Kelly the Culinarian: China Recap: Where We Stayed

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

China Recap: Where We Stayed

Hello blogging world! I'm finally back on the grid. Last week, I took a 14-hour flight from Chicago to Beijing. It was actually downright pleasant - free booze, decent food, awesome snacks and all the television you can watch. Our plane had the individualized televisions, so I watched "Haywire" (OK), "Young Adult" (incredibly depressing), "Man on a Ledge" (predictable, but suspenseful), a documentary about jeans and three episodes of "Dexter."

Tea and slippers, a match made in travel heaven
When we rolled into Beijing, we took a cab to our hotel, the Red Wall Garden Inn. My travel companion, Kelly, picked it out and it was full of win. It's a hard-to-find boutique-style hotel near the Forbidden City. The staff there spoke some English and were incredibly accommodating. They brought us a welcome tea that was amazing, then invited us to a barbecue that night in our courtyard. After being awake for 30 hours, tea and plush slippers were exactly what we needed. The barbecue featured veggies, tofu, octopus and prawns doused in spicy sauce. We were hungry; it was amazing.
The courtyard

The public spaces of this hotel are great. There's an airy courtyard featuring plants, flowers, a fountain with fish and plenty of shady places to read a book. There's a cafe with drinks and coffee, but they were expensive, so we just opted to sit and read there. On the top floor of our hotel, there's a ceiling with water running over it that has a super-soothing effect.

On to the room! We had a waterfall-style shower and great toiletries.

The room featured a great combination of Eastern and Western touches, like a vintage-style phone, carved furniture and a mini bar inside a wooden oriental cabinent.

For two people, it cost us $240 total for a three-night stay. An absolute steal. The beds were comfy and the staff went above and beyond, like arranging complimentary, in-room deep-tissue massages that felt awesome after walking around the city in the heat all day. I would highly recommend this place if you're headed towards Beijing anytime soon.


Kim said...

So happy you found such a reasonable and comfortable place to stay! I will keep it in mind for when I go to China... I wish.

I have a friend in Korea who is struggling to eat vegetarian. Are you going try to at all during this trip? You probably don't want to miss out on the experience!

KellytheCulinarian said...

In China, it wasn't that difficult. In Korea, it's a bit more difficult because fewer places have picture menus or menus with English subtitles. Plus, it's a little challenging with my work situation. My rule of thumb is that I order vegetarian if it's an option.

Xaarlin said...

Im so glad im not the only one who thought Young Adult was depressing. Its even listed as a "comedy" on netflicks.

The photos are great! Are you able to get out an run there? Happy travels :)

KellytheCulinarian said...

Young Adult had its funny moments, but overall, it was sad. I did run in China, but a 2.5-mile run felt like an eternity. I was scheduled to do three, but dodging people really took a lot out of me. And they were confused - one lady followed me on her bike to see what in the world I was doing.