I booked my stay at the Xindadu Hotel in Northwest Beijing online, through Sinohotels.com....not sure I'd recommend this though, as once I arrived at the hotel, they couldn't find my booking.
I was livid, tired, confused and flat worn out after a fourteen hour flight from the east coast of the U.S., so I put up a bit of a scene, which seemed to do the trick, as suddenly they miraculously found my booking and I was on my way to my room.
My whole stay, over a two week period, was relatively cheap by western standards and I cannot complain about the service whatsoever....but here's the hitch....
The Xindadu Hotel, like many in Beijing, has several buildings out back (apartment style) which are the "cheap seats." You won't be staying in the plush central hotel, but rather back behind the main building, and off to the west a bit.
The other thing was this: I wanted to pay in full for my room over a two week period and had a hard time getting this point across to the front desk. They also wanted a full deposit on the room, which would have left me penniless, but they ended up waiving this requirement after....yet another....argument from the fat westerner...i.e., me. Finally I got my point across to them and was able to pay ahead, so I'd have some idea what kind of money I had to work with in my time remaining.
Unique Quality: Outstanding characteristics?
Hummmm...Well, the tour desk was pretty convenient. The woman who operated the desk spoke pretty good English and was very helpful. She even pulled off getting me some front row seats at the Beijing Opera.
The hotel had many services, but most were out of my pocketbook range. The inside of the main hotel is absolutely beautiful with no expense spared. But then, this is true of most of the major hotels in Beijing and believe me, there are many!
My apartment-like hotel room in the "cheap seats" was very comfortable but basic. No fantastic views to be had.
The hotel is wicked close to the Beijing Zoo, which I found to be a terribly depressing place and NOT the place to be on a weekend, when every Chinese person in Beijing has the same idea of going there. If you have to go, head out mid-week and you'll pretty much have the run of the place.
The hotel is also within walking distance of the Chegongzhuang stop on the subway....but beware crossing the busy streets. It helps to have eyes in the back of your head, or to stick with the other Chinese walkers.
Directions: Near the Beijing Zoo.
1 Guanghua Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing, Beijing
No.97 Jinbao Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing
No.25 Xiaoyuan Hutong of Bingmasi Hutong, Xidan North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, Beijing
No.1 Jianguomenwai Main Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing, Beijing
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Address: 21 Che Gong Zhuang Rd, Beijing, Beijing, 100044, China