Days Inn, Forbidden City

When I book accommodation, after basic cleanliness, my number one criteria is location which in most cases has to be traded off against cost. Whether the front desk staff are friendly and can speak English or otherwise is of secondary importance as I am very self sufficient when travelling. Indeed I am becoming fond of check-in and check-out machines which are becoming increasingly common in countries like Japan.

I digress, back to Days Inn Forbidden City.

This hotel is perfectly positioned less than 10 minutes walk to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and similar from the prime shopping and nightlife/eating area of Wangfuijing. An even shorter walk takes you into a number of Hutongs. Also, it is less than 10 minutes from two metro stations, Tian’an men Dong (East) and Wangfujing.

The hotel’s 3 star rating is fair. It is a distinct notch above typical budget accommodation in the area but certainly not in the luxury bracket. It offers breakfast / dinner for those so inclined to indulge and has a small shop which I didn’t patronise. I opted to have breakfast which was a reasonable buffet (mix of Western and Chinese options, mainly Western) and not unreasonably priced though you can get breakfast significantly cheaper outside. I often choose to have breakfast in hotels purely for the convenience of not having to make decisions too early in the morning and ‘getting it out of the way’ so that I can hit the road running for much more important sightseeing duties.

Our room was basic though comfortable and apart from a patchy wifi connection everything needed including free bottled water was on hand. The room was clean though a little on the dark side but as I spend very little time in my room this presented no problems.

As I said, the included wifi was, at best, patchy in the room and the staff were not that keen on doing anything about it – clearly giving me the impression that they were aware that it didn’t really work as advertised and didn’t want to waste their time on something they couldn’t fix. They just couldn’t admit that though! A decent signal could be picked up in the reception area.

Many reviews for Days Inn (while lauding location) complain about the lack of English spoken and the general grumpiness of reception staff. They speak sufficient English to check you in and out and answer basic questions – if you desire more than this my advice is to stay elsewhere. Having read other reviews on the hotel I was afraid to follow the advice on the hotel’s website to “Start your day early with a cheerful wake-up call…..”!!

For me location and value for money far outweighed any negatives and I would certainly stay here again.

One additional point re laundry, the hotel offers a laundry service in an attached dry cleaners but for an outrageous fee. Pack your clothes into a bag and head into a nearby hutong, find a guest-house/ backpackers and your laundry will be done for a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the place I used (less than 10 mins walk from Days Inn).

Hotel Address: No.1 Nanwanzi Alley, Dongcheng District, Beijing. http://www.daysinn.com

This blog entry is the first of a group (loop) of entries based on a number of trips to Beijing.  I suggest you continue with my next entry – Tiananmen Square – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my Beijing Introduction.

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