Value Score No Data
Good For Families
Loved staying here! Great place to stay!
Stayed here 4 nights 20-24th February - being winter and offpeak season, Sarah the owner, gave me and a friend a good discount deal of only 120 rmb a night for the 2 of us - the place met the criteria of having heating, hot water and wifi and at the same time had character, looked good and the people immediately seemed genuine and switched on.
We ended up with brilliant service - including pots of tea, brilliant excursions and answers to many questions asked, enjoyed the company of a brilliant driver for 4 days - 2 one day excursions and 1 2 day trip where he brought me down to Luoyang via places I wanted to see in Guoyu. We particularly enjoyed the rapport we were able to generate with him and the attention to detail both from him and back at the hotel with Sarah.
Breakfast and dinner were separate - breakfast cost an average of 28 rmb (we went most mornings for the apple or banana pancakes at 18 rmb, delicious coffee 10rmb but only a small cup, excellent mug of English style tea with milk for 10rmb) and dinner had a good lineup including the 'famous' Pingyao beef for 48rmb. Prices didn't differ much from place to place around Pingyao (and as Sarah said the tourist authorities set guidelines for the prices)
beware if you take a bus to Pingyao you will be dropped off at the side of the highway where taxis wait - the guy who offered us 40rmb (for only 3km) he said instead of 50rmb! showed us a brochure of a hotel that had the address as 167 Nan Jie/South Street and that it was in the Lonely Planet...it was not in my LP! - we went in to have a look and to me didn't feel right, nor did it feel warm and the proprietors were smoking away...she dropped the room down to 60rmb which even more didn't feel right....were totally happy that I sticked to my guns to stay at the Harmony hostel - even the driver said no they are not good...and I don't believe that brochure was for the current hotel we were shown.
Unique Quality: Friendly staff and great company from the lead such as Sarah and her husband who both speak very good English.
Attention to detail and providing a good service....including provision of information and reliable people in place to provide excursions and transportation.
The place was clean though not serviced daily but we were happy with being given a lower price for staying more than 1 night. The 4th night my friend had to go back to Xi'an and for the room on my own Sarah discounted it to 100 rmb.
The Nu'er Hong and Meigui alcoholic concoctions on hand were rather lovely! Sarah was very happy to give me a decent sized free trial taster...so I ended up buying one a night lol!
Directions: not far from the South Gate - on the main road running up from South gate heading north to West and East Streets
Join the family
We had already selected Harmony Guesthouse from Lonely Planet, and guess what: when our train arrived at Pingyao station at seven in the morning, there was mrs Sarah, the wife of Harmony owner mr Deng scouting for customers. She arranged transfer to the guesthouse by 'battery car', but before that made sure that we got the right tickets for our next train ride to Datong.
Harmony Guesthouse used to be a backpackers hostel, but business has gone so well that mr Deng bought another courtyard house and converted it into a budget hotel. We got a double with spacious kang bed and not so spacious bathroom for RMB 180. Only drawback in winter: the coal-fired central heating is not sufficient to warm the badly isolated rooms to a comfortable temperature. So we mostly kept our coats on; but the bedcovers were really cosy!
Not surpisingly the old dorm building is closed in winter, it does not pay to try and heat it. One guest on a budget who had counted on a dorm rate, got a room for that rate.
Mr and mrs Deng, although around 40, speak English fluently. Said he: "When I chose to study English, everyone declared me stupid. Nowadays all young people want to learn English." The couple is very cordial and helpful, without being pushy.
Directions: In South Street, just 100 m from the South Gate.
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