I'd had a recommendation for a boutique hotel in a Beijing hutong, but ended up getting this one booked instead by family living in China (available through their travel agency). Historical building with traditional decor and design. The rooms are located facing a common courtyard (traditional housing design). They are quite small (I had one of the "noble court" rooms on the ground level, as I was solo) but clean. Private, modern bathrooms in each room. I was there in early March, and the rooms are slightly drafty, so I slept on the radiator side of the bed and wearing some extra layers. There was an AC unit for the summer. There are TVs in the room (never tried it), a hot water kettle for tea or just sterilizing tapwater, complimentary fruit/tea/bottled water. Breakfast is included and was good - egg, toast, fruit, pastries, milk, coffee. During the day, they put out coffee and pastries, and serve tea in the evenings. The hotel and the hutong itself are difficult to find. I had the name, address, and a map all in Chinese characters (but only the name in English, so I was helpless), but the cab driver still had to stop and ask directions a couple of times. He was very helpful about it, and even walked down the hutong with me (cars don't fit) to confirm with the staff it was the right place before leaving. The staff all spoke some English, some very fluent, which was pretty unusual for my China trip. Check in was a breeze, even arriving at night. They also helped me book tours, thankfully. The neighborhood is rather traditional and doesn't see many tourists (the locals will stare, but I never felt unsafe in any way), and I was the only non-Chinese guest during my stay. It was within walking distance of the subway, Performing Arts Center, Theater, Tiananmen Square/Forbidden City. It was a great experience, and I'd stay again and recommend it to others looking to get out of the big/Western-style hotels and experience something that feels more traditional.
If you are trying to find it: The name is written frequently as Hutong Inn Tiananmen Courtyard, but the door sign says Elite Hutong Courtyard. The phone # is 86-10-57349001 (you may need this if you get lost). The main cross street is Beixinhua Jie (north from the Hepingman metro station), and the hutong (Dongxinlianzi Hutong) does have a sign, on the right if you are heading north. The hotel is a short distance down on the right, with an ornate red doorway. Do take a printout of the Chinese characters if you need to take a taxi or ask directions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 1910s, Hutong Boutique Courtyard Hotel used to be a private residence of an elite Beijingnese family. It located a 3-minute walk from the National Theatre and Hepingmen Subway Station (Line 2), and offers stylish accommodation with a restaurant and free Wi-Fi on site. Hutong Boutique Courtyard Hotel is a 5-minute walk from Tian’anmen Square flanked by Forbidden Imperial Palace, Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, Great Hall of People and The Modern National Museum. It is a 7-minute walk from Tiananmen West Subway Station (Line 1), Qianmen Street and Dashilan shopping area. Xidan Shopping Area and Wangfujing Street Shopping Area are within a 20-minute stroll. China World Trade Centre Tower is a 15-minute car journey away. Rooms feature traditional Chinese decor and are fitted with an in-room safe and tea/coffee making facilities. Each room has en suite bathroom with shower and amenities. The hotel offers laundry and dry cleaning services. There is a tour desk that can assist guests with ticketing and travel arrangements. Traditional Chinese breakfast which including Beijing dim sum and western breakfast are available. ... more less
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