20 best Beijing hotels (the Budget part)

20 best Beijing hotels – The Budget part

Holiday Inn Express Beijing Dongzhimen (北京东直门智选假日酒店)

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Shiny, new and in the heart of the action.

This crisp, new budget hotel is surrounded by great Western and Chinese restaurants, and just across the street from April Gourmet, a U.S.-style grocery store open late for that emergency jar of peanut butter.

Good value rooms have funky lime-green armchairs, walk-in showers with lots of rolled towels, tea and coffee facilities, comfy beds and flat-screen TVs.

Young staff clad in orange sweaters are happy to help, but you might need to break out the Mandarin phrasebook.

Beijing’s best nightlife is within walking distance.

1 Chunxiu Lu, near Dongzhimenwai Dajie 春秀路1号, 近东直门外大街, +86 10 6416 9999, room rates: from RMB 485, www.hiexpress.com

 

Peking Yard (北平小院国际青年旅舍)

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Yes, they have a guitar. And PlayStation 3.

This upmarket hostel caters to the needs of today’s “flashpacker” tribe.

Housed in a handsome old house halfway up an interesting hutong, it opens into a chilled, wood-beamed lobby bar selling Belgian beers, pizza and burgers, with comfy couches and leafy plants. There’s a quiet garden in the back, a few dorm beds are available, and there’s a cute sun terrace with loungers.

As a place to meet other travelers and compare Great Wall adventures it can’t be beat, but the price is getting into mid-range hotel territory.

28 Wangzhima Hutong, near Dongsi Beidajie 汪芝麻胡同甲28号, 近东四北大街, +86 10 8404 8787, room rates: from RMB 420, www.pekingyard.hostel.com

 

Double Happiness Courtyard (阅微庄四合院)

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Charming, cheerful, good for families.

Family-friendly service and a great alleyway location make up for the Chinese-style beds and small bathrooms at this charming, tumbledown courtyard hotel.

No two rooms are the same it would seem; try to get one of three with a private balcony.

Rooms come with kettle and coffee machine, simple breakfast, Chinese-style wooden furniture, flat-screen TV and even a desktop PC for free web browsing.

A well-equipped bar is just inside the entrance, and the hotel staff are unfailingly friendly and adept at booking tours and onward travel. A lack of under-floor heating definitely halves guests’ happiness, so this is probably one to skip in winter.

37 Dongsi Sitiao, near Dongsi Beidajie 东四四条37号, 近东四北大街, +86 10 6400 7762, room rates: from RMB 580, www.doublehappinesscourtyard.com

 

Sitting on the City Walls (城墙旅社)

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When hutong courtyards and youth hostels collide.

So called for its perch just inside the long-gone Imperial city walls, this simple courtyard hotel is high on period atmosphere.

A eunuch’s snip away from Jingshan Park and the Forbidden City, it’s marvelously located, and boss Rick Dou (窦宏图) is a well of local knowledge. The Beijinger will tell you all about the history of the area.

Most rooms open onto the central covered courtyard — the usual mélange of tables and chairs, booking desk, beer fridge and (rather less common) a life-size replica of a Terracotta warrior.

Basic rooms have soft beds and big shower rooms, and the kitchen turns out serviceable kung pao chicken and cheap coffee.

Free bike hire lets you explore the surrounding maze of old alleys at your leisure.

57 Nianzi Hutong, Jingshan Houjie, near Dianmen Neidajie 景山后街碾子胡同57号, 近地安门内大街, +86 10 6402 7805, room rates: from RMB 380, www.beijingcitywalls.com

 

Templeside Deluxe Hutong House (广济邻国际青年旅舍)

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When hutong courtyards and youth hostels collide.

In the shadow of a little-known Tibetan temple, this covered courtyard feels a long way from the cappuccinos and shopping malls of contemporary Beijing.

Rooms are basic, with firm beds, thin towels and tiny shower rooms, fridge, TV and free Wi-Fi. Choose a south-facing room for temple views. There are three threadbare “family rooms” with bathtubs.

A small second-floor terrace has great views across the rooftops to the temple stupa.

Beijing-born owner Bobby Zhang (张昊) and his wife make every effort to make guests feel at home, with weekly group events like dumpling-making and family-style meals.

2 Baita Xiang, Zhaodengyu Lu, near Anping Xiang 赵登禹路白塔巷2号, 近安平巷, +86 10 6617 2571, room rates from: RMB 400, www.templeside.com

 

Peking International Youth Hostel (北平国际青年旅舍)

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Comfy couches and cappuccinos next to the Forbidden City.

Another hip hangout for 21st-century nomads, this hostel in a compact courtyard beside the east gate of the Forbidden City offers small rooms and lovely public areas.

The open-air courtyard is a rarity in Beijing. Its long bench tables suit summer socializing and sunny breakfasts.

The building itself is particularly atmospheric, with peeling beams and period fixtures.

The downside is that drinks are Starbucks prices, and service is a little frostier than at other hostels.

No. 5, Beichizi Ertiao, Beichizi Dajie, near Donghuamen Dajie 北池子大街北池子二条5号, 近东华门大街, +86 10 6526 8855, room rates from: RMB 420,  www.peking.hostel.com

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