Took me a while to find a hostel I like and thanks to Chris's review, I was quite glad I found this one. Located amidst a maze of traditional Beijing residential Hutong (yes, expect lots of aged uncles ("Da Shu"s) in their boxers and shorts playing chess along the alleys and aged aunties ("Da Shen"s) gossiping away while keeping a sly glance at you as you wander past)
The hostel is broken into 2 sections, separated by "Tie Shu Xie Jie" [铁树斜街] (loosely translated as "Iron Tree Sloped Street"). On one side is the modern looking hotel (private rooms with ensuite bathroom) with 2 cafes, 1 in-house grocery shop, 1 tour desk and 1 massage cum hairdressing parlour. On the other, the dorms, all housed in a refurnished "Si He Yuan" (traditional Beijing houses) with amenities such as laundry, cafe, resting lounge etc provided.
There are free Internet access in both locations.
I secured a twin room with ensuite bathroom. Nothing luxury; air-conditioning, beds, a mini-fridge, a TV (with local & provincial channels) & towels - a clean and comfortable place to sleep! I am not in Beijing to stay in a room.
TO GET THERE:
Take Airport Bus No.2 from the Airport to Xidan Aviation Building. Then you'll have to locate a bus stop with public bus service 15. (Public bus 7, 14 and 15 ply the road) Get off at the "Liu Li Chang" stop and walk into the Hutongs. The alley is called "Tie Shu Xie Jie" [铁树斜街] but there is a little sign along the road indicating where you should walk towards to.
Alternatively, from Xidan, connect via the subway from "Xidan" [西单] to "Heping Men" [和平门] and walk down "Nan Xihua Dajie" [南新华街] towards "Liu Li Chang" [琉璃厂] after getting off.
Unique Quality: The in-house tour desk was extremely helpful with queries and bookings of tours. Ms Shen (沈永茁), who run the desk, was spectacularly patient and generous with her assistance.
The in-house cafe offers western breakfast for 30 RMB.
The biggest draw has to be the fact that the Hostel is set amidst a Hutong environment. Walk around the alleys, immersed yourself in a pool of Beijing living. No McDonalds. No KFCs. No Pizza Huts. No Starbucks. (Mercifully) Mingle with the locals - try one of the dishes in the local eateries, sniff around the grocery shops and try the local fruits (cherries, honeydews, peaches etc), fresh from the Orchards outside Beijing. It doesn't hurt, really.
Directions: Near "Liu Li Chang" [琉璃厂] along "Nan Xinhua Dajie" [南新华街]. Nearest subway station is "Heping Men" [和平门].
Popular clean hotel/ hostel in Beijing, not to far from the Forbidden city. Kitchen facilities, laundry and free internet. Great place to meet other travelers.
The rooms are clean, the heat was good in the winter, the showers usually warm. Travel services decent and travel staff helpful. The restaurant isn't great.
Unique Quality: The beautiful courtyard and the surounding hutongs are both pleasant, but not fully appreciated by me in the November cold.
Directions: From Hepingmen subway station go south and just before Zhushikou Xidajie turn left and it's about 500 m down the alley. From the subway it is 20 minutes by foot or maybe 5 by taxi. There are signs pointing you the right way, but are small.
The F.E.Y.H. is in an ideal location, just 15 mins walk from Tienamen square. The walk passes through an ancient market street that is simply bustling during the day and is loaded with great restaurants as well.
The hostel is split into two with one side of the street being inside a hotel building and the other side being in a traditional Chinese courtyard.
Unique Quality: Bar/Cafe with free DVD screenings.
Internet access (10 Yuan per hour)
Tours organised on site, and the place just has a great atmosphere to mix and exchange travel tips.
Directions: Just south of Tienamen Square
This place is right adjacent to a 'hutong'--chinese slums, and also has a hostel to compliment for backpackers.
Room and bathroom is clean and TV also works fine.. though no english channels.
Service is cool and intercom works.
Though the ppl at the reception know decent english they r not too helpful if you try and explain them anything complex.
Unique Quality: The best thing abt the pace is its location..Situated in the city centre it is at a walkable distance to all the major siteseeing places in Beijing. and is just 2 minutes from the Culture Street-Liuluchang Jie
Becuz the hotel is along with the youth hostel one can always find the place lively with backpackers from all over the world.
Directions: After u reach Tianamen Sq from airport take left and then right from red light and left from next red light. Cross the walkover(subway) and turn left at the third turn and and ask anyone yuan dong fandian(far east hostel in chinese)
The Beijing Far East Hotel and Hostel are very nicely located in a hutong not far from Tiananmen Square. The hotel has 2 stars but it was much better quality than the other 2 star hotels I've seen. Across the street there is also a hostel.
The room was clean, had a tv, fridge and bathroom with toilet and shower. What made me especially happy was the air conditioning! In August it would have been impossible to catch sleep or relax if the air co was missing!
I booked this hotel from www.sinohotel.com. I can recommend that service for everyone, it was extremely easy and fast. Also changing the reservation didn't create problems. What's best, no advance payment or credit card number is needed.
Unique Quality: The best thing about the hotel was the location. There are plenty of little shops and restaurants near the hotel. It was also great that it was situated a walking distance away from Tiananmen Square. In a city as big as Beijing, something being at walking distance is really a rather rare thing!
The hotel also arranges trips to the Great Wall and evening trips to acrobat shows and opera. You can also book train tickets through them. Although they will charge a commission, I think it might be much easier to do it through them than by going and buying them yourself.
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Address: 90 Tieshu Xiejie St, Xuanwu District, Beijing, Beijing, 100050, China