16, Donghuamen Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, 118305
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Families with teenagers, Art, Design and architecture, Sightseeing, Trendiness
Expert review of Hotel Kapok
From the outside this hotel couldn’t look more out of place: a shapeless box wrapped in a latticework of green like a giant Christmas present, plonked between traditional buildings near the Forbidden City. Yet inside, it’s bright, white and contemporary, with spacious rooms, slick service and cleverly designed inner courtyards that rise up to the ceiling, spilling sunlight on to every floor.
Leave the front door and turn left (west) to the Forbidden City, and right for the shops and restaurants of Wangfujing and the Night Market. One of Beijing’s most romantic restaurants – CourtYard – is across the street.
The 100 or so open-plan rooms are surprisingly swish for the price, with large, glass-walled bathrooms and modern appliances. I was quite taken by the intriguing balcony gardens (one shared between two standard rooms). Picture a secluded, bamboo-strewn space with table and chairs, protected from prying eyes by the green grill that encases the hotel.
Generally quite beguiling though a bit inconsistent and occasionally over-designed (you’ll see what I mean in the restaurant). The ‘library’ area is very hip – space-aged white seating booths kitted out with books and magazines. Guests are free to wander in and out of the inner courtyards, akin to standing at the bottom of a glass elevator shaft. Nicer than it sounds.
The lobby level restaurant has swapped conventional menus for touch-screen computers, but the food and drink – burgers, pizza, some Hunan-style Chinese dishes and overpriced coffee – is much more ordinary. Breakfast isn’t a bad deal though.
Fitness studio and tour-booking. No pool.
Mostly friendly and helpful staff with middling to good English.
Western and Chinese travellers; some higher-end tour groups.
Breakfast not included as standard, but check the website for promotions. Free wired internet in the rooms.
More information on Hotel Kapok:
- 16, Donghuamen Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, 118305
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Restaurant, Room Service
- Forbidden City