Housed in a 100 year old hutong house down a narrow lane, it’s quiet, central and authentically local. The nearest subway (Zhangzizhonglu, Line 5) is about 300 metres away. It's also just about walking distance to Jingshan Park and the north gate of the Forbidden City.
Spartan, all-white doubles are a notch above typical hostel digs, with towels and slippers in the bathroom and fancy electronic card locks on the doors. ‘Luxury rooms’ are a bit bigger but similarly basic. TVs don’t feature. A few dormitory beds are also available.
The front desk doubles up as a bar presiding over a living-roomed styled space done up with comfy couches, fresh lilies and, yes, the obligatory acoustic guitar. A lofty ceiling of peeling beams is particularly handsome, and the general ambiance is friendly and relaxed. The guestrooms out back surround a nicely tended garden, and there’s a sun terrace with views of the alleyway rooftops.
Eating and drinking
The kitchen turns out typically unadventurous westernised fare like American breakfasts, pizzas, burgers, spaghetti bolognaise and fried rice. A well-equipped bar serves Belgian bottled beer and mojitos – a step up from long-necked Tsingtao.
The hostel can put you on a basic Great Wall tour and procure tickets for the acrobatics show or Peking opera. There's also a pool table and movie area in the main room. Bicycle hire available.
Young, English-speaking staff are helpful and approachable, and respond positively to most requests, including onward travel booking and restaurant recommendations.
Who stays there
European tourists in their mid-twenties are the standard demographic. Expect to encounter a few older travellers and lots of chattering first-timers comparing the day’s adventures in the bar.
A double with bathroom is pricy - getting into midrange hotel territory. From November to March rooms are about 30 per cent cheaper and include breakfast. The ‘luxury rooms’ are only slightly bigger and don’t really justify the extra cost.
- High-Speed Internet
- Backpackers / Students
- First-time travellers
- People watching
- No fuss
- Chilling out
Pros & Cons
- High standard of comfort for a “hostel”
- Atmospheric, central location
- Rather expensive
- Backpacker vibe not for everyone