Heart of Beijing: House with View 1

House - Entire home/apt · Dongsi 8th Alley, Beijing, Beijing, China

The Space

I would appreciate it a lot if you can finish reading the description carefully before you contact me for Q&A. :)

A FREE cooking lesson (including guided tour of a nearby farmer's market) can be arranged if you are interested.
If you want home cooked dumplings/steamed buns for breakfast, please let me know in advance.

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 front yard of a double courtyard. It has a double-bed. The traditional Chinese wood carving couch can serve as an additional bed. A 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.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 3
Bedrooms: 1
Beds: 1
Extra people: $15 / night after 2 guests
Weekly Price: $420 /week
Monthly Price: $1600 /month
Check In: 2:00 PM
Check Out: 12:00 PM (noon)
Country:
City:
Neighborhood:
Cancellation: Strict

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Accuracy
Communication
Cleanliness
Location
Check In
Value
  • Our family of three got a special treat by staying at Cindy's place in Beijing. We got to really see what it's like to live in this vibrant city in a traditional courtyard hutong apartment. We wandered through the allies for days on end, and felt at home when our feet were tired. Cindy gave us great tips, arranged a driver for us to go to the Great Wall, and to and from the airport. We were able to easily use her security doors and felt safe and cozy. We ate breakfast every day in her community kitchen and we were full and ready to go for a day of walking around. It was fabulous. I would recommend Cindy's place to anyone visiting Beijing for an authentic experience like a true Beijinger.

    December 2013
  • If one day you go to the side of Beijing, take a few days break in the heart of the Hutongs with Cindy and Nick.
    you will come back transformed after having the charm of Heart of Beijing.
    You really have to live it and get lost in the Hutongs among nice people in an authentic China.
    At Cindy Place, everything to be like home. I
    recommend to you all Heart of Beijing, eyes closed.
    Realy thank you, Nick and Cindy.

    September 2013
  • Me and my mother stayed three nights at Cindy's place in September 2013. To make it short: we both had a wonderful stay in this charming, quiet and centrally located accommodation. Cindy and Nick are wonderful people which will make everything for you to have a nice stay at there place. Thank you so much both for having us hosted - hope we stay in touch. Plus: the place is a good meeting point to get in touch with other travelers since they have several rooms to rent.

    September 2013
  • I had a great stay with Cindy and Nick. They both have a cheeky sense of humour and are very hospitable. You are sure to have a fantastic time. Their courtyards are a great retreat from the busy city. Clean, serene, comfortable and spacious. They gave me great recommendations on how to get around and what to see in Beijing. I got to try some new food and drinks and very much enjoyed the conversation and dining with them. The room was everything I could have wanted. The location is excellent. Very close to the centre with lots a places to eat nearby and short walk to the subway. Great people, great place, would return and recommend to anyone visiting Beijing.

    September 2013
  • We visited Cindy's Place the second time and that has multiple reasons, at first Cindy and Niko, then the beautiful place which Cindy has made and then Beijing. If you visit Cindy's Place, that isn't just a place for relax after a exciting day in Beijing, it's a place who is already a reason to fly to Beijing.
    You find everything at Cindy's, a warm welcome, a quiet place in a bustling city and every time a you meet nice people. The apartment was stylish furnished and there you will find everything you need.
    Cindy don't just give you the keys, you can ask her every time if you need something or have a question what you can do in Beijing. Cindy provides every time a beer which is pretty cool for a relaxing evening on her roof top.
    We didn't found just a great place to stay in Beijing, we found two friends, Cindy and Niko.

    September 2013
  • Cindy sent a driver to pick us up at the airport. We immediately felt at home in her place. Waking up to spend time on the roof top decks was my favorite. There was plenty to do within walking distance and we worked hard at mastering the Subway. I am sure we drove Cindy crazy with our phone calls (the phone she provides is invaluable when lost in Beijing). It was an awesome place to stay and made our visit to Beijing memorable.

    August 2013
  • Cindy is a lovely host, she gave us lots of good advice on where to have the best BJ duck, where to find things we needed, how to get from A to B. She helped us also to organize drivers to go to the Great Wall and she arranged airport and train station pickups and transports. She was very flexible when it turned out we had had a booking mixup - half of our group didn't have a room for the last night of our stay because of my own confusal and Cindy would let us stay in her house, amazing!
    The place is very charming and also authentic in a busy Hutong area but also a little old, so if cleanliness and service is important to you you might want to consider a hotel or a different place.
    One of the smaller rooms was very small and didn't really have space to put things.
    The family room though is really huge and nicely decorated.
    Breakfast was do-it-yourself and included, also soft drinks and beers - that was great and made us feel very welcome!

    August 2013
  • We had a great time at Cindy and Nick's place. They were wonderful hosts, always welcoming, and helpful. We were able to get good advice on itineraries from them and other guests staying there. Cindy helped us book a private car to the Great Wall which we shared with another couple, and Nick was kind enough to come by in the morning to make sure we were up and ready to leave! Hospitality at it's best. :)
    The room was great, and really felt homely. She has a cleaning lady come in, so found both the room and bathroom spotless when we arrived. There is a beautiful deck built over the roof which was just perfect for morning coffee or just relaxing in the evenings.

    August 2013
  • I put my parents up here when they visited me in Beijing. They had a good time and having Cindy definitely helped with their confidence on traveling inside Beijing. Overall, everything worked out great for them and they had a good experience

    July 2013
  • I would not have wanted our family to stay any other place. Cindy is such a welcoming host and helped us navigate our time here. The apartment is in a traditional hutong which has a great feel and is walking distance to two metro stops. Our family felt very at home here.

    July 2013
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Languages
English, Ελληνικά, 中文
School
Macquarie University, Sydney
Work
Wim Delvoye studio
About
Born and raised in Beijing. The courtyard has been my family property for 4 generations ever since my great grandmother bought it in 1948. If you want to experience a most genuine Beijing, I can assure you life doesn't get more real than here. 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. A FREE cooking lesson (including guided tour of a nearby farmer's market) can be arranged if you are interested. If you want home cooked 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 additional charges. Beer, 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 be reached all the time 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. attending yoga/belly dancing class in the evening at a community center nearby with the locals 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 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 will be given 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 nearly 300 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 20 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. 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.
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