Stay away from the Red Lantern Hostel
Despite an amazing review on Hostel world, we found this to be one of the worst hostels that we have ever visited. When we finally found it, (finding anything in the Hutongs in Beijing is an adventure, even for the locals!), we were sent off to the second courtyard hostel, which was a good trek further on down the street. Although full of character, and probably lovely and cool in summer, this hostel was ice cold, with no towels supplied in the double rooms, thin blankets and dirty bathrooms. The staff didn't speak any english, and only one person who would drop in occasionally would help us out to work out what was going on.
This hostel needs to learn what the backpacking guests want in a hostel - although it had character and was very pretty, I strongly recommend you stay elsewhere anytime except summer, when even then I would try somewhere else before handing over your money, and a deposit that they will more than likely keep for no good reason! Courtyard Hutong, traditional building, lots of character. Freezing cold!