Just a block north of the Forbidden City and smack dab in the middle of a good taste of hutong life, but with westerner accomodations. The staff was courteous enough and modestly helpful, but typical of most Chinese hotels. Rooms were clean and neat. Beds were hard by western standards but also typical of Chinese hotels. A few English tv channels, ample water pressure and hot water for showers. The neighborhood street(esp the eastern portion) is a typical street market of little shops selling butchered meat, raw noodles, fresh produce, and a few drop-in eateries, etc. that are for the locals and not tourist oriented so an excellent opportunity to see Chinese day to day living.
Do NOT book with the tour service which operates indedependently in their lobby area, you will get dragged to focused selling stops and they will require you to pay them extra if you want to opt out. In our case, I refused to pay and we were uncerimoniously dropped off right on the road! Fortunately, we were near the 2008 Olympic area so it was an unexpected opportunity to see the Water Cube and Bird Nest stadium and we just caught a cab back to the hotel. This is NOT a reflection on the hotel, but the dubious tour operator in their lobby. No written contract or agreement, so you have little recourse.
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