I would appreciate it a lot if you can finish reading the description carefully before you contact me for Q&A. :)
This is a private residence after all. If you hire a tour guide/driver on the Internet, please don't tell him/her my gate code or have them inside my yard. It happened before that some tour guide started harassing other guests trying to sell their service. Besides, it's not safe for me or other guests when there is some random stranger who has access to the gate code (which we update on a regular basis)
A FREE cooking lesson can be arranged if you are interested. It's really basic introduction to Chinese home styled cooking. If you are really serious about learning from a professional chef, you need to sign up for some culinary classes in Beijing.
I have two bikes for guests to use free of charge.
I have moved some furniture around. The first pictures are updated recently. So it's exactly how the room looks like now. I also keep some old pictures on the listing to give you a better idea of the size of the room.
In the very center of Beijing. Yet a peaceful retreat in a city where tranquility is a luxury.
LOCATION: in the same neighborhood as the Red Capital Club, Crescent Moon and Da Dong Peking Duck Restaurant. These are top famous eat outs mentioned on most travel sites.
I have 4 guest houses located in the same double-courtyard (century old family property). The front yard and the back yard is connected by a small corridor.
I am a big fan of open space, sunshine and fresh air (in a polluted city like Beijing, this means good ventilation). You can be sure you will enjoy all these.
Each house is independently located in the yard. You won't hear people talking on the other side of a thin wall.
The room is located in the back yard of a double courtyard. It has a double-bed. A mattress or camping bed is available at request.
This is a genuine Beijing neighborhood where daily life unfolds. Dong Si is one of Beijing’s oldest populated areas. Looking out on the terrace, you see modern glass buildings rising along the second loop of Beijing. Waves of time have been washing away traces of the traditional Beijing. Yet, in my neighborhood, things haven’t changed much in more than 60 years of Red China.
The location is to the east of famous tourist sites such as Nanluoguxiang, Houhai, Beihai Park, Jing Shan Park, the Forbidden City, the Drum Tower, etc. The famous food street (the ghost street) and infamous bargaining arena Ya Show market are both within a leisure walk.
It is within the 2nd Ring Road of Beijing, and just a short 5 minute walk away from 2 subway stations: Dong Si Shi Tiao (LINE 2) on the east and Zhang Zi Zhong Lu (LINE 5) on the west.
All the rooms listed have air conditioners, electric heaters, a TV and DVD player, electric water kettle, hair dryer, shampoo, shower gel, towel, soap, tooth paste, etc. The TV doesn't have signal since I don't watch Chinese TV at all. But you are more than welcome to check out my DVD collection.
There is a laundry room with a washing machine in the yard (sorry, no dryer). In winter, all the laundry dry over night if you hang them in front of the big heaters in your room. In summer, the sun or the air-con in your room will dry them pretty fast.
Toaster, fridge,microwave and electric cooker can be found in the common area.
I provide a mobile phone with local SIM card. As a world traveler, I understand what sense of security it can bring when you always have somebody to call when in a country you don't speak the language.
Banks, super market, pharmacy, massage salons (legit ones), fruits shops, varied restaurants, post office, train/flight ticket agencies, tea shops, bakeries, gym that offers different classes (yoga/belly dancing/pilate) in the evening,etc…Easy access to everything you may need in the neighborhood.
A map of Beijing and a print-out with brief introduction to around 20 restaurants in the neighborhoods (how to get there, what kind of food they serve, etc) will be waiting for you in the room when you check in.
Taxi from Beijing airport: RMB65 -75
Airport train + subway from Beijing airport: RMB27
Bus from Beijing station: RMB1
Subway from Beijing south station: RMB2
Taxi from Beijing West station: RMB40 -45
There will always be coffee/tea/soft drinks/cookies/toast/jam/peanut butter in the breakfast room. Feel free to grab a bite whenever you feel like it. It's on the house.
Please click on my profile to read the FAQs.
Non-smoking in the rooms.
Do remember to turn off the air-conditioner or heater before you go out to explore the city. Otherwise they will be turned off for you.
A RMB50 fine will be required if you lose the keys.
Cindy and Nick were fantastic hosts. Our flight was delayed and we ended up arriving around 2am. They had arranged for a driver to pick us up from the airport, which we highly recommend, as most people do not speak English. Nick was there to greet us and show us around despite the late hour of our arrival. They were very helpful throughout our stay and gave us tips and directions. We stayed in December and our room was warm the entire time and we even turned off the extra heater at some points. We couldn't hear any neighbours in adjacent rooms, which was nice as we tended to sleep in. We highly recommend staying here if you are looking for an authentic Beijing hutong experience.
Everything was well prepared. Cindy has a package kit of information and everything she says about the houses are spot on. I think its a great place to stay, with the only comment that the winter is really cold.
At the rate of heating usage, they must have spent a fortune each night on the electrical bill and kept us very warm. Most 5 star hotels aren't that warm!
Cindy and Nick were excellent hosts. They were very helpful, informative, and genuine. It was great to stay in a hutong and experience a much more authentic experience. The location is close to two train lines which made it convenient to see various sites. Would definitely highly recommend staying with Cindy!
A side note for travelers (this is separate from my review of this listing). We tried taking bus 877 to the Great Wall of China. We arrived at the location at 11:05am and saw the sign that said that buss 877 runs from 6:00-12:00. There were about 20 others in line. We waited until 12:20pm and the bus never arrived. One by one, the others in line left. We have not idea what happened to the busses, and the government employees working the bus stop were not helpful. We ended up having Cindy arrange for a taxi driver for us. It's more expensive than the bus, but it ended up being worth it. The driver was friendly and trustworthy. We were able to go straight to Mu Yian Tu and experience the Wall at sunset.
Our stay with Cindy and Nick was fantastic! They were both very kind, friendly, warm, helpful and really fun to chat with! The place was at the heart of Beijing. Very near to the subway. Room is big and spacious. Very well heated in the cold winter! Warm showers as well! Also, a really nice pub just down the street. Amazing experience. Possibly the best airbnb experience I had by far! So if u are looking for a place in Beijing, look no further!!
We had a great stay at Cindy's. Both she and Nick are friendly and warm with great senses of humour. Cindy helped us out registering at the police station for our 72 hour visa and organised a car to take us to the Great Wall. The location is superb, close to the main sites and 5 mins walk to the subway. The room was lovely, comfy bed and warm (it was December and -3 degrees outside! We loved the breakfast room which was well thought out with plenty to eat and drink. Would definitely reccomend to friends and hope to visit again.
Cindy and Nikos were so fun to hang out with and their place is in an awesome location. The place is such a good way to experience Beijing!
Cindy is possibly the best airbnb host out there. The "Welcome Guide" she provided was invaluable. First it saved us 500RMB by telling us how much a taxi should cost from the airport, which kept us from accepting an offer from somebody trying to take advantage of us (and to not take it personally when the first taxi driver wouldn't pick us up). Furthermore the directions provided for how to get to her place are perfect. The taxi drivers dropped us off at exactly the right alley, which is no small feat for Beijing! Her Welcome Guide also has directions for how to get to every major tourist attraction using public transportation, which made us feel comfortable enough to try out getting around without a tour guide.
Our room was clean and larger than I expected for Beijing with plenty of room for our luggage, plus enough heating and bedding to keep us warm.
Finally, I can't end this review without mentioning Cindy's generosity - from arranging a driver for our trip to the Great Wall, tickets to shows and the package of delicious sweet cookies she gave to us when we left knowing how much we loved them - she went above and beyond to be helpful. I can't recommend Cindy strongly enough. Stop reading this and go book a room right now.
This host has 260 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
Born and raised in Beijing. The courtyard has been my family property for 4 generations ever since my great grandmother bought it in 1948. This is one complete property. It's not some walls surrounding a room in an already tiny area to create a so called "yard". Your only neighbors will be my family and other guests. That's why it's very safe and peaceful.
If you want to experience a most genuine Beijing, I can assure you life doesn't get more real than here. It's like stepping back in time to walk around in the neighborhood to explore the intervened alley ways.
It is a well balanced location: about 1 mile west of the Sanlitun/workers' stadium district where modern shopping malls and hottest clubs are. about 1 mile east of Hou Hai/Nan Luo Gu Xiang/Drum Tower area where traces of an old Beijing has got a contemporary touch.
If you want to stay in a neighborhood where the moment you step out of the door, you are already rubbing shoulders with tourists, that's NOT the place.
If you are looking for a luxurious service apartment, you need to look further. This is just a ordinary household.
If you need, I can walk around with you as an introduction to my neighborhood. The super market, banks, post office, ticket agencies, bus stations and subway stations will be pointed out to you so you can immediately get a vibe of living a local life.
Immediately after a reservation is finalized, I am happy to communicate with you regarding your itinerary in Beijing: sites, restaurants, on/off the beaten path. I can help you find reliable drivers/tour guides.
There are 3 decent western bakeries within 10 minutes walking distance. If you want to stay in, instant coffee and coffee beans are provided with complimentary cookies/desserts. I want to create a non-business like atmosphere. So it's on the house.
There is a microbrewery tap room 2-5 minutes walking distance from my place in the same alley way. But if you prefer some cold local Beijing beer in the yard, you can always grab a bottle from the fridge. And again, it's on the house.
If you want to enjoy the private dining in the yard, my help can cook a Chinese meal for you. Of course, you will need to do your own shopping in the nearby wet market to pick up your veggies/meat.
There are so many restaurants nearby that serve different flavors of cuisines from all over China. You can either go there to enjoy the dinning experience or ask for a take away and have it here in the yard on warmer days.
If you want dumplings/steamed buns for breakfast, please let me know in advance.
Before I accept your reservation request, I would like to know a little bit about you. I am not going to accept your request if your profile is empty with just a name.
After your reservation request is accepted, I will e-mail you my own Beijing survival guide. Please read it carefully and tread with caution when you are in Beijing. This will prevent you from getting scammed.
There are only 3 of us living on such a huge private property (20 rooms on a land of 480 square meters/5160 square feet). That's why we have spare houses for guests.
THIS IS NOT A HOTEL. There won't be annoying hidden (website hidden), tea, coffee, snacks are on the house. But because THIS IS NOT A HOTEL, I am not your concierge or receptionist either. Mutual respect + adequate consideration is a must.
If you want
1. a relaxing place to stay in an authentic traditional neighborhood where daily life unfolds
2. English speaking hosts who can answer your questions
3. a well compiled kit with survival guide, neighborhood restaurants list, detailed instructions on how to get to major touristy sites, etc
4. restaurants and shops that don't charge rip-off foreign tourist prices
5. Freedom to mingle with hosts/other guests or to retreat to the privacy of your own space
6. 24 hour excess to complimentary snacks, tea, coffee, etc.
7. outdoor space for kids to play
very likely, you will enjoy staying here.
If you love
1. getting pampered in fancy hotels
2. residing in the middle of noisy, dazzling night life
3. feeling a part of an expat community
4. a Disneyland version of Beijing catering to western tourists
most definitely, you will NOT enjoy staying here.
I try to be the kind of host I would love to meet when I travel. I am happy to help you work out an itinerary whether you want a slow-paced trip or a action-packed one.
All guests can have a local mobile. It's great feeling to know you always have somebody to call when you need a bailout. ATTENTION: My phone will be off between 11:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.
Answers to most frequent questions:
1. All the reservations need to be made on airbnb. Airbnb cancellation policy should be respected. Please finalize your trip before you make reservation.
2. The name of my neighborhood is Dong Si. One of the earliest populated neighborhood in the city center. It is a very safe area. Actually, Beijing is a relatively safe city. The nearest subway stations are Dong Si Shi Tiao (LINE2) on the east and Zhang Zi Zhong Lu (LINE5) on the west. It's a 5- 10 minutes walking distance.
3. The answer to "I am/my friend is in Beijing, can we come over to have a look" is a most definite NO. If you are still suspicious after checking out heaps of photos I post here and over 400 reviews my guests have written, I know it is not going to be a pleasant hosting experience for me.
4. If you want to visit most of the major sites in Beijing, you will need 3 full days at least. A couple of days stay in Beijing is way too short.
5. There are different parts of the Great Wall that are open to tourists. They are between 1 and 4 hours drive from the city center. So my place is DEFINITELY NOT near the Great Wall.
6. Beijing is a huge city that spreads out (over 30 million population) with touristy sites in different parts of the city. So my place is DEFINITELY NOT close to all the sites. But from my place, most of the sites can be easily reached on foot or by subway.
7. I can help you hire car/driver for airport pick-up/drop off or trip to the sites.I make sure the drivers I work with don't make annoying stops at touristy shops.
8. My pleasure to help you book tickets to different performances (acrobatics, martial arts, Peking Opera, National Opera House etc.). They are normally much cheaper on Chinese websites.
9. You don't really need tour guides. Most people don't speak good English here in Beijing. But majority of them are friendly to foreign tourists and are quite willing to help. But if you do want a tour guide, I can recommend some to you.
10. All the rooms have air-conditioners, big electric heaters and boilers for shower. AND they are in GOOD WORKING CONDITION.
11. Each house has its own private bathroom. You don't need to share with us or other guests.
12. I can teach you all the bargaining tricks and how to make most of your shopping money. BUT...and this is a big BUT... please don't bargain with me. I really don't like it.
13. This is a private residence after all. If you hire a tour guide/driver on the Internet, please don't tell him/her my gate code or have them inside my yard. It happened before that some tour guide started harassing other guests trying to sell their service. Besides, it's not safe for me or other guests when there is some random stranger who has access to the gate code (which we update on a regular basis)
14. The check in time is 2 p.m. You can arrive earlier and leave your bags here. But there is a chance your room won't be ready. If there is no guest on the previous night, you will have no problem getting into the room.
15. If your flight/train arrives between midnight and 6 a.m., and your reservation only starts from 2 p.m. of the day, PLEASE arrive at my place after 8:00 a.m. Most guests will be sleeping early in the morning. I don't want to wake them up.