Hotel Kapok

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Address: 16, Donghuamen Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 118305, China

Star rating:
3 star hotel

4.2

Quirky design hotel close to the Forbidden City.

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.

Location
4.4
90%
Eating/drinking
4
90%
Leisure facilities
4
90%
Service
4.1
90%
Value for money
4.1
90%
Bedrooms
4.2
90%
Public areas
4.2
90%

Location

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.

Bedrooms

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.

Public areas

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.

Leisure facilities

Fitness studio and tour-booking. No pool.

Service

Mostly friendly and helpful staff with middling to good English.

Who stays there

Western and Chinese travellers; some higher-end tour groups.

Price advice

Breakfast not included as standard, but check the website for promotions. Free wired internet in the rooms.

Amenities

  • Business Centre
  • Fitness Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Trendiness
  • Sightseeing
  • Art
  • Design and architecture

Pros & Cons

  • Fantastic location
  • Designer digs at a low price
  • Beds on the hard side
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