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What is the best location to stay in Beijing

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Dec 31st, 2009, 12:25 PM
  #1
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What is the best location to stay in Beijing

I am looking at all of the choices of areas to stay in Beijing and I am overwhelmed. I know I need to do more work, but I was hoping someone could help me narrow my search. My son ,who worked there one summer said one area, but I can't remember where right now, but it is not near the sights more of an ex-pat area. So do you stay near the sights or near a subway so I can get places with ease. I would like a place with a bar to have a glass of wine at night. Moderately priced would be good. Not super cheap or crazy expensive. In an area that had markets, sights, and interesting. I have been to China before, but not Beijing.
Thanks for you help.
Gail
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Dec 31st, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Hi:

I stayed at the Westin Beijing Financial Street when I was in Beijing in 2008. It was clean, near many restaurants and a mall. I'm not sure about the subway as we used a private car (which was surprisingly cheap).
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Dec 31st, 2009, 01:19 PM
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Thanks for the information. How did you arrange a private car?
Gail
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Dec 31st, 2009, 01:39 PM
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We stayed at the Sihe Courtyard which was utterly charming and only about a km from Wangfujing Street. Inexpensive, clean and recommended as a better way to get closer to the country than a high rise Western hotel. They have their own private cars (independent guys with brand new vehicles) attached to the hotel as very reasonable rates.
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Dec 31st, 2009, 01:50 PM
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We also stayed at the Westin on Financial Street. It was very nice, but I would have rather stayed east of the Forbidden City. I think that's a little more convenient. However, in the Westin's favor, I do note that they were right next to the best automated water fountain I've ever seen. Amazing! The subway (an essential part of getting around in Beijing) is about one mile from the Westin. The traffic in Beijing is incredible.
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Jan 2nd, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Does any one know about the other Westin (Starwood) property near the Great Wall? My husband thinks it's convenient to
central Beijing. We use Westin points and will be in Beijing in March...only for 2 days just to check out changes since we
were there in 1999.
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Jan 2nd, 2010, 06:30 PM
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No, no no so far. Find one of many hotels near the Forbidden City - that is where you want to be. There is one Days inn or something right against the walls and it is very reasonably priced. Oddly, I stayed nearby at a the Peking Youth Hostel because my Chinese friend insisted on staying there. It was my 1st stay at a rather late age, but I enjoyed it. The financial dist is a little haul from where you want to be - but still on the subway. But if you are over there, have a look at "Big underwear" the amazing burned out Shangri-la hotel tower mistakenly destroyed by fireworks (rockets) set off in front of the new CCTV building - which the Chinese refer to as "Big underwear."
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Jan 2nd, 2010, 07:05 PM
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> Does any one know about the other Westin (Starwood) property near the Great Wall? My husband thinks it's convenient to
central Beijing.

Complete confusion here. By definition anything 'near the Great Wall' could not also be 'convenient to central Beijing' unless it was tens of km across. Probably the reference is to the Great Wall Sheraton, which is on the northeast Third Ring Road, with well-refitted rooms but dated and gloomy public areas, and not your first choice if you want to pay this kind of money. To be in this area, which is convenient for business more than tourism you'd probably want to make other choices. There is also a Westin not far away, which has been open only for about a year.

> There is one Days inn or something right against the walls and it is very reasonably priced.

I would disagree that this is reasonably priced in terms of the local economy, or in terms of value for money, although its location is convenient.

The problem with answering the original enquiry, of course, is the lack of any definition of 'moderately priced'.

Being on the subway is indeed crucial when making hotel choices, and is only going to become more so as time goes by.

> The financial dist is a little haul from where you want to be - but still on the subway. But if you are over there, have a look at "Big underwear" the amazing burned out Shangri-la hotel tower mistakenly destroyed by fireworks (rockets) set off in front of the new CCTV building - which the Chinese refer to as "Big underwear."

A great deal of confusion here. The 'financial district' referred to in the earlier post is in Xi Cheng, the western half of the northern part of the city centre. The CCTV tower, which is more commonly translated as 'big shorts' (大裤衩) is in Chaoyang District well to the east of the centre, in the CBD, or Central Business District. It is another tower in the complex, the TVCC tower, which was torched, and which was going to be the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, not the Shangri-La (which is right over on the far west, on the way out to the Summer Palace).

Peter N-H
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Jan 3rd, 2010, 12:19 PM
  #9
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Peter N-H
I am the orginal poster. I have read many of your postings and you seen very knowledgable. By moderately priced, I mean between 90-150/night. I looked at the Sihe Courtyard and it looks nice + it is close to a subway. What do you think? Where do you think would be a good area or can you recommend a hotel?
Thanks
Gail
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Jan 3rd, 2010, 09:12 PM
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My first question would be 90 to 150 what? I'm going to assume US$, in which case that's enough to give you a vast range of choice in Beijing, and not 'moderate' by local standards at all.

The Sihe Courtyard is nice enough, having in a former existence been a residence of Mei Lanfang the Beijing opera star, who wasn't known for sparing himself comforts. It is known to small-size group tours of the slightly more adventurous kind, and not always possible to get into if you visit during the peak foreign travel season. The location's good, within the hutong, not too far from the Forbidden City, shopping on Dong Dan, the markets and Daoist temple in Chaoyang Men Wai, etc.

I think that hotels in refurbished (although sadly that often means rebuilt from the ground up) courtyard houses or mansions having a proper Beijing flavour are a good choice, rather than staying in a homogenised wannabe-Western place. Googling 'courtyard hotel Beijing' will give you quite a few suggestions (ignore the Marriott), some of which I know and some I don't, as new ones are opening all the time. The problem is that the prices asked-for on-line in English, and often paid without question by foreigners, are far more than needs to be paid or is paid by those who just turn up and bargain over the counter. An alternative measure, if you must book in advance, is to get a Mandarin speaker to call and bargain for you.

Peter N-H
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