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The Orchid: A cozy Beijing retreat

February 4, 2013 - Casey Hynes

ANY ex-pat or foreigner will tell you that Beijing doesn’t do serene. Quiet, relaxation, a place to unwind and contemplate your thoughts — these are things one actively seeks in the Chinese capital. Beijing is a city well worth visiting, but it’s also constantly moving, shifting. 

The people at The Orchid know how to do cozy. Pic: The Orchid.

Amid all of this chaos and activity, however, is The Orchid, a boutique hotel that offers comfort, class and respite from the busy streets of Beijing. The Orchid’s location near Gulou, or the busy neighborhood that has grown up around the city’s ancient Drum Tower, gives it the unique advantage of being accessible to all Beijing has to offer as well as a cozy place to retreat from the world.

What makes it special?

The Orchid is situated in a hutong neighborhood, an ancient and traditional style neighborhood in Beijing. The hutongs are formed by courtyard residences and the buildings here often adjoin one another, creating a mazelike neighborhood that takes on a life of its own. To stay in a hutong while in Beijing may not be an option for much longer. The Beijing government has been demolishing an increasing number of old buildings to pave the way for newer facilities. Push back from locals and from ex-pats has managed to slow the process and places like The Orchid celebrate the tradition of the hutongs and demonstrate what is possible for the future.

Courtyard room. Pic: The Orchid.

The world of the hutong can be quite noisy, but The Orchid has that covered. Set back from the main street, The Orchid is quiet and boasts a calming atmosphere. The hotel courtyard is actually enclosed by soundproof glass so guests can enjoy a quiet evening on the patio without the din of the neighborhood drowning out your thoughts.

What to expect?

The 10 rooms at The Orchid maintain traditional Chinese charm while also offering comforting amenities. Each room comes equipped with a media server that plays free music and movies, free WiFi and wired high-speed internet, and guests enjoy the Orchid Breakfast. Each bathroom has a rainforest shower with organic toiletries, and all rooms and suites have a unique aspect to recommend them.

Courtyard rooms open up onto The Orchid’s main garden, while The Lookout room sits on the second storey and affords guests magnificent views of the ancient Drum and Bell towers. Other options include the Three Gardens rooms, which each have a private garden, and the Yin and Yang rooms, unique for their private garden and private terraces, respectively.

Pic: The Orchid, Beijing.

The elegant, cozy Orchid Bar provides a nice place for guests and patrons to unwind and imbibe. The hotel stocks an impressive list of Italian wines, as well as local Chinese beer.

Step outside the premises and you will be immersed in Chinese culture and the gritty yet delightful Beijing experience. The Orchid’s convenient location allows you quick access to the shopping and sightseeing in the Gulou neighborhood, the lively nightlife scene at nearby Nanluoguxiang, and a short taxi, bus or subway ride to some of Beijing’s green spaces and main attractions.

What’s the damage?

Room rates range between US$110-190.

To find out more about this hotel and contact the owner, please click here.

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