Beijing hotels were once largely impersonal concerns, with standardized, rather nondescript, modern interiors. But newer accommodation options are placing more emphasis on design and character, the established places are sprucing themselves up, and now, whatever your budget, it’s possible to stay somewhere that’s not just functional but memorable; most notable are the huge number of traditional-as-it-gets courtyard options, set in Beijing’s famed hutongs. The city’s cheapest beds are, of course, in its hostels, some of which are up there with Beijing’s most atmospheric places to stay. Private rooms at Beijing’s cheap chain hotels are safe, clean and comfortable, and sometimes cheaper than those at the hostels. Moving up a level to three-star places and above, rooms are more spacious; head up another notch, and there are usually facilities such as satellite TV, swimming pools and saunas. Luxury hotels are of an international standard and are generally foreign-run and -managed, and sometimes offer discounts of up to seventy percent off-season. For more information, see accommodation. Most of the mid-range and high-class hotels are east of the centre, strung out along the international shopping streets of Wangfujing and Jianguomen or clustered around subway stations. Further north, the Sanlitun district has some good accommodation options for all budgets, with plenty of places to eat and drink nearby. The most charismatic places to stay are those hidden in the hutongs north of the centre around Houhai and Nanluogu Xiang, close to good eating and nightlife options; there’s something here for all budgets.

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