161 Hotel

Spent last night going through booking sites to find a hotel in Beijing. Looking for a reasonable price but something that has good reviews (Tripadvisor). Settled on a place called 161 Hotel which is really a hostel with a few private rooms (went for the private room). It describes itself as a “homestead in a traditional hutong”. A hutong is a Chinese home built around a courtyard.

Didn’t know what to expect so I only booked for 1 night just in case. Let me take you on a journey.


Seedy part of town. Coming around the corner on the left which will lead to the hotel.


The hotel is there on the left about 4 buildings along.


Ta da.




Snack room / bar.


Mezzanine lounge area.



And you know what? It’s a flipping lekker posi. It is a good lesson for our guesthouse back in SA. They concentrate on the things that matter to this level of traveller:

– spotlessly clean bedroom and bathroom (clean carpet – the first clean carpet I’ve seen in the Middle Kingdom) – crisp linen
– free wireless in the rooms
– reception staff that speak English (whoopa) and are happy to help
– it is not pretentious and has a vibe

My window looks out at a concrete wall,, the furniture is cheap (but stable), everything is all over the place. These things don’t matter unless you’re Hilary Clinton.

So I’ve just booked for the remaining 4 nights until I leave.

What do you guys think? What do you look for when you travel?


5 thoughts on “161 Hotel

  1. Hija John!

    Nog lekker pics! Only discover your blog now – pity!

    We’re braaing ‘souterige skaap choppies’ (remember those?) in Hangklip – watching the North-Wester blowing in a storm over Hangklip – the life! Awesome reading your stuff from that side. Keep up the good work!

    Hannes and Welma.

  2. When I travel, I want a clean room with a clean ablution area. The rooms are quite small so size is not too important, as one wants to only slept in the room and see and hear all the sites and sounds.


  3. Clean linen and bathrooms…especially pillow cases and definitely not pink broken lace pillows… still have nightmares of that room in Petra. I can hear the relief in your voice as you can speak again…never thought you would be so frustrated…sleep well, explore each day and come home to share your stories…we love you lots from a miserably wet Cape Town

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