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“The best place to stay in Beijing in the hear to the historical Zhengjue Hutong”
Review of Red Lantern House

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Red Lantern House
Ranked #5 of 1,399 Beijing B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 October 2008

In the heart of the historical Zhengjue Hutong, this is a hostel also with private rooms, offers you great value and few good advantages to experience Beijing as ancient as before and modern as today.
The best of all: its location and the traditional Chinese architecture of the building, with courtyard as a lounge.
Staff very friendly and helpful, the cook likes to sing very loud while working and on his free time loves to play snooker with guests. The front desk arranges all kind of tours and can book you a show in town too, just in case you want to check out the famous Beijing opera or the amazing acrobats show.
Around the corner there's a little "travel agency" where you can purchase bus and train tickets at local cost, I purchased my ticket to Tibet there, Beijing central station always has long long queues.
Within10 minutes walking through the lively Xinjiekou Dajie street, where you can by ANYTHING and listen the locals singing on the karaoke stage in front of the shopping centre any time of the day, you will find Jisheitan subway station.

A hutong is an ancient city alley or lane typical in Beijing, where hutongs run into the several thousand. Surrounding the Forbidden City, many were built during the Yuan (1206-1341), Ming(1368-1628) and Qing(1644-1908) dynasties. In the prime of these dynasties the emperors, in order to establish supreme power for themselves, planned the city and arranged the residential areas according to the etiquette systems of the Zhou Dynasty. The center of the city of Beijing was the royal palace -- the Forbidden City.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled solo
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1  Thank Marinasworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 October 2008

The Red Lantern House offers a good location in a typical Beijing setting. For us, it was very interesting to be in the middle of the hutong life, much better than in a conventional hotel. It is meant, though, for people willing to sacrifice some luxury to being closer to real life in Beijing. The staff was really nice and helpful. We were actually located in the second building, but both are very close. The area is full of shops, restaurants, etc... and the subway is a 10 minute walk away. I will reccomend it to friends.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rociodeviaje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2008

We stayed in the Red Lantern West Hostel (mostly double rooms) located in Xinjiekou Nandajie 111 (west side), about 6 minutes walk from the "main" hostel. It's currently about a mile (1600 metres) from the nearest subway station (Jishuitan), but will be very close to the Pinganli and Xinjiekou stations when Line 4 opens up soon. A point to note is that it's a bit of an obstacle course getting there by foot from Jishuitan due to the narrow and crowded footpath especially on the East side of Xinjiekou Beidajie, though a taxi would only cost 10 yuan. The west hostel is a very delightful place with a traditional Sihe courtyard shaded by Quince trees as well as a covered inner courtyard containing reception, lounge area and pond. There' s a great deal of character about the place and is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Beijing to get a feel for typical living in the city. It's also excellent value for what is offered. The room (301) was basic and clean, overlooking the courtyard and the detached bathroom also clean, though the plumbing was marginal (toilet easily blocked). Other rooms didn't seem to suffer the same problem. There's free wireless internet in the covered courtyard area. The services are generally excellent with inexpensive breakfasts and meals, beers, coffee and cold drinks. The library is excellent with stacks of travel books on China, Russia and other Asian destinations. We went on the Y320 tour to Mutianyu which was excellent (leaves early to avoid crowds) and included a good lunch. The staff were very helpful. It's ideally located for visits to Bei Hai and the Summer Palace but is a fair way from the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Wangujing. The hutongs in between the hostel and Bei Hai and Hou Hai are delightful and well worth exploring on foot (or bike if you're brave).

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank fitzrovians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2008

Our family ( parents,son and daughter ) stayed twice at Red Lantern House in August and September this year and stayed in the East Yard ( with the duck!!!!!!!) We would definitley return to this hostel as it provides a more authentic and much nicer environment than the big hotels which are the same in every big city .For those who haven't stayed in hostels before please don't be put off on arrival by the somewhat grey / grubby immediate environment ...it will be fine absolutely fine when you find Red Lantern !
The rooms have locks , are spotlessly clean with modern bathrooms and soft towels and air conditioning .There is a feeling of relaxation and safety within the lovely courtyard which has trees growing and is decorated with plants /flowers and a nice fountain and fish pool .This is is great to relax after a busy day .
Breakfast was good and cheap ( £2 for European /English ) and the 2 dinners we ate were delicious..( compliments to the cook ! )
The staff are all extremely helpful and speak good/varying degrees of English ( all were much better linguists than our weak efforts to learn some Mandarin ! ) They will help with restaurant suggestions , book trips , help with writing addresses down for taxi drivers and any other things that you need .
We felt that Red Lantern offers the best of all worlds : it is in a Hutong; is cheap ; has the good things about being in a hostel ( interesting people /sense of sharing ) with the facilities of a small hotel .We all enjoyed the atmosphere here and each morning while having breakfast in the fresh air surrounded by trees and plants we felt glad we had booked at Red Lantern rather than some faceless high rise hotel !
The location is good ...it is possible to pick up a bus close to the hostel and the subway is easy to walk to in 10-15 minutes .( you could do it in 10 minutes if you are fit and not distracted by the sights and sounds of streetlife ! ) The subway is very cheap( 2rmb ) and very easy to use .Despite this we used taxis quite a bit when we were tired .They are plentiful and cheap ( most fares were in the region of 12-15 RMB and the most expensive was 30RMB across to the East of the City .
So ... to sum up . don't hesitate to book the Red Lantern Hostel .

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank firthbay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2008

We are senior travellers(mid 60s ),we have travelled extensively and tended to stay in good mid level hotels .What we have often been disappointed in is that in doing so you seldom rub shoulders with the locals.
If you want to experience life in the Hutongs and really live amongst the Chinese ,Red Lantern is the place to stay .
Prior to departure from New Zealand as senior travellers we were aprehensive about staying in Hostel type accommadation .We thought we would not fit in and would look decidedly geriatric amongst the other guests.
We need not have worried ,we stayed in the East Courtyard with the crazy duck ,we were made very welcome and our fellow guests were a collection of folk from all over the world and of all ages.
The en suite rooms in the East Courtyard are completely self contained ,you share nothing and they are spotlessly clean and are cleaned every day ,fresh towels toilet paper everything supplied.The standard of rooms was superior to many hotel rooms we have stayed in .
The courtyard is spacious and roomy ,we found it really relaxing and the drinks prices are really competitive.
The English amongst the staff varies quite a bit ,but they are all keen to make your stay at Red Lantern as enjoyable as possible ,even those with limited English soon grasp what it is that you need .
The staff are friendly ,but more importantly ,they are very efficient ,anything that you want ,such as Great Wall bookings are recorded in writing and promptly actioned .Little things such as laundry and meals (good quality food at great prices )are easily organised through the staff .
We organised ,The Great Wall , Opera, Airport Transfers etc through Red Lantern without a hitch .
Keeping in mind that this is China Red Lantern is a well oiled machine with plenty of staff always available 24/7.
We really liked the way Red Lantern were always up front with their charges ,there were no hidden extras ,we knew exactly where we were at all times .
Just a quick tip Red Lantern like most businesses in China is very much a cash only establishment ,you pay your room bill on arrival ,so make sure youve got cash .We found cashing travellers cheques difficult and time consuming and credit cards next to useless.
In China cash is king .
So as seniors did we enjoy our stay at Red Lantern ,yep we sure did .

4  Thank bugsey23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Red Lantern House

Address: No.5 Zhengjue Hutong, Xinjie Kou, Xicheng District, Beijing 100035, China
Region: China > Beijing > Houhai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 1,399 B&Bs / Inns in Beijing
Price Range: $15 - $63 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The information service available in Red Lantern House is based on "Simon's Tourist Information Office" which is the first generation of information and tour services provider for low budget international travelers in Beijing from the beginning of 1990's . Information and tour services are available at the reception. Staying with us will reminds you of staying as a member in our family as there is no counter or glass between us. Meet the Simon's Office Team that helps make your travel and travel planning much easier, better and possible! Your questions of where to go and how much it costs will be responded as precisely as possible. Tours and Information services including: Beijing City Tour ( Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven) Tours to the wall Night Show in Beijing Ticketing Service Bicycle Rental Car Service( airport pick-up and drop offer) Laundry, Sewing & Mending Service Barbecue in the Courtyard Dumpling Making Practice Tour to the Great wall departure from Red Lantern Guest house: Great wall at : 1 Mutianyu ( recommended) We run the trip to Mutianyu section of the wall with minimum two people by our own car or van. 2.Jinshanling 3.Simatai 4.Badaling and Ming Tombs, To avoid the crowds and sometimes terrifying shopping intervals of the Great Wall at Badaling, our hostel has specially designed and organized a daily tour to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. It takes 1.5 hours one way to arrive to the wall with no stop over for shopping, and begins around 7:30am to get away from heavy traffic jams so that you will be the first one standing on the wall there and nobody bothers you. We guarantee you have at least 3 hours on the wall and no push throughout the whole trip. When you are back from your trip, you still have a whole evening for other activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Lantern House Hotel Beijing

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