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“Good stay at the Holiday Inn”

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Holiday Inn Central Plaza
Ranked #88 of 6,473 Hotels in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Good stay at the Holiday Inn”
Reviewed 12 April 2012

We travelled to Beijing in March 2012. The hotel is great - it is clean, comfortable and the breakfast is delicious. The hotel is a little bit far from the main tourist attractions but getting a taxi is not an issue. The hotel staff helped us get one each day. Storm Li, as mentioned in many of the reviews, is the hotel's biggest asset. He gave us cards to give to the taxi drivers indicating where we wanted to go and directions in Chinese to these places. When getting in a taxi, make sure you ask them to run the meter else they may charge you a high price. One of our biggest challenges was the lack of English we encountered. This is totally understandable as English is not their first language. We also struggled with the front desk at the hotel as they often didn't understand what we were trying to say. For hotel that caters for tourists, this needs to be addressed. Storm took us and another family to the Great Wall (Mutianyu is the best part to see) on his off day. He arranged a wonderful day for us that included horse riding up to the wall which was amazing. In general, Storm was always available and offering advice. He sat with us at breakfast and offered advice and often called the room to see if we were enjoying our stay. He didn't once try to sell us something or force us into doing anything. His main goal was to ensure that we had a great time. Storm Li is what makes the hotel great. We will definitely go back to Beijing - great people, great sightseeing and great shopping (bargain, bargain and bargain some more!) however we might stay a little more central next time.

Room Tip: When booking a room, enquire about breakfast as it is not included in all room bookings.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Saucy85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Western Springs, Illinois
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2012

We travelled to Beijing over spring break (March 22-29) 2012 - a great time of year to visit. I was first attracted to the Holiday Inn due to it's reasonable price. We're a family of five (2 adults, three kids (11, 13 and 14) and squeezing into one room is no longer possible at these ages, so we had to economize. The reviews of Mr. Storm Li seemed too good to believe, but I was convinced to book 2 rooms based on other travelers' glowing recommendations.

I was concerned about the language difference coming from the US and I generally try to pre-arrange as many sight seeing events as possible. Once again, based on the reviews of Sotrom, I decided to wait until we arrived and speak to him directly.

First the hotel facilities: The facilities were impeccable; the lobby always clean and polished, rooms large and clean. We only had 4 days in Beijing, so we opted to have the breakfast buffet each morning for the convenience and to save time. It was pricey at about $20USD per person ($100/day for my family), but Storm Li worked his magic and was able to have the kids eat free. The buffet was a great mix of Chinese and American dishes which appealed to my desire to eat as much local food as possible e and certain of my kids that were reluctant to try the Chinese food.

Hotel Location: I was a bit concerned after reading certain reviews, but taxis are plentiful and cheap and the hotel provides cards so drivers can easily find the way to the hotel on your return trip. We also used the bus and subway systems which were surprisingly user friendly - stops are announced in both Manadarin and English - probably driven by the Olympics and desire to be more appealling to Western visitors. It will take 45 mins to 1 hour to get to the major sites in AM or PM traffic (not too bad), so if this seems long, consider travelling in the off hours. Bottomline: The location was fine, but don't expect to be able to walk to the major sites unless you're OK with a 4-5km stroll.

Tip: Email the hotel before your trip to obtain directions via email in both English and Mandarin. It will help if you need a taxi from the airport.

Mr. Storm Li, the hotel concierge: I can't write enough about how this man made our visit a trip of a lifetime. To start, I emailed Storm before our arrival and he arranged for a minivan to pick us up at the airport. We landed at 11:30PM, so I was concerend about having to take 2 taxis and trying to explain directions to the Holiday Inn to the drivers. Storm arranged a nice sized minivan and the driver knew exactly where to go. Storm even called the driver at 1AM to be sure all was going well. Storm sat with us the first morning of our visit (Saturday at 7AM) to discuss what we wanted to see during our stay. He was not pushy or trying to sell us anything - he just wanted to lend us any assistance we wanted - we could take it or leave it no problem. We scheduled the major site visits for each of the 4 days. Each morning, he presented a detailed itinerary for the next day with a fixed cost for the entire day, usually including lunch and dinner too! I reserched the Great Wall before our trip and wanted to visit a non-touristy part (definitely not Badaling due to the high number of visitors) and also a "Wild Wall" section, that is, the wall that has not been restored.

Storm arranged for us to visit the Mutianyu section, but what made this incredible is that we first went to a local farmer's home for a small meal of freshly roasted chestnuts and tea. The farmer then took one of his horses for the kids to ride (alternately) and we climbed to the backside of the Mutianyu wall on the horse trail. We met several local villagers hiking this trail so they could sell souvenirs and drinks to the visitors on the wall. This section of the Great Wall was fantastic and we climbed for around 2 hours to the various watchtowers - the views were spectacular to say the least. We then drove for about 40 minutes to another farmer's home, this time, she was the village medicine woman, a "protector" of the wall, a masseuse and an incredible cook. After a beautiful and filling meal, she led our family on a 1.5 mile hike to the Wild Wall. We hiked up approx 2,500 feet vertical on a wall that was crumbling, but at least had most of the stones in place. The ascent was steep, challenging and exhausting, but after 2 hours, we hade it to the summit. The view was spectacular and awe-inspiring. We continued on the wall and hiked a different section down; one that was steeper and more deteriorated. I admit that I was nervous and concerend for my kids' safety, but they were cautious and our guide helped protect them. I wanted to climb the Wild Wall to get a sense of the wall from an isolated perspective. We were the only ones that were on the wall and we could see the wall stretching out for miles and miles into the hazy horizon. It took us 3.5 hours to complete the hike, but it is a memory of a lifetime thanks to Storm. Be warned though, you need to be physically fit to make this hike. If you can run 1 mile, you can handle it, but I would not recommend it for kids 7 or younger or if you have trouble climbing stairs (and I mean ALOT of them).

Before we left, I contacted a professional tour company to price a trip to a wild and restored sections of the wall. Without lunch, the price was $600USD for my family of 5. Our adventure coordinated by Storm was less than half that amount and the experience was personally created for my family.

Storm personally assisted us in many ways (rickshaw rides through the Hutong neighborhoods, Peking duck dinner, acrobatic show, dumpling lunch, hotpot soup dinner, and much, much more). When we were running late, he re-arranged the schedule. When the kids fell asleep the first day from jetlag, he cancelled dinner no problem. I cannot thank him enough for his personal attention, care, and kindness. This man is what makes the Holiday Inn THE destination hotel in Beijing, especially for families or those looking for custom-tailored tours. He would not even accept a gratiuity; something difficult for this Westerner to understand. Storm takes great pride in his work and it seems his whole desire is to make your trip a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: We stayed in the regular rooms (non-club/executive) and we found them to be very nice. We were prett...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2012

We stayed here in July 2011 for a weekend. The room was wonderful & we ate all of our meals right at the hotel. We had a wonderful trip planned by one of the staff to the Great Wall. Our girls want to stay here again when we return to Beijing, even though they were maintaining the pool last summer & they didn't get to swim. We didn't have any trouble with taxi drivers finding it.

Everything was very clean & appeared to be well maintained. Staff was very helpful & easy to communicate with, which was wonderful since we don't speak much Mandarin at all.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kristin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We stayed here for seven nights 8 - 16 March 2012. Myself and my family come to Beijing often and live in China.

If you are looking for a 4 star hotel experience with free internet (a lot of hotels of this standard charge you extra for it!) at a reasonable price then this is a good place to stay. If you are looking for prime location then it is perhaps not the best option.

One of the reasons we chose this hotel was based on previous reviews of the concierge "Storm". We had our parents-in-law with us and needed good service. He did a good job organizing of the beaten track trips for us (ie the Great Wall with a local village meal thrown in or excellent non-touristy restaurants), booking travel tickets and generally taking care of us. It was nice to have someone there with connections in the city available 24 / 7.

The hotel all round is of a good standard. Rooms have a safe, flat screen tv, nice bath tub for a soak, comfortable mattresses and pillows, sofa, desk, good lighting options etc. There is a decent enough pool and a basic fitness area. If you book a club room then bare in mind it is no different really from a deluxe room but you will get access into the executive lounge which means free drinks all day and free food between 6 - 8pm. This was a worthwhile option for us.

The breakfast is good and I particularly liked Amy who kept the staff on track, maintaining a peaceful and pleasant environment. She was always very courteous to us. We dined at the Zen restaurant and found the food to be quite good, though it was a little slow to come out.

I feel obliged to mention location. The hotel is in south west Beijing, great for the West Train Station but... if you want to see downtown Beijing with the forbidden city, wanfujiang, beihai, houhai, hutongs etc. then you will need to travel 30 mins in a taxi.

Bear in mind the acrobatic shows, silk market and pearl market are East side. The bird's nest and 798 district are north side. If you want to go to the Great Wall then that is north of Beijing. Basically you will be crossing the city for all these attractions which is added journey time!

If you want to get to the nearest tube station I would say it is not walkable. Took me 25 mins on a bus, a taxi would take 15 mins but they are not always easy to get outside the hotel.

Having said that the hotel is great. You are getting a cracking price for the quality of hotel and we felt the money saved during our stay more than paid or the extra journey time.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rockheights2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hyderabad, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2012

I stayed here with my husband & kids. The place is awesome, rooms and bathrooms extremely clean, and no issues whatsoever. Didnt have food here though the spread looked decent. There were absolutely no hassles anywhere.
The staff was extremely helpful, smiling always & making full effort to meet our needs. In a city, where almost no one speaks English, we managed to find a few staff who could understand & communicate in english. Believe me, in China, this is the biggest asset.
The manager showed us a couple of rooms & allowed us to choose a room of our choice. On one incident, one of the staff members actually accompanied my husband to a chemist in order to explain what medication we were looking for.
The swimming pool was not too large, but very clean and well-maintained. No probs with fresh towels, etc.
My kids really enjoyed the stay here. Would certainly like to visit this place again.
We also managed to get a package at very decent rates. Would certainly recommend this to Indian tourists, who will enjoy the experience here.
Location-wise, its not too far from the Forbidden City & the Tiananmen Square. Both within 5km radius from the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ItsmeBubbly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Central Plaza

Property: Holiday Inn Central Plaza
Address: No.1 Caiyuan Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Beijing > Beijing South Railway Station
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#78 Luxury Hotel in Beijing
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Central Plaza 4*
Number of rooms: 322
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holiday Inn Central Plaza Beijing, an Award-Winning hotel, is conveniently located in Guanganmen commercial and civic area, adjacent to the new Municipal Government Office Building and is within a stone's throw from Beijing's Financial Street. The hotel is close to tourist and shopping attractions such as Wangfujing, Oriental Plaza and the Forbidden City. It is 10 minutes drive from the West and South Train Station and 45 minutes from the Capital Airport.The hotel has 322 contemporary guest rooms, including suites and two floors of Executive Club rooms, all equipped with wired and wireless broadband internet, speaker telephone and multi-language voice mail. With a 640 square meter, pillar-free ballroom and 8 other function rooms ranging from 35 to 176 square meters, the hotel is an ideal venue for business meetings and social functions alike. All the meeting rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities, built-in work station, wireless broadband connection and video conference facilities. The hotel's professional meeting team will ensure every event a success.The hotel also provides other facilities like business center ticketing and tour desk, kiosk, car rental, concierge taxi and limousine service, baby sitting service, karaoke as well as a Mini Golf Club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Central Plaza Hotel Beijing
Holiday Inn Beijing
Beijing Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Central Plaza Beijing

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