The first thing that struck me about the Redwall Hotel was the incredible service provided by the concierge team. As soon as I put my foot on the steps of the hotel there was someone bounding out the front door to help with my luggage and escort me to the reception to check in.
Oddly, and to my benefit, the concierge even helped out in securing the best rate possible and matching the Ctrip price which initially the reception desk was unable to do.
The hotel is starting to show some age, the rooms are kept very clean and are well maintained with everything working as it should. Unfortunately, the same cant be said about the restaurant, it’s rubbish, the food is average and the place looks like it hasn’t had a decent clean in years, it really lets the rest of the hotel down. The breakfast is acceptable though, and reasonably priced by Beijing standards, but I’m sure better could be found if you were prepared to travel away from the hotel.
The Forbidden City, Jinsheng Park, Behei Park and Wangfujing St are all within walking distance of the Redwall Hotel. So is Tiananmen Square, if you enjoy walking, but taxis are pretty easy to get also.
The streets immediately surrounding the hotel are not exactly modern touristy streets, they’re far from it. That doesn’t mean they are not interesting, I enjoyed wandering around these streets to see the way many in Beijing really live and seeing a small section of local life in this big city.
One nearby street (in the photo below), is quite handy featuring fruit sellers, people on the street selling their wares out of bicycle trailers, laundry services and there is even a supermarket. The people are friendly although no one speaks English, they are happy to help you, I even managed to get a well-needed hair cut in one of the local shops, without a word of English spoken!
If you are after more modern shops, don’t fear, the very popular Wangfujing St is only a ten-minute walk away where you’ll find mega-modern shopping complexes and eateries galore.
The major redeeming factors of this hotel are its closeness to the Forbidden City, the great price (by Beijing standards) and the great service from the concierge team. The concierge is extremely helpful, they have free maps and can help with choosing the best sights to see and places to visit.
They also have a tour desk which can book plane and train tickets, I booked a train ticket with them and had no concerns, although, I booked a trip to Badling section of the Great Wall and it turned out to be a sales tour stopping at Jade salesrooms, and various other crap places rather than spending time at the wall. Admittedly the tour wasn’t expensive, and after expressing my dissatisfaction they did offer my money back. Ask plenty of questions about any tour you book.
The hotel also has a hair salon in the building, a small shop selling bags and souvenirs, and a massage service. But for a massage you’d be crazy not to experience Dragonfly which is not too far away or try Massage Town at 77 Wangfujing St.
Final thoughts on the Redwall Hotel – If you’re looking for accommodation close to the Forbidden City, for a fair price, then this is probably hard to beat. Skip the restaurant except for the bacon, eggs, and toast at the breakfast buffet. Ask for Mark who is on the concierge team, he’ll help with any concerns.
Redwall Hotel address in Chinese
Redwall Hotel Map