Friday, December 19, 2008

Hotel Review: Lu Song Yuan

The Entrance

I stayed in room 311 of the Lu Song Yuan hotel from 17 to 19 December, 2008. Room 311 is not on the third floor but on the ground floor, by the way.

The Lobby
The main courtyard

The good:
Booking was easy. I simply emailed them to ask the availability of a bedroom, received a reply on the following day, emailed them again to confirm my booking, and received their confirmation and a direction to the hotel (useful to show taxi drivers as this hotel is not well known to them) as email attachments. As I would arrive late, I called them up to give my credit card number (otherwise you don't need to do this), which went on smoothly.

The hotel building dates back to the Qing Dynasty era. The lobby's decor feels traditional with antique furniture and decorated ceilings. So does the bedroom. There are several courtyards, one of which I see through the window of my bedroom. The tea house looks cosy with two shared PCs for internet access.

Near the hotel is Nanluoguaxiang Hutong (see the post below), a narrow street lined with hutongs, Beijing's traditional homes dating back to the 13th century, which house small restaurants, bars, and shops of rather good taste.

The staff members are all friendly though few speak English.

Room 311

The bad:
The location is not as convenient as it seems. It is located in the center of Beijing, but the nearest subway station is a 15 minute walk away. As taxi drivers do not know where this hotel is, going back to the hotel is a bit of a pain in the ass.

There seems to be no way of preventing shower water from spilling into the bathroom floor even with a shower curtain.

The receptionist mistakenly charged my credit card with 1100 yuan at checking-in, which is fine. But when I checked out, it took 15 minutes for her to arrange the refund in cash, shortening my precious time for exploring Beijing before heading for the airport.

The ugly:
The bathroom stinks.

Verdict: if you don't mind breathing with your mouth in the bathroom, it is a great budget hotel in Beijing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Masa, wonderful pictures and commentary. You should earn extra money as a travel writer ;)

Happy New Year