price for the apartment is fantastic; however, unless you are a small family or looking to become a Beijing local I would advise to look elsewhere. There is no evening/night life (except for a KTV bar) and the subway is a 30-mintue walk from the apartment. Pubs and expats are found in the ChaoYang district. On a positive note, the Temple of Heaven and the Pearl Market is a 20-30mintue walk from the apartment. And, directly in front of the apartment entrance are local mini marts (a Vanguard where you can buy drinks and eggs and a Dia where you can buy everything from drinks to household items), fresh vegetables and fruit stand, and in the evening a meat/fish kebab stand husband and wife run with pretty good kebab’s for a kuai a piece and cold beer. A 2-4 minute walk up the small street in front of the apartment (leading onto Guangqumen Lu) offers 5-6 restaurants, a 7-11, a UBC Coffee, China Mobile, ICBC, and a Carrefour. And, down the main street of the apartment Peixin Lu, leading onto the main cross street Xingfu Lu) there are several more restaurants, a 7-11, McDonalds, and an ICBC.
However, the map on the trip advisor webpage for this apartment it is not correct. The apartment is not located on Qianmen E St. It’s located on Peixin Lu. The apartment is about a 25ish Yuan taxi ride to Tiananmen.
The apartment location was difficult for a majority of taxi drivers to find with directions in Chinese and a map. There was a handful that knew exactly where the apartment was; however, I spent most of the time telling the drivers how to get there. This ultimately helped improve my Chinese by giving directions, so it wasn’t a complete lost.
Lastly, the first two-week of my second month, I had no hot water in the apartment. Evidently the supplier cut the hot water the start of the month to the entire area. I let the owners know and they responded quickly with the information and offered compensation for every day I was without hot water. They also sent me an email when the hot water was supposed to be turned back on, which it was. I cannot fault the owners, it is something that happens, but I would like to commend them for compensating me.
Overall, for the price, the apartment was nice. It grew on me and become home.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
|Families with young children|
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
The apartment has real possibilities! However, the list is long so be patient. The owner said the apartment had air conditioning in our emails. When we arrived he said that the building maintainence had yet to begin on the repairs of the ac. The drain in the shower flowed so poorly we were only able to take a 2 minute shower to keep the bathroom from flooding. The living room furniture was disgusting. Ripped fake leather with many band aid type repairs. In our emails I enquired about cable tv. He said many channels. He did fail to mention that out of the 35 channels only one is in english. Finally became tired of sweating at night and tried the ac. It worked great. So my assumption is he was pinching pennies. Also he charged me more than the $490.00 usd in his listing...
Also, the dishes and utensils were FILTHY! The hot water pot had never been cleaned and as I was drinking tea I noticed some odd. So I peeked in the pot! YUCK!
The apartment is located at the end of a very busy very narrow street that most taxi drivers can not find. Even the english speaking taxi service was never able to pick us up from the apartment. Two nights before we were to depart, the toilet stopped working. I tried to call the owner around 9:00 pm and he never answered my calls. Now I see why no person has left any feedback as this owner has been listed on TripAdvisor for a few years.
I think there are many other apartments that I will check out next time I am in Beijing, which happens to be in 2 months.... Good luck all and enjoy Beijing, it is AWESOME!
|Check-in / front desk||Service|