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An occasionally belligerent mother of four and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Kingly Pursuits: King Parkview Hotel Review


Booking through our favorite hotel deal website, we came upon King's Parkview Hotel. Taking into consideration the location, appearance, reviews and cost, this place had a lot of potential.

To be honest, I felt that most of the hotels in Beijing were quite pricey compared to the other destinations we've been to.


Situated in the Dongcheng District of Beijing, the hotel is a good 30-45 minutes ride from the airport. Arriving early in the morning, we had no other option but to haggle in broken Chinese with the scammy cabbies at the airport's taxi stand. We paid around 200 RMB instead of the 80-100 standard fare.


Checking in wasn't bad. The front desk clerk had a decent command of the English language. Don't expect much from the lobby (as far as appearances go), just be thankful your cab driver brought you there :P There were a lot of other foreigners who were checked in the hotel. We made fast friends with a European couple from Dubai, a mother and daughter from Peru and another couple from Australia. They too were quite happy with the hotel.


Proximity:
Shatan Houjie, the street where Kings Parkview is located at, is quite close to a lot of tourist attractions. One of the most notable in the list is the Forbidden City. It's so close, that we could see some of its palaces from our hotel window. It's also a 10 minute walk to the historical site.

through the zoom lens: one of the palaces at the Forbidden City taken through our hotel window

Jingshan Park, Beihai Park, Wangfungjing Street (the exotic food/shopping destination) and Tiananmen Square are all a 5 to 15 minute ride away. The subway, is anything BUT near though, despite what everyone says. You might as well take a cab to the subway stop and from there, head off to the other places in the city.

being on the 3rd floor, we were a good 2 minutes away from the rooftop /view deck and to the adjacent bldg, that houses the hotel restaurant

Hotel Amenities:
Quoting from their website, here's what you could expect: "King Parkview Hotel provides 110 guest rooms with different kinds of guestrooms including standard room, business standard room, special offer room and double room. Each room equipped with lots of facilities, comfortable and clean room. Each rooms provides with hair dryer, television, internet access, laundry service, coffee tea maker, ironing facilities and other facilities. All of those facilities are provide to make the guests comfortable stay in the hotel. King Parkview Hotel is also provides with lots of hotel facilities such as, family room, meeting facilities, two restaurants, room service, coffee shop, 24 hour business center, gift shop, grocery store, bar and lounge, conference room, and others".

tv only shows CCTV (Chinese), internet via LAN was ok, it's just that you can't really visit a lot of sites as they are blocked in China, the bed was clean and comfy enough and the AC/heater worked fine

The Lowdown:
Perhaps Phil summed it up quite well in his Agoda review:(my comments in blue)


First of all, I enjoyed my stay and would definitely consider staying there again should I visit again. For the price I paid, the room was appropriately sized, although I've had bigger elsewhere. 


The shower was a bit cramped and water leaked out (from it's enclosure) and wet the rest of the bathroom (but not too badly). 


The temperature of the room is adjustable, but you can also open the window if you want to enjoy the fresh air, which I did quite often. 

air quality's much better here

The hotel is located near some parks so there are lots of trees and the air is quite clean. There is a very busy street nearby with several convenience stores and eateries in case you are the adventurous type who likes to sample the local fare. There is also some historical significance in this hotel which draws several tours daily to the surrounding buildings and the street, adding to the street ambiance of the place. (being the mansion of the Princess of the Qianlong Emperor and site of Imperial University of Peking)

spicy beef hotpot, ordered with my limited Chinese in an eatery, 3 minutes away from the hotel. Throw in some mi fan (steamed rice) and you're all set

The breakfast buffet was disappointing, but we had so many options around that we only tried it once. That was also the only time we ate at the hotel. The eateries nearby are owned and operated by Chinese who don't speak English. Some have menus with pictures but others don't, so check first, if that will be an issue.(Don't expect fine dining. It's really more like a small cafeteria with an occasional cat or two, and/or a cook who smokes while preparing your food). The cafe closer to end of the street towards the right serves western food and free wifi. Say what you will about standards, the food (including the street roastings) were good!
 
Chinese style BBQ - roastings and candied fruit. Everything costing 10 RMB
The front desk personnel have a good grasp of English and are very helpful. There are also tours available should you choose to go on one. We took a tour to the Great Wall section in Mutianyu and the Ming tombs and were quite pleased with the way it was conducted, although I would have preferred it if they didn't include the side trips to the Jade factory, Pearl store and Tea store, which were just glorified tourist traps. Those portions just made the tour longer than they should have been and were not advertised as part of the tour. 

a lot of convenience stores, eateries and various shops may be found in front of the hotel

There are a lot of smokers in Beijing, and even some areas of the hotel have that musty smell, but overall, the hotel did a great job of keeping smokers away from smoke free zones. I am very pleased with my stay here. 



Sightseeing/Attractions Tip: There are several sights which are within walking distance of this hotel including, but not limited to, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Mao's tomb, as well as several parks. Some may be farther than others and a long walk, but cab rides shouldn't cost too much. It would also help to get the hotel's card to show to cabbies so they know where to bring you.



From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

 

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