We landed on Beijing Capital Airport at past midnight. After clearing customs, I had money changed at the Money Changer Booth which is not good since they have lower rates. It would be better to just get money from the ATM outside -(I found out after I got home that there are charges for every transaction, they didn’t charge me previously in Hong Kong). So we cued for taxi and there are a lot. Make sure you take the official one. They are usually painted in two colors and they have an ID on the dashboard. I printed out the hotel map and address in Chinese before going so I had it handy to show the driver. The taxi driver did not necessarily know where it exactly was since it’s not a well-known hotel and it was located in an obscure hutong but he did radio someone to find it. We got to our Hotel and our fare was around 150 RMB. I know that the starting rate in the airport is about 30 RMB while it’s only 10 RMB when you’re in the city so it’s more expensive. I was apprehensive at first to take the taxi so late at night not being familiar with the area but I realized during my stay that Beijing is relatively safe. So, we arrived in our hotel..
This picture I took at another time. We arrived dead at night so it can’t possibly be this bright. Haha. We booked the Shatan Hotel for 5 nights. It was the most affordable accomodation I could find. It had really great reviews on Tripadvisor. On check in, our names were already listed on their paper like they were expecting us. They photocopied our passport, then gave us the room key. We stayed on the third floor, the room with no windows. I mean it would be nice if it had windows but it didn’t bother me much that it didn’t have any. So here’s what our room looked like..
Those beds were really comfortable..
We used the TV a lot. It had about 2 main english channel – HBO and the other one. It also had Channel V and some of the CCTV programming would be in english at other times.
The mini bar.. Never used the coffee machine. We used the pot to heat water for our noodles at one time. We also got sodas from the fridge. It’s priceless when your feet are too sore from all the walking. There’s a store around the corner of the hotel to get cheaper drinks and whatever you need..
That’s our cabinet. It had sufficient space to hang clothes. It also had a safe inside for valuables. That’s our door on the right and the bathroom on the left. I know it’s not the cleanest carpet but they provide slippers..
That’s our vanity in the bathroom. They had one standing shower and a nice toilet. There was also a phone in the bathroom – convenient! They also had a hairdryer provided. The hot water was really nice..
Our room was kept clean everyday. If we needed something, there was no problem with housekeeping or if we wanted to ask anything, we just call reception. The reception really helped with transportation and directions. We preferred to take the bus and subway or walk. They had taxi cards and maps which were priceless. The hotel was a walking distance from the North gate of the Forbidden City. We also walked to Wangfujing which was a little far but since Beijing is big, it was considerably close. I mean we could walk to it. We tried to order from the restaurant for room service but we couldn’t communicate well with them but they were nice enough though to bring the menu to our room. We just ordered from KFC and had it delivered to our room.
There was one incident where the power just went out. We called reception and they immediately sent maintenance and it was fixed. The hotel also had a business center where you can check your email if you wanted to for 5 YUAN for 30 minutes of use. There’s also this cafe/restaurant pictured below that is geared to tourists. They had good food but a bit expensive, free internet though. I do recommend this hotel. It’s in the center of the city and we had a really pleasant stay and enjoyable experience. :-)