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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kelly's Courtyard: Our Hutong Guesthouse in Beijing

For our accommodation, I chose somewhere comfortable but authentic. I didn't want to stay at a 5* hotel which looked the same inside as it would in any country. Kelly's Courtyard was perfect - located in a hutong (alleyway), with rooms opening onto a traditional courtyard (albeit with a roof over it, which we were grateful for on the day it rained), decorated with antique furniture and with lots of special touches.

It is also central, close to a subway station (this is very important, because even small distances on the map are far in real life) and the hotel manager is friendly, goes out of his way to help guests and speaks decent English. Even better, despite being close to the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square, it's not in a very touristy area so you are not harassed by hawkers (as we were when we visited the touristy bar street) and it feels like you're experiencing the "real" Beijing.

 The gorgeous courtyard area

 It even has a fish pond!

 View over the hutong from the rooftop courtyard
 Rooftop courtyard - unfortunately it was too chilly to enjoy time out here

 The common room, where there is a TV and a computer (with internet) for guest use

The courtyard from above, with guests enjoying their breakfast

The simple but delicious breakfast that was included with our stay

Our gorgeous bedroom. Every room is uniquely decorated, with antique furniture and amazing wallpaper. I was lucky enough to get a peak into other rooms as on one morning, most rooms were empty:

I would definitely recommend this cute guesthouse if you're heading to Beijing. Here is my review from Tripadvisor:

We really enjoyed our stay at Kelly's. It is a cute and cosy place with lovely decoration and attention to detail. The rooms are comfortable and uniquely decorated. The location is great- not a very touristy area (which we liked), but plenty of restaurants in walking distance and a 5-10 minute walk from the line 4 subway.

What really makes the stay is the small size of the place and the personalised, friendly service. Bob is lovely and goes out of his way to help the guests. He recommended restaurants and helped us with whatever information we needed as first time visitors to China.

-Good location, easy access to subway
-Bob is a fantastic manager, very helpful and friendly
-Lovely decor, very authentic
-Nice simple breakfast
-Excellent heating/air conditioning (and personal controls in each room)
-Very clean, rooms well cleaned daily
-Fast free wifi throughout the guesthouse, and computer also free for guest use

-We had hardly any hot water and it went from very hot to ice cold with no warning
-No fridges in rooms (which we would have liked)
-Has the potential to be noisy if other guests are inconsiderate. Bob is very good about reminding people to be quiet, but that didn't stop a rude French tour guide who came daily to pick up some guests.
-Difficult to locate when you arrive from the airport, taxi drivers aren't generally willing to take you to a complicated destination (even if you have a phone number etc)


  1. Lovely babe! Let`s follow each other!


  2. Hello! I found your blog on google when I was googling for information about this guesthouse. When I saw your pictures I was wondering about the bathrooms. It looks like glass walls with a glass door. What did you think about the bath rooms? Did you feel like the toilet was in the same room as the bed or was it OK? It would be very kind of you to answer. Thank you /Linnea from Sweden

    1. Hi, I found it fine as it is fully covered with a curtain. It didn't feel like it was in the same room at all :) It's not a luxurious bathroom and got a little wet after one person showered (plus we had variable hot water), but it was definitely adequate for us.


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