This hotel is part of a chain of "Hutong Inns", however this location is referred to as THE "Hutong Inn" even though it's official name is "Zaoyuanju" and their other location (walking distance away) USED to be referred to as "Hutong Inn" (and is labeled such on maps) and is now "Hutong Culture Inn". They are both very hard to find and are easily confused.
The room quality is decent and the staff speaks English quite well. The challenge is that customer service/management and their policies are nothing short of ridiculous, therefore I would not recommend this hotel at all.
I read previous reviews that stated patrons were told they reserved an "inner" "no window" room when they had reserved a room with a window. This happened to me, despite the fact I paid the higher amount for a room with a window. I brought up my reservation on my PDA and showed it to the desk agent who appeared to not understand it, but because I was staying multiple nights I WAS offered a "free" upgrade for my first night. Thanks.
After staying for the amount of time I reserved I did decide to stay one additional night because I woke up too late to find another hotel and the quality of the room was not too bad. The front desk requested an amount substantially higher than that offered online, so I renewed on a travel site and sent them an email confirmation. I checked with the front desk, they confirmed they had the email and all looked alright. Apparently the different "Hutong Inns" are easily confused by even the staff because upon returning from lunch I was told I paid for the Hutong Culture Inn down the street (same company) and not the Zaoyuanju "Hutong" Inn and the manager told the desk agent I would have to pay the difference. That seemed reasonable to me and therefore I remained at the hotel rather than moving down the street to their other hotel.
But the next day the front desk staff told me the manager said I had to pay the full rate for the previous night despite the fact I had already paid a higher rate for THEIR hotel just down the street under the same ownership and management - and despite they had explicitly told me my staying there wouldn't be a problem and I would simply have to pay the difference (though there was none). RIDICULOUS but they had my money already.
The fact they tried to do a bait-and-switch at check-in (that was reported by at least one other patron) and their resolution of problems was dubious at best leads me to conclude the management of the Hutong Inns are not honest. Combined with the fact they require a 200 rmb CASH-only deposit on check-in and you are at their mercy if any dubious management decision is levied against you. BUYER BEWARE.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Chinese Traditional Bed and Breakfast in Beijing Hutong. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Zaoyuanju (Hutong Inn) Hotel Beijing
- Zaoyuanju Hotel Beijing