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“Great Place for Westerners”
Review of Red Lantern House

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Red Lantern House
Ranked #6 of 1,406 Beijing B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 January 2009

This is a great hostel. I had a private room which was basically just that. And only that. It's just a room. Don't look for a fancy experience here in the room, but if you're booking a hostel, that's not what you're looking for anyway. The room had two best, a coat rack, a side table -- and that's it. The bathroom is one room with the shower just as a shower head in the room with a drain. Very old-fashioned. Always remember to place the trash can outside the bathroom when you're taking a shower!

Room was cleaned and made up daily. So much of the staff is very good in English. I was quite surprised. (And pleased!) The restaurant area was awesome. Lots and lots of Westerners were always in there and we were all using the free WiFi in there. Beers are cheap and so is the food. And the food really wasn't all that bad.

Definitely take their Great Wall tour to Mutanyu. Worth the cost, trust me.

The only bad part about this place is its location in regards to the subway. It's a hike, man. But, I stayed in a private room with a private bathroom in one of the world's most amazing up-and-coming cities for less than $150. I can do the hike.

I never didn't feel safe here. And it's in the middle of a hutong. At first, I was a little worried, but I got over that real fast. I never felt under threat anywhere in this city whether I was in a tourist area or not.

Stay at the Red Lantern! It's a wonderful hostel!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled solo
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2  Thank ScottDrakeISU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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185 - 189 of 314 reviews

Reviewed 28 December 2008

Me and my wife stayed at red lantern house from Dec 23th to Dec 27th 2008. We chose this hostel primarily because of its rave reviews as an international hostel located in the middle of a Beijing hutong. We had booked a double room with an attached bathroom. My first surprise was when I found that the rooms with attached toilets were NOT in the converted courtyard home, the main attraction of the hostel, but rather at some other location (which was a 2 min walk). My expectations were butchered but we moved on. I found the interaction with the staff particularly difficult - and not because of their lack of english skills - but their apparent lack of knowledge about stuff. I frequently got answers like "I am not sure" - for e.g. I asked if Summer Palace bus would be crowded in the morning, the answer was "I am not sure". On my first night I had asked them to write down the name (in chinese characters) of the famous night snack market, and the reception dude sent us somewhere completely different. The hostel staff carried name tags like - Sandra, Frank etc which appeared very contrived and put me off a little bit. I didn't travel from US to China to meet Franks and Sandras :). And yeah, if you don't have your computer you have to pay to use the internet on their computers. I had mine so this didn't matter to me that much. One morning, they couldn't take my breakfast order because they couldn't FIND the menu and while I waited I met with confused expressions without any real help. I had to abandon the conversation finally and had to go somewhere else. The final nail in the coffin was the constant presence of random people hanging out in the hostel lounge. They were apparently friends and family of the lady owner constantly watching TV and chatting. I think hostel lounge is for its guests where people can meet and relax and this alien presence spoiled the atmosphere. Location wise, the hostel is average, its a 15 min walk to the subway station - which may be fine given the size of Beijing. I did like the great wall tour organized by the hostel - the lunch was good and we had enough time - 4 hours - at the Mutianyu section of the wall. We fell into the Peking Opera tourist trap - take my advise, go to the authentic one at some tea house - don't fall for any tours. I found the opera very tedious and felt that it was heavily adapted for tourists.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sharadverma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2008

My stay at the Red Lantern House was excellent! I stayed there in december wich was low season,so there were not that many people there. I travelled alone and had a private room w/bathroom for very low price! It was very clean,the food was good, the staff were so friendly and helping, and could help me with everything! They arranged trips to the great wall, tours around the city, to Tibet, KungFu shows and many ohter things!The hotel was not in a touristic area, but in the middle of a real chinese hutong!
I will without a doubt return here whenever I am in Beijing!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled solo
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3  Thank NadineOslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2008

Red Lantern House has lived up to its No.1 spot on the TripAdvisor list of speciality lodgings.

It's a nice and comfortable place, and the rooms are warm - there's a regular heater and also an air-condition unit that can function as a heater as well. Room's also very clean, though as it's a hostel, you'll have to bring all your own toileteries - none is provided. Room is cleaned everyday, and new towels provided - though as it is handwashed - it's clean (i guess) but not as white as it should be.

The staff is also very nice and concerned. My son has been sick and we've been staying in the room for the past 2 days - still can say the room's been really comfortable. Plus the lady who does the cleaning always asks if my son's OK already, and if he needs to go to the clinic, which is just round the corner.

Lots of shops all around on the main road - with convenient pharmacy (the western ones, not chinese medicine shop), grocery stores, and eating places all around.

Overall, very happy with this place.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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2  Thank pbkoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Red Lantern House a couple of weeks ago and loved it there. We were not in the main building but two or three minutes down the road. (We only went to the main building for breakfast each day - you could get breakfast in our building but not the free one, which we'd got as part of the deal). The staff were very friendly and helpful with generally very good English, food was excellent (and cheap - beer was only about 40p and delicious dishes like sizzling beef were less than two pounds and good portions). The lounge area (in our section) we loved - sofas, tables, four computers with internet access...
The location wasn't bad (although not right in the centre of things). It was easy enough to catch a bus though to the centre - went direct, only cost 1 yuan and took about 15 mins. Metro stop was about 10 mins walk or so and also easy to use.
We asked to see a couple of rooms and chose the one with more light - nice and cosy, and just off the courtyard. The best thing about this place was the peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of Beijing's streets. And the fact that it had so much character - we would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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1  Thank twicky99
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 #6 of 1,406 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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