It can be a bit of a struggle to find, but you’ve got the magnificent white temple as your guide (it’s just to the south). The surrounding hutong neighbourhood is humble and local – a more authentic contrast to the gentrified lanes and coffee shops of Dongcheng District. It’s about a 10-15 minute schlep to two subway stations.
All the rooms open on to a central covered courtyard, which makes mixing with other guests just about mandatory – not the place to come if you demand privacy. Rooms feature big Chinese-style beds (rather hard), tiny shower rooms, flat screen TV, fridge and Wi-Fi. South-facing rooms have temple views. Three ‘family rooms’ are a bit older and mustier but do have their own bathtubs. A big duplex room has a large downstairs living space and two bedroom areas upstairs, sleeping six at a push.
The courtyard is a pleasant clutter of plants, fishponds, tables, chairs and other odds and ends. Typically, the roof construction that encloses the original courtyard is a bit of a botch job. A small second floor terrace has great views out across the rooftops to the temple.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast is western style, with simple Chinese dishes available for lunch and dinner, all eaten in the courtyard.
Each room has a printed guide (written by Bobby) detailing Great Wall tour options, Beijing opera ticket info and local bus routes. It’s refreshingly honest, as the entry for Badaling Great Wall shows: ““a bit touristy, easy and good value”. The hotel hosts sociable weekly events like dumpling making on Mondays and a family meal on Thursdays. Ask Bobby for a map of the local alleyways.
Family-run and very friendly. Only eight rooms so there’s usually someone on hand to help.
Who stays there
Independent travellers, couples, Europeans.
Breakfast not included. Free WiFi.
- High-Speed Internet
- Backpackers / Students
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Great views / scenery
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- Near to Beihai Park and Forbidden City
- Atmospheric local neighbourhood
- Family-run a with warm welcome
- A bit cluttered
- Rooms on the small side