“Great choice for the adventurous, no-frills traveller who wants to experience a bit of "real" Beijing”
I went in the latter half of March 2011, which seemed an ideal time. I was lucky with sunny, dry, mild, spring-like weather across all 5 days, and had no problems with the sanitation smells some others have mentioned.
This is a great little place for the traveller who is willing to stay in no-frills accomodation, but who wishes to experience being in a real, living and working area. The hotel is in a hutong/backstreet maybe 2 miles walk north of the Forbidden City. Arriving at Dongzhimen Station from the airport (only 25 yuan) I walked west (crossing the ring road) for 35 minutes along Dongzhimennei to the streetsign for Baochao Hutong. Go right into that, and take the second alleyway on the right, maybe 250 yards/metres along. The Citycourt is about another 50 yards on the right. Getting there when you arrive is the hardest part. After that you'll be fine.
The hotel was small and homely, with the staff speaking English. My single room was basic but fine. If visiting in winter, maybe bring (or buy locally) some paper slippers as the floor is stone. Bathroom was cosy but perfectly adequate. Free wifi was great. I didn't eat at the hotel so can't comment on breakfast.
There's a lot of places to eat within walking distance. Mr Shi's dumplings is 5 minutes away on Baochao hutong, that was great. Under 10 minutes walk away is Nanluogu Xiang, with lots of bars and restaurants down its length. I ate at the Nan Luo Jing restaurant near the south end of that street, which helpfully had English names on its menu. Good food, big meal of beef & onions, rice and big bottle of beer for about 50yuan (UK£5). If you want a safe, familiar choice, there's a McDonalds 10 minutes walk east on the main road (Jiaodaokoudong) on the way to the nearest subway station, Beixinquiao.
I loved walking though the hutong every day, it's a very real, authentic, working neighbourhood, and I felt safe walking day or night, though obviously keep your wits about you as you would anywhere.
My only "complaint" about the hotel was that no one was on the reception desk before about 8am. This caused problems as I had an early start on the Sunday morning (7.20am) for a day trip to the Ming Tombs and Great Wall. The guide phoned the hotel to explain where to meet the tour bus (as it wouldn't/couldn't) come to the hotel in the narrow streets. No one from the hotel was around to answer the phone early that morning, and it took until 8am before I got someone to call the tour guide back, find out the meeting point in Chinese, and show me on a map where to go (junction of Boachao Hutong/Guloudong Dajie, which is the nearest point on the main road). I almost missed my tour. I also had to leave early next morning for the airport, before 8am. Again, no one was around on reception at 7.30am. As I'd pre-paid, I just left my room keycard at the front desk.
The hotel kindly provides printed cards to show taxi drivers, with directions in English and Chinese. However, I found one evening none of 5 taxi drivers would take me back to the hotel. In the end I managed to get the restaurant I'd just eaten at to write "Please take me to the Drum Tower at Dongcheng" before I could get a taxi, and that was at the third attempt. The Drum Tower is only 10 mins walk from the hotel, and is the nearest landmark. So don't rely on being able to get a taxi right back to the front door.
Overall, I'd recommend the Citycourt, particularly if you're not afraid to walk a bit to get places. The hotel was small, pleasant and clean, though no-frills. If you want a Best Western or better, this isn't for you. The location was fine, an interesting neighbourhood. Beijing is really interesting to visit, though little English is spoken. But I'd definitely go back, both to Beijing and to the Citycourt. Just accept beforehand that the Citycourt is basic and that you don't have 24 hr reception service. But it IS authentically Chinese, and its a great experience for that.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC