20 best Beijing hotels (the Mid-range part)

20 best Beijing hotels – The Mid-range part

Grace Beijing (格瑞斯北京)

grace-beijing

Breakable art abounds in the guest rooms — step carefully.

Back in the 1990s, artists like Ai Weiwei (艾未未) set up shop in the empty factory buildings that would eventually become the 798 Art District. With the opening of Grace Hotel (formerly Yi House Art Hotel), the area’s gentrification is complete.

Though it’s outside of town, the hotel is surrounded by world-class contemporary art galleries.

There are only 30 guest rooms, but from boxy singles to spacious suites they claim lofty ceilings, original Bauhaus windows (that open), luxury linen and lots of arty prints.

You can fill up on terrific European fare at Yi House Bistro, which has a great two-course lunch deal for RMB 108 (except for Sunday).

2 Jiuxianqiao Road, 798 Yishu Qu, 706 Hou Jie 1 Hao 酒仙桥路2号院, 798艺术区706后街1号, +86 10 6436 1818, room rates: from RMB 616, www.gracebeijing.com

 

The Orchid

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The Orchid’s twinkling terraces by night.

Billed as a “hostel for grown-ups,” The Orchid is a laid-back boutique hotel in one of Beijing’s most vibrant hutong neighborhoods.

The lobby bar hosts regular wine tastings (free for guests), and serves potent locally brewed beer — pretty soon everyone is well-acquainted, especially with only 10 guest rooms.

The most affordable rooms occupy wooden-beamed Qing-era buildings that surround an idyllic courtyard.

Premium rooms have private outdoor space and come with thoughtful extras like a mobile phone pre-loaded with useful numbers.

All rooms have an Apple TV set, goose-down beds and jars of high-grade tea.

From the trio of roof terraces you can catch sight of the Drum and Bell Towers looming over tiled rooftops.

65 Baochao Hutong, Gulou Dongdajie, near Nan Luogu Xiang 鼓楼东大街宝钞胡同65号, 近南锣鼓巷, +86 10 8404 4818, room rates: from RMB 680, www.theorchidbeijing.com

 

Hotel G

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These are the only squares at this self-consciously cool address.

With its over-designed “retro-chic” decor and MacBook-wielding clientele, Hotel G is a slick operation providing good value: giant flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, Nintendo Wiis, complimentary mini-bar drinks and other treats for less than the price of chain hotels.

Hotel G isn’t in the most attractive part of town, but it’s in a good position for business meetings — the nearby Lido area hosts many multinational companies — and Beijing’s biggest nightclubs are a few hundred yards away.

Scarlett is the best kind of hotel bar-restaurant. Affordable brasserie fare is complemented by an excellent wine list (with many by the glass), and very possibly the most tempting cheese board in China.

A7 Gongti Xilu, near Dongyingfang Hutong 工体西路甲7号, 近东营房胡同, +86 10 6552 3600, room rates: from RMB 1,088, www.hotel-g.com

 

Courtyard 7 (秦唐府客栈7号院)courtyard-7_0

Breakfast room before the storm.

For a semi-authentic Chinese experience without compromising on comfort, Courtyard 7 ticks most boxes.

Gray brick buildings with vermillion beams and steep, tiled roofs wrap around meticulously tended gardens, quadrangle-style.

Spacious rooms are dominated by traditional rosewood-framed beds girdled with silk drapes — firm for the uninitiated, but comfort is assured elsewhere by cozy under-floor heating, rainforest-style showers and a hearty buffet breakfast.

Best of all is the location, a quiet side alley off Nanluogu Xiang straddling the old and new parts of town. Head east for lattes, cocktails and Mao kitsch, west for traditional snack vendors and card-playing locals.

7 Qianguloyuan Hutong, Nanluogu Xiang 南锣鼓巷前鼓楼苑胡同7号, +86 10 6406 0777, room rates: from RMB 650, www.courtyard7.com

 

Face Hotel

face-hotel

Various Asian art styles join forces in the same room.

Set in a former primary school, this low-rise boutique is a newer addition to Face Bar, an upscale drinking hole south of the Worker’s Stadium.

Guest rooms and public areas are strewn with eye-catching Indian, Balinese and Thai artworks from the owner’s personal collection.

Rooms come with giant TVs, attractive Chinese furniture, big bathrooms and lots of hanging space. Previously employed by Banyan Tree, the manager, Lu Hu (陆虎), ensures service remains a priority.

The hotel’s Thai restaurant, Lam Na Thai, with a manager and chefs imported from Thailand, is popular.

26 Dongcaoyuan, near Gongti Nanlu 工体南路东草园26号, 近工体南路, +86 10 6551 6738, room rates: from RMB 700, www.facebars.com

 

Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing (北京丽亭酒店)

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A room close to the Forbidden City … and shopping streets.

Close to the Forbidden City and tourist shopping at Wangfujing, Park Plaza is a smart choice for first-time visitors nervous about culture shock.

Rooms are neat and tidy, with decent-sized bathrooms, big comfy beds, free Internet access and a smattering of foreign channels on the box. The downsides are no pool, and the breakfast buffet costs extra.

A team of efficient concierges is on hand day and night to take care of all of your Great Wall and Peking duck enthusiasms.

Book at least a month ahead in high reason if you want to snag a room at this popular and affordable mid-range hotel.

97 Jinbao Jie, near Dongsi Nandajie 金宝街97号, 近东四南大街, +86 10 8522 1999, room rates: from RMB 595, www.parkplaza.com

 

The Brickyard (瓦厂)

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Country comfort at the foot of the Great Wall.

On the outskirts of Mutianyu village, this eco-conscious boutique retreat rests in the shadow of Beijing’s second most visited stretch of Great Wall.

A former glazed tile factory, it’s gone through a full makeover. The old firing kilns now house the reception area, and shards of colorful tiles are set into paths that wind through neatly clipped gardens.

Floor-to-ceiling windows with Great Wall views are installed in all guest rooms at ground level, but curtains are absent, so expect to rise with the sun (or use the eye-shades provided).

Breakfast (included) features local bacon, freshly baked pastries and jams made with fruit from the surrounding orchards.

A newly opened spa with pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna and treatment room has all wellness needs catered for. 

Beigou Village, near Mutianyu Great Wall 北沟村, 近慕田峪长城, +86 10 6162 6506, room rates: from RMB 1,380, www.brickyardatmutianyu.com

 

Hotel Kapok (木棉花酒店)

hotel-kapok_0

“A Clockwork Orange” meets “The Last Emperor.”

Bright, white and contemporary, this Chinese approximation of a design hotel falls just short of greatness.

Open plan rooms have nifty enclosed balcony gardens, glass-walled bathrooms, big beds and techy gadgets.

Service is orderly and accommodating, despite spotty spoken English.

The lobby restaurant hands out iPad-style touch-screen menus, but the burgers, pizza and Hunan-style Chinese dishes are rather more humdrum.

Public areas sport space-age white booths kitted out with books and magazines.

Best of all is the location right beside the east gate of the Forbidden City, and minutes from the Wangfujing night market.

16 Donghuamen DaJie, near Beiheyan Dajie 东华门大街16号, 近北河沿大街, +86 10 6525 9988, room rates: from RMB 788, www.kapokhotelbeijing.com

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