Beijing is an enormous city with more hotels that you can count, which may make choosing where to stay extremely difficult. This guide is a selection of the best hotels in Beijing, whatever your budget may be.
Things to consider before booking a hotel in Beijing
In Asia, we recommend booking hotels on Agoda because, in our experience, it is the agency with the best prices and a has great selection of hotels. You can click here to see all the hotels in Beijing or here to read our general recommendations on booking hotels in China.
Beijing is a massive megalopolis, and even though its transportation is relatively efficient, getting from one place to another can be a big waste of time. Because of this, in this guide we have selected hotels in three different areas, near the airport, in the downtown center (all of them are located in very central areas and close to the subway so that any location in the city is easily accessible) and, finally, near the Great Wall (for those of you who want to spend a peaceful day away from the bustle of the city).
Beijing receives millions of visitors each year and because of this, we recommend booking hotels well in advance, as the best hotels fill up relatively quickly.
Even though Beijing is a relatively international city, the majority of the people here don’t speak English. Because of this, many hotels, even 5 star hotels, have staff which is unable to speak any language other than Mandarin. In this guide, we have only selected hotels with staff which is able to speak at least a bit of English.
Lodging in Beijing remains rather cheap. We have selected in each zone hotels in various price ranges: budget (less than 150 Yuan/person/night), average (150-400 Yuan/person/night) and luxury (more than 400 Yuan/person/night). For your reference, as of today, 100 Yuan is about 16 USD.
Reviews of Hotels in the City Center
The Peninsula Beijing (5 Stars)
The Peninsula Beijing is probably one of the best hotels in the city. Its facilities are impeccable and include an indoor pool and a beautiful terrace. Its staff speaks perfect English, is attentive and most important of all, has been trained adequately for a hotel of this category (unusual in China). Among its multiple services it offers guided tours of the city. Its location is also very good, as it is close to the Forbidden City and Wangfujin street, and Dengshikou subway station (L5) is only a 10 minute walk away.
Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel
The Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel is without a doubt one of the most recommendable hotels in Beijing, considering that it offers luxury rooms at more than reasonable prices. Its location is also excellent, as it is very close to Wangfujing street, one of the most famous shopping streets in China and is only a 2 minute walk from Dengshikou subway station (L5). Its staff is very attentive and in general speaks English.
Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel
The Beijing Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel is a hotel whose main attraction is that it is completely decorated in the traditional style of the city, without compromising the comfort of a good hotel. Like the previous one, it is a renovated old house, which offers a traditional-style courtyard like in the previous photo. Its location is very central, in a small alley very close to Dongsi subway station (L5 and L6).
Courtyard 7 Hotel
The Courtyard 7 Hotel is one of the hotels which offers the best quality to price ratio in the city. Its design is that of a traditional ancient Beijing house which has been redesigned to offer large, clean and well-decorated rooms. It is located in a small and very peaceful centrally-located alley which is only a 15 minute walk from Andingmen subway station (L2).
Although a little more expensive than the others, the 161 Hotel offers an excellent atmosphere and attractive, clean and comfortable rooms. In addition, it has a small bar with the perfect atmosphere for relaxing. In addition to its hotel services, it also organizes visits to the city and to the Great Wall with staff that speaks English. Its location is excellent, in a small alley right in historic downtown and only a 10 minute walk from Dongsi subway station (L5 and L6).
Peking International Youth Hostel
The Peking International Youth Hostel is located in the heart of one of the liveliest parts of Beijing and very close to Nanluoguxian subway station (L6). This hostel has decent rooms (both private and shared) and an impressive terrace. Its location, in one of the most famous streets in Beijing, although excellent, can be a problem during high season, as the street will be jam packed with people and you will have to fight with thousands of tourists to get to your destination. The hostel’s staff speaks English and can help you organize your visit to the Great Wall or other points of interest.
The Leo Hostel is a very cheap and clean hostel with decent rooms (both private and shared), a beautiful patio and very friendly staff which speaks decent English. It is located in an interesting alley (or hutong) and is a ten minute walk from Tiananmen Square and Quianmen subway station (L2), that’s to say, the downtown center. It also organizes tours to the Great Wall and other points of interest both inside and outside the city.
Reviews of Hotels close to the airport
Hilton Beijing Capital Airport Hotel (5 Stars)
The Hilton Beijing Capital Airport Hotel is one of the best hotels near the airport and offers the quality guarantees of the Hilton brand. The rooms are excellent and it possesses good facilities including a spa, massages, a sauna, a pool and a fitness club. In addition, it offers a free 24 hour airport transfer service. However, keep in mind that being China, the quality standards for a 5 star hotel are not the same as in the West, especially when it comes to employee training. If you want first-class hotels, you will have no choice but to go to downtown Beijing. Although the hotel offers free internet in public spaces, if you want wifi in your room, you will have to pay for it (a common practice in the high-end hotels near the airport). In general, the staff speaks good English.
Days Hotel Beijing New Exhibition Center
The Days Hotel Beijing New Exhibition Center offers one of the best quality to price ratios near the airport. Its rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable. In addition, it offers a free 24 hour shuttle bus service which ensures that you will be able to get the hotel from the airport at any time without having to argue with taxi drivers. The only downside is that its proximity to the airport means that in some rooms, you can hear the sound of planes landing. The staff speaks decent English.
Super 8 Beijing Hotel Capital Airport Tianzhu Branch
The Super 8 Beijing Hotel Capital Airport Tianzhu Branch is conveniently located close to the airport. This hotel offers an economic alternative if you want to spend the night close to the airport. Its rooms are clean and comfortable, but the best thing about this hotel is its shuttle bus service to go to/from the airport, especially considering most taxi drivers won’t be very willing to take you to a place so close by. Its staff is able to speak a bit of English, so getting your room shouldn’t be a problem.
Reviews of Hotels near the Great Wall
Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall (5 Stars)
The Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall, which is run by an American, is located in a small town near the Muntianyu Great Wall. All of the rooms are excellent and have a large window with a view of the Great Wall. Even though it offers services such as massages, a sauna, hydromassages and excellent service, don’t expect the same service as a 5 star hotel downtown, as this hotel is intended to be a bit rustic. The price of rooms includes transportation to and from Beijing, transportation to the Great Wall and one massage session. In addition, the food offered in the restaurant is organic and self-produced.
The Great Wall Box House Beijing
The Great Wall Box House Beijing is located near the Gubeikou Great Wall section. It is an excellent place to spend the night before exploring the Great Wall. This hotel offers excellent family service and more than comfortable rooms. It’s no coincidence that it is one of the best ranked hotels in Beijing. I recommend that you book well in advance as it fills up quite quickly. If you are traveling on a tight budget, they also have shared rooms. You can read more about this hotel by clicking here.
[Photo Credits (Flickr Commons): www.flickr.com/photos/seeminglee/]