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.
Eating and drinking
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.
Who stays there
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.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Families with teenagers
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Fantastic location
- Designer digs at a low price
- Beds on the hard side